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Micro-Trains - 083 44 110 - Gondola, 40 Foot, Steel, Drop Bottom - Milwaukee Road - 93010

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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 083 44 110 - Gondola, 40 Foot, Steel, Drop Bottom - Milwaukee Road - 93010
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Stock Number083 44 110
Secondary Stock Number083 44 110
BrandMicro-Trains
ManufacturerMicro-Trains Line
Body StyleMicro-Trains 083 Gondola 40 Foot Gondola Drop Bottom
Prototype VehicleGondola, 40 Foot, Steel, Drop Bottom (Details)
Road or Company NameMilwaukee Road (Details)
Reporting MarksMILW
Road or Reporting Number93010
Paint Color(s)Brown
Print Color(s)White
Coupler TypeMT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel TypeInjection Molded Plastic
Wheel ProfileStandard
Multipack ID Number995 02 104
Series NameWeathered
Announcement Date2016-09-01
Release Date2016-09-01
Item CategoryRolling Stock (Freight)
Model TypeGondola
Model Subtype40 Foot
Model VarietyDrop Bottom
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale1/160



Prototype History:
In US railroad terminology, a gondola is an open-topped rail vehicle used for transporting loose bulk materials. All-steel gondolas date back to the early part of the 20th century. Because of their low side walls gondolas are also suitable for the carriage of such high-density cargoes as steel plates or coils, or of bulky items such as prefabricated sections of rail track.

Drop-bottom gondolas were equipped with dump doors that operated via a mechanism located in the center of the car body. The drop bottom door provided a time-saving unloading method compared to the usual, labor-intensive procedure. Instead of equipping workmen with shovels to muck out the car’s content, the lever system was used to open the doors thus immediately dumping the load on the ground. Various commodities could be carried in the drop bottom gons, but coal loadings were most common. Many coaling towers had elevated trestle style delivery ramps where the drop bottom gondolas would be spotted and workmen could simply open the dump doors to spill the contents into the coal bins. At facilities with the elevator bucket style of coal dock, a ramp was used that led up to an open grate where the coal would spill through and into the lower coal bins. The gons were “tailor made” for company service such as dumping ballast directly onto track roadbed during maintenance, as well as hauling cinders out of various engine service facilities. Handy they were!
Road Name History:
First of all, Milwaukee Road has only ever been a popular nickname. The real name from 1874 was Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul. For the next 36 years, the CM&StP linked Chicago with Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Wausau, the Twin Cities, Duluth, Kansas City and Omaha with a dense network of branches in Wisconsin, Iowa, southern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. Essentially, the lines ended at the Missouri River.

With a dearth of friendly western connections, CM&StP decided to build their own line to the Pacific. The original target was the bustling megalopolis of Eureka, California. However, they built toward Seattle instead. In 1909 the line opened. Along the way, they served Miles City, Lewiston, Great Falls, Harlowton and Butte, Montana; Avery, Idaho; and Spokane, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. In 1912, they began to electrify two long segments, Harlowton, Montana to Avery, Idaho and Othello, Washington to Tacoma.

In 1921, they leased the Chicago Terre Haute & Southeastern and a bit later the Chicago Milwaukee & Gary to reach the coal fields of southern Indiana. Both roads were in trouble and dragged the CM&StP into receivership. In 1928, they emerged with a small name change. It was now the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific. Right after that, the nickname “Milwaukee Road” began to catch on.

The three Class One’s that already served the Pacific Northwest, Northern Pacific, Great Northern (along with their jointly owned minion Spokane Portland & Seattle) and Union Pacific were not pleased with their new neighbor and avoided building interchanges with them unless absolutely necessary. This left Milwaukee to haul whatever traffic they could originate or terminate on their own line or via a hand full of shortlines with which they interchanged. This is why when you see photos of Milwaukee Road trains west of the Dakotas, an exceptionally large majority of cars are lettered for Milwaukee Road.

Milwaukee’s steam fleet is generally quite handsome beginning with the period after WWI. Many locomotives were built in their own shops. The steam era came to an end on the Milwaukee in 1957.

The electrified lines were ruled by boxcabs and Bi-Polars for decades. In the 1950’s, Little Joe’s diverted from the Soviet Union arrived on the Milwaukee (and the South Shore.) By the late 60’s diesels began to regularly invade the electrified lines. Little Joes and diesels were MU’ed. The aging catenary could only handle so many electrics at a time so diesels filled the horsepower gap. By 1972, falling traffic, a declining fleet of serviceable electrics and the deteriorating catenary caused Milwaukee Road to de-energize the western lines lines with Avery to Harlowton lines following two years later.

Meanwhile on the east end, as a condition of the 1971 merger of Monon into L&N, Milwaukee Road received trackage rights from Chicago to Louisville. This gave Southern a friendly connection to Chicago it was losing with Monon.

In 1977, Milwaukee Road entered receivership again. This time, radical restructuring was needed. In 1980, everything west of Miles City, Montana was abandoned. Some lines were picked up by connections or spawned new shortlines but nearly 1,000 miles of track was pulled up. In 1982, Miles City to Ortonville, Minnesota was abandoned. Milwaukee was concentrating on their pre-1909 routes plus the new line to Louisville.

In an attempt to win back middle distance TOFC traffic, Milwaukee began running fast and short piggyback trains, usually behind a single SD40-2 and with a dozen or so 89’ flats. Unit coal trains added to the bottom line. By the mid-80s, the streamlined Milwaukee Road was up for sale and Grand Trunk Western, Chicago & North Western and Soo Line got into a bidding war. GTW had diverted 40,000 cars onto Milwaukee Road between Chicago and Duluth to help them turn a profit in 1983. Ironically, the ICC (which controlled mergers at the time) pushed GTW out of the contest leaving just C&NW and Soo. Furious, GTW diverted their 40,000 carloads off the Milwaukee. C&NW outbid Soo, but the ICC chose Soo Line anyway. Milwaukee Road merged into Soo Line in 1985. Almost immediately, Soo shops began painting big black rectangles over MILWAUKEE ROAD on the diesels, giving birth to the “bandit” paint scheme.
Brand/Importer Information: Micro-Trains is the brand name used by both Kadee Quality Products and Micro-Trains Line. For a history of the relationship between the brand and the two companies, please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide.
Manufacturer Information:
Micro-Trains Line split off from Kadee Quality Products in 1990. Kadee Quality Products originally got involved in N-Scale by producing a scaled-down version of their successful HO Magne-Matic knuckle coupler system. This coupler was superior to the ubiquitous 'Rapido' style coupler due to two primary factors: superior realistic appearance and the ability to automatically uncouple when stopped over a magnet embedded in a section of track. The success of these couplers in N-Scale quickly translated to the production of trucks, wheels and in 1972 a release of ready-to-run box cars.

Micro-Trains Line Co. split off from Kadee in 1990 to form a completely independent company. For this reason, products from this company can appear with labels from both enterprises. Due to the nature of production idiosyncrasies and various random factors, the rolling stock from Micro-Trains can have all sorts of interesting variations in both their packaging as well as the products themselves. When acquiring an MTL product it is very important to understand these important production variations that can greatly enhance (or decrease) the value of your purchase.

Please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide
Item created by: gdm on 2016-09-29 21:36:02. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-07-07 12:26:09

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