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N Scale - InterMountain - 68820-03 - Reefer, 57 Foot, Mechanical, PC&F R-70-20 - Great Northern - 9010

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N Scale - InterMountain - 68820-03 - Reefer, 57 Foot, Mechanical, PC&F R-70-20 - Great Northern - 9010


N Scale - InterMountain - 68820-03 - Reefer, 57 Foot, Mechanical, PC&F R-70-20 - Great Northern - 9010


Brand InterMountain
Stock Number 68820-03
Original Retail Price $12.95
Manufacturer InterMountain Railway
Body Style Intermountain Reefer Mechanical R-70-20
Prototype Reefer, 57 Foot, Mechanical, PC&F R-70-20 (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Reporting Marks WFEX
Road or Reporting Number 9010
Additional Markings/Slogan Western Fruit Express
Paint Color(s) Yellow
Print Color(s) Black
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
Ready-to-Run No
Release Date 1995-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Reefer
Model Subtype 57 Foot
Model Variety PC&F Mechanical R-70-20
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Built: BLT 11-69

Prototype History:
Pacific Car and Foundry responded to the railroad’s migration from ice stored in bunkers as a primary cooling system to the diesel mechanical systems. The mechanical reefers could keep a more regular temperature, often times colder then what the ice bunker cars could at the time. Initially mechanical reefers were used primarily in frozen food service. This would soon change as mechanical refrigeration began to replace ice-based systems. Soon after, mechanical refrigeration units replaced the “armies” of personnel required to re-ice the cars. Several different deliveries of the PC&F 57’ mechanical to many different railroads in the mid to late 1960s. Many have been rebuilt and are still in service today.

These 50'-10" mechanical refrigerator cars were built by PC&F in 1969-70 and featured 4269 ft3 capacity and a 10'-6" door opening. Note that this body style is sometimes referred to as 57', however, the mechanical refrigeration eqipment takes up space on one end of the car thus leaving a nominal 50' usable inside length for loading. Bangor and Aroostook often leased it’s reefer fleet to Pacific Fruit Express in the off season for the railroad. This turned out to be a peak season for PFE in California. Green Bay and Western purchased several classes of 57’ Mechanicals from the BAR. Many were hastily patched and put into service. The GB&W cars were often seen on the North Western Pacific in California carrying butter from the Humbolt Bay to eastern markets.

Road Name History:
The Great Northern was born in 1881 with the consolidation of several railroads of the northern plains under the leadership of James J. Hill. By 1893, the mainline from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River to Seattle was complete.

The GN had two distinctly different characters. The eastern half was a largely flat, grain producing region serving cities like Fargo, the Twin Cities, Grand Forks, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and even Winnipeg in Canada. The east end also included the iron ore rich regions of Minnesota. Half of North Dakota was blanketed by GN branchlines (21 in all) serving every imaginable grain elevator.

The western half is the mountainous portion that most people identify with Great Northern. This included crossing the northern Rockies and the even more difficult Cascade ranges. Cities on the western half included Billings, Butte, Helena, Havre, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In 1931, a connection to the Western Pacific was completed from Bieber north to Bend, Oregon. This line was disconnected from the rest of the Great Northern. They used trackage rights on the Oregon Trunk and SP&S to bridge the gap. The Cascade Tunnel, the longest on the continent at 7.8 miles, wasn’t completed until 1931. Construction included a massive sluiceway and hydro-electric power station to feed the electrified line through the tunnel and several miles of railroad on either side. This replaced the original Cascade Tunnel which was a third as long but 500 feet higher up the mountain. That replaced the original route that was another 700 feet higher, had 4% grades and 50 miles of snowsheds. All told, Great Northern had about 8,300 route miles.

The steam era was especially unkind to the Great Northern. They seemed to go out of their way to make their locomotives ugly. Belpaire fire boxes were the norm (made famous by the Pennsylvania, made hideous on the GN.) Headlights were often mounted just above center giving them a spinster look. Cab fronts were often at odd angles. The tender coal bunkers were often taller than the engines. But it wasn’t just aesthetics. GN had a knack for buying the wrong engines for the job. 150 Prarie type 2-6-2’s were so unstable at speed that they were busted down to branchline duty almost straight away and none survived after about 1930. Their first 4-8-2 Mountains built for passenger and fast freight were such a disaster, they were rebuilt into 2-10-2’s. Many railroads had built Mountains out of Mikes but no one had ever started with a Mountain and had to build something else from it. The first 2-6-6-2’s were so under-powered, the boilers were used to make Mikados instead. They did manage to build the largest, fastest, and most powerful Mikados in the country however. Their articulated fleet included 2-6-6-2, 2-6-8-0 (later rebuilt into Mikes), 2-8-8-0, 2-8-8-2 types as well as a pair of Challengers originally delivered to SP&S. Many engines were dressed up with green boilers and boxcar red cab roofs.

For the first generation of diesels, GN bought like many large railroads did: a sampling from everyone. Cab and hood units from EMD and Alco and switchers from EMD, Alco, and Baldwin populated the roster. GN’s first generation geeps and SD’s were delivered with the long hood as the front. This included their GP20’s which had high short hoods and the long hood as the front. Aside from an early black scheme for switchers, the GN fleet was delivered in Omaha Orange and green with yellow piping.

Beginning with the arrival of GP30s in 1962, the paint scheme was simplified by dropping the bottom orange band and the yellow piping. For the second generation, General Electric replaced Alco as a supplier of new road engines.

In 1962, some GN freight cars began to appear in Glacier Green which ran along side the vermilion paint adopted in 1956. In 1967, they went for a major shift. Sky Blue, white, and dark gray were joined by a new version of the Rocky the goat logo. There was talk that this would become the paint scheme for Burlington Northern. The GN name and logo was painted on a steel panel bolted the the hand railings of hood units, making it easier to remove after the merger. For whatever reason, they went with green, black and white, a version of which was simultaneously being tested on the Burlington Route. In 1970, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland & Seattle, and Burlington Route merged to form Burlington Northern.

Brand/Importer Information:
InterMountain was founded in 1985 by Fred Brummet. They got started in the model railroad business by producing O-Scale model kits. They got started in the N Scale business almost a decade later when in 1994 they introduced the 40-23 reefer car in kit form. Later, in 1998, they started producing RTR (Ready-to-Run) models. By the early 2000s, InterMountain phased out kit production in favor of the RTR models.

The InterMountain Railway company is located at 1224 Boston Ave in Longmont, CO. They are a manufacturer of HO, N and Z scale model trains. They have produced kits as well as RTR (Ready-To-Run) models. Their N Scale products include locomotives as well as rolling stock. Their rolling stock lineup includes Boxcars, Hoppers, Tank Cars, Reefers, Gondolas, Stock Cars and Flatcars.

Their locomotive releases have primarily been diesel units, with the one major exception being their series of AC-12 Cab Forward steam locos. Their diesel lineup includes F3's, F7's, F9's, SD40's, SD45's and FT units. They are known for quality and detail. They also release their rolling stock in larger varieties of road numbers than most of the other manufacturers.

Item created by: gdm on 2016-10-30 16:30:43

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