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Micro-Trains - NSC 93-29 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton - Western Maryland - 10950

One  of these sold for an average price of: 12.0012.00One of these sold for an average price of: 12.00
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N Scale - Micro-Trains - NSC 93-29 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton - Western Maryland - 10950 Copyright Held by TroveStar
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Commissioned ByAl's Kustom Train Kars
Production TypeSpecial Run
Stock NumberNSC 93-29
Original Retail Price$15.00
BrandMicro-Trains
ManufacturerMicro-Trains Line
Body StyleMicro-Trains 056 Hopper Open 2-Bay Ribbed Side
Prototype VehicleOpen Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton (Details)
Road or Company NameWestern Maryland (Details)
Reporting MarksWM
Road or Reporting Number10950
Paint Color(s)Oxide Red
Print Color(s)White
Coupler TypeMT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Coupler MountTruck-Mount
Wheel TypeInjection Molded Plastic
Wheel ProfileStandard
Multipack ID NumberNSC 93-31
Multipack Element2
Release Date1993-01-01
Item CategoryRolling Stock (Freight)
Model TypeOpen Hopper
Model Subtype2-Bay
Model VarietyRibbed Side
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale1/160
Track GaugeN standard



Model Information: This model dates back to 1979, making it one of Micro-Trains' earlier releases. It features operating bay doors - a feature unqiue in N Scale to Micro-Trains hoppers. It models a two-bay steel hopper commonly seen during the transition era.
Prototype History:
The USRA 55-Ton hopper was designed by the United States Railway Administration during World War I as a standardized hopper to be used by all railroads in order to aid the war effort. After WWI many railroads continued to use the USRA 55-Ton hoppers, as well as build many thousands more clones. The USRA hopper was in use on North American railroads from 1918 until the 1970’s
Road Name History:
This line was established in 1852 under another name but was renamed Western Maryland Rail Road before the first rail was laid. By 1862 they had built from Baltimore to Union Bridge, Maryland at which point it became the responsibility of the Union Army. Construction resumed after the war. WM built west to Hagerstown then Cumberland where the line spilt in two. One route headed northwest to an important interchange with Pittsburgh & Lake Erie at Connellsville, Pennsylvania. The other line ran southwest into the rich coal fields around Elkins and Durban, West Virginia. On the east end, they also had routes to York and Gettysburg and an important connection with the Reading at Shippensburg, all in Pennsylvania. At 878 miles, WM was between Maine Central and Spokane Portland & Seattle in relative length.

The city of Baltimore had a large stake in the WM but sold it in 1902 to Jay Gould. The Gould empire unraveled just six years later and the WM was reorganized with Railway replacing Rail Road in the name and John D. Rockefeller holding a 43% stake. He sold those shares to Baltimore & Ohio in 1927. Accused of violating antitrust laws, B&O placed those shares in a non-voting trust.

After 1900, WM relied heavily on 2-8-0’s, ordering 177 between 1900 and 1923 (by which time other railroads were already ordering 2-8-2’s.) Some of these Consolidations were real bruisers with the same tractive effort as WM’s 2-6-6-2’s. Also in road service were 30 2-10-0 Decapods (10 Russian Decapods and 20 much larger versions,) a dozen 4-8-4’s to handle the high speed trains, and a dozen 4-6-6-4 Challengers. The Challengers turned out to be a disappointment to WM. They were rough riders and were hard on the track. As a result, they were soon demoted to pusher service alongside WM’s 25 2-8-8-2’s. A fleet of 19 low drivered Pacifics handled most of the passenger assignments. One element found on most of the WM steam fleet was low snowplow pilots in lieu of the traditional boiler tube pilots. WM was one of a few Class One railroads to employ Shay locomotives to serve steeply graded branchlines. WM had one 2-truck, two 3-truck and two 4-truck Shays. Shay #6 built in 1945 was the last Shay built by Lima Locomotive Works.

WM began to dieselize in 1947 on the east end where they would not raise the ire of their coal mining customers on the west end. The diesel fleet was surprisingly varied for a line their size with cab units from both Alco and EMD, road switchers from Alco, EMD and Baldwin and yard switchers from GE, Baldwin and Alco. The road switchers from Alco and Baldwin plus the EMD GP7;s were delivered with the long hood as the front while the EMD GP9’s were delivered with the short hood as the front. The Second Generation of diesels was all EMD.

In addition to the voluminous coal traffic, WM was a part of two bridge routes for merchandise moving between the northeast and the upper Midwest. These were the Alphabet Route (with Nickel Plate Road, Wheeling & Lake Erie, Pittsburgh & West Virginia, Reading and others) and the Central States Dispatch (with Baltimore & Ohio, Reading, Jersey Central, Lehigh & Hudson River and New Haven.) Iron ore also moved from Baltimore area ports to steel mills on the connecting P&LE.

Passenger service was a bit of an afterthought on the WM. Not only did they not have a shiny streamliner, but their heavyweight coach trains lasted only until 1957 before being discontinued. Steam generator equipped hammerhead RS-3’s replaced the Pacifics in passenger service for a few years before being reassigned to freight duty.

In 1967, B&O (by this time controlled by Chesapeake & Ohio) finally obtained permission to take overt control of the WM. Not much changed for the next five years. In 1973 they adopted the Chessie System image and 125 miles of WM mainline was abandoned in favor of trackage rights on a parallel B&O line. In 1983, the Western Maryland was absorbed into the Baltimore & Ohio. Western Maryland was known for frequently washing their locomotives in both the steam and diesel eras. They kept up this tradition until the start of the Chessie System era.
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 2017-05-19 08:17:47. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-05-07 00:00:00

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