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N Scale - Bachmann - 5484 - Covered Hopper, 3-Bay, PS-2 - Great Northern - 71084

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Stock Number 5484
Tertiary Stock Number 73661
Original Retail Price $2.00
Brand Bachmann
Manufacturer Bachmann
Body Style Bachmann Covered Hopper 3-Bay 70 Ton PS-2
Prototype Vehicle Covered Hopper, 3-Bay, PS-2 (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Reporting Marks GN
Road or Reporting Number 71084
Paint Color(s) Blue
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Release Date 1969-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Covered Hopper
Model Subtype 3-Bay
Model Variety PS-2 47 Foot 70- Ton
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Specific Item Information: This car was included in Bachmann's Explorer EZ-Track III Train Set #24008.

Model Information: Bachmann originally released this body style in 1968 and marketed it as a 47 Foot 70 Ton hopper. It was released in 6 different road names with the standard nickel-silver plated wheels and Rapido couplers. One product number 5499 lists the road name as "assorted". My guess is that means you can get any one of the 6 road names in this box. Later catalogs ONLY list the assorted version. Again, my guess is that Bachmann was having trouble keeping all 6 road names in stock at all times.

More recently this car has been updated with EZ-Mate II couplers and blackened metal wheels. The new releases are marketed as a "PS-2 Three Bay Covered Hoppers". With five hatches on each side, a center mounted roofwalk, 3 bays, ribs and the same brake wheel placement, it is clear that this is the same car as the earlier 47 Foot 70 Ton Covered Hopper. Whether a new mold was created is anybody's guess, but with the long lifespan of this body style, it is likely the mold has been redone more than once in the near 50 year lifetime of this tooling.

Prototype History:
Like their PS-1 boxcars, PS-5 gondolas and other car designs, Pullman Standard applied the PS-2 classification to all of its covered hoppers. Pullman Standard built covered hoppers in many sizes and configurations. But say “PS-2” to railfans and it is this particular car that usually first comes to mind. The 2003 cubic foot car was one of the first, smallest and prolific of the PS-2 cars.

Pullman began building its standardized freight car designs with the PS-1 boxcar in 1947. Next up would be a standard covered hopper – hence PS-2 – shortly thereafter. Although covered hoppers are among the most common cars on the rails today, in 1947 they were a rarity. The PS-2’s primary competition wasn’t other covered hopper designs but boxcars. Grain, cement, sand and dried chemicals were carried mostly in boxcars prior to the 1950s either in sacks and bags or poured in bulk through hatches in the roof. The theory here was that it made more sense to utilize a single car for a variety of products. The car could carry bags of cement one way and then cut lumber the other. Of course a car that could do many things often couldn’t do many of them well.

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:
Bachmann Industries (Bachmann Brothers, Inc.) is a Bermuda registered Chinese owned company, globally headquartered in Hong Kong; specializing in model railroading.

Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the home of its North American headquarters, Bachmann is today part of the Kader group, who model products are made at a Chinese Government joint-venture plant in Dongguan, China. Bachmann's brand is the largest seller, in terms of volume, of model trains in the world. Bachmann primarily specializes in entry level train sets, and premium offerings in many scales. The Spectrum line is the high quality, model railroad product line, offered in N, HO, Large Scale, On30, and Williams O gauge all aimed for the hobbyist market. Bachmann is the producer of the famous railroad village product line known as "Plasticville." The turnover for Bachmann model trains for the year ended 31 December 2006 was approximately $46.87 million, a slight increase of 3.36% as compared to 2005.

Item created by: gdm on 2016-11-06 11:53:37. Last edited by gdm on 2021-02-25 17:10:49

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