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N Scale - Athearn - 11341 - Gondola, 65 Foot, Mill - Cotton Belt - 72018

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N Scale - Athearn - 11341 - Gondola, 65 Foot, Mill - Cotton Belt - 72018 Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby


Brand Athearn
Stock Number 11341
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Athearn Gondola 65 Foot Mill
Prototype Gondola, 65 Foot, Mill (Details)
Road or Company Name Cotton Belt (Details)
Reporting Marks SSW
Road or Reporting Number 72018
Paint Color(s) Brown
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Diecast
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Gondola
Model Subtype 65 Foot
Model Variety Mill
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: N RTR 65 foot6" Mill Gondola, Cotton Belt #72018

Model Information: New road numbers; Era: 1941+; Three road numbers; Working drop ends. Gently lift up and push inward to fold ends down; Factory installed wire grab irons; Interior detailing; Bettendorf trucks; Fully-assembled and ready-to-run out of the box; Accurately painted and printed; Die cast body and underframe; Separately applied brake wheel; Machined metal wheels; Screw mounted trucks; McHenry operating knuckle couplers; Weighted for trouble free operation; Clear plastic jewel box for convenient storage; Operates on Code 55 and 80 rail; Minimum radius: 9 3/4"; Recommended radius: 11"

Prototype History:
Generally used to haul scrap metal and loose bulk materials, gondola cars vary in length and side heights. Mill Gondola cars are more commonly used for high-density commodities and have a flat bottom while regular Gondola cars are most commonly used for coal or crushed aggregates and can have a flat or tub bottom configuration.

Steel-sided 65' mill gondolas date back to at least the 1940s, however specialized rib-sided "mill" gondolas are a relatively modern design. These cars are intended for use with the steel trade, and they are used to transport just about anything that can be loaded using an overheard crane. They date from the 1970s forward.

Road Name History:
The St. Louis Southwestern Railway (reporting mark SSW), known by its nickname of "The Cotton Belt Route" or simply Cotton Belt, is a former US Class I railroad which operated between St. Louis, Missouri, and various points in the states of Arkansas and Texas from 1891 to 1992.

The Cotton Belt was one of the lines comprising the railroad empire acquired by financier Jay Gould in the last quarter of the 19th century; according to the Handbook of Texas, By 1890 Gould owned the Missouri Pacific, the Texas and Pacific, the St. Louis Southwestern, and the International-Great Northern, one-half of the mileage in the Southwest.

The railroad was organized on January 15, 1891, although it had its origins in a series of short lines founded in Tyler, Texas, in 1870 that connected northeastern Texas to Arkansas and southeastern Missouri. Construction of the original Tyler Tap Railroad began in the summer of 1875.

On October 18, 1903, the Cotton Belt gained trackage rights via the Thebes Bridge and the Missouri Pacific Railroad along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River to reach East St. Louis, Illinois, and then used Terminal Railroad Association trackage rights into St. Louis. The Cotton Belt also operated a yard and a locomotive servicing facility in East St. Louis, just east of Valley Junction, and south of Alton and Southern Railroad's Gateway Yard, and north of Kansas City Southern's East St. Louis Yard. They also had a freight station in downtown St. Louis. Union Pacific Railroad now operates the yard (still named "Cotton Belt Yard"), but the engine servicing facilities have been demolished.

The Cotton Belt and subsidiary St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas together operated 1,607 miles of road in 1945; 1,555 miles in 1965; and 2,115 miles in 1981 after taking over the Rock Island's Golden State Route. In 1925 SSW and SSW of Texas reported a total of 1474 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 75 million passenger-miles; in 1970 it carried 8650 million ton-miles and no passengers.

The Southern Pacific Company gained Interstate Commerce Commission approval to control the Cotton Belt system on April 14, 1932, but continued to operate it as a separate company until 1992, when the SP consolidated the Cotton Belt's operations into the parent company. Cotton Belt diesel locomotives from 1959 on were painted in Southern Pacific's "bloody nose" scheme - dark gray locomotive body with a red "winged" nose. "Cotton Belt" was painted on the sides and in later years the letters "SSW" were painted on the nose.

In 1996 the Union Pacific Railroad finished the acquisition that was effectively begun almost a century before with the purchase of the Southern Pacific by UP in 1901, until divestiture was ordered in 1913. The merged company retains the name "Union Pacific" for all railroad operations. Many former SSW locomotives are used by Union Pacific today, although few still sport unmodified "Cotton Belt" paint. Most of the remaining units have been repainted into the UP scheme, while others wear patched SSW paint with a UP shield logo and new numbers applied over the SSW number.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.

Item created by: Chance on 2016-09-23 10:34:06. Last edited by gdm on 2019-04-18 20:44:52

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