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N Scale - Industrial Rail - 7793GN - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Evans 5277 - Great Northern - 17879

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N Scale - Industrial Rail - 7793GN - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Evans 5277 - Great Northern - 17879


Brand Industrial Rail
Stock Number 7793GN
Manufacturer Sanda Kan
Body Style Sanda Kan Boxcar 50 Foot Evans Hi-Cube
Prototype Boxcar, 50 Foot, Evans 5277 (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Reporting Marks GN
Road or Reporting Number 17879
Paint Color(s) Boxcar Red
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
Release Date 1990-12-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Evans 5277 Hi-Cube
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Life-Like worked with Sanda Kan to develop this tooling as part of Life-Like's push to move all production of rolling stock to China in the 1990s. As was common at the time, the ownership of the tooling was controlled by Sanda Kan which took advantage of this to manufacture this model for Industrial Rail as well as Life-Like. It has also been sold/decorated by Con-Cor, Bev-Bel and Eastern Seaboard Models, though I do not know if any of these other companies purchased the undecorated models from Life-Like or Sanda Kan directly.

Unlike many of the other Chinese models of this period, this one does not seem to be a direct copy of any of the earlier European made N Scale models. This series of boxcars models the modern, no-roofwalk 50' Evans high-cube prototype. It has been claimed that the model specifically targets the Penn Central X72 version of the Evans car.

Prototype History:
With the Per Diem rules implemented by the US government to encourage railroads to purchase more boxcars, boxcar manufacturing roared into gear in the 1970s. Every major manufacturer cranked out 50 foot boxcars to satisfy the demand. Evans was no exception. Empowered by its acquisition of United States Railway Equipment (USRE), Evans-USRE boxcars became ubiquitous during the IPD boxcar boom of the 1970s. With modern upgrades such as box-corrugated, non-terminating ends, Stanray X-panel overhanging roof, and riveted car sides near the end posts, the Evans-USRE 5277 is a classic boxcar of the IPD era.

The former Evans railcar repair facility in Springfield OR is now owned/operated by Gunderson.

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:
Industrial Rail was an importer of Chinese made N Scale rolling stock in the 1990s. They forged a relationship with Sanda Kan, a manufacturer in southern China to import model railroad cars from a series of toolings that Sanda Kan had developed for Life-Like in the 1980s. Apparently Life-Like did not have an exclusive relationship to import these models and Industrial Rail took advantage of this fact.

Manufacturer Information:
Established in 1973, Sanda Kan was originally a venture (subsidiary?) of Life-Like products. In 1979, Mr. Wai Shing Ting, formerly of Cox Hong Kong, joined Sanda Kan and took over as de facto CEO. At some point ownership of the venture changed hands and Mr. Ting became the primary owner. In 2000, Ting sold Sanda Kan to ZS Fund. The company was later resold to Kader Holdings, the venerable Hong Kong based toy manufacturer. The original location of the Sanda Kan facility was in Hong Kong, but after the liberalization of the mainland Chinese economy, the primary manufacturing site moved to Guang Dong (Canton), while the administrative offices appear to have remained in Hong Kong. At its height, Sanda Kan operated in 10 factories across Guang Dong with over 10,000 employees in 1.2 million square feet of space.

Sanda Kan is a highly recognized developer and manufacturer of precision models. It produces a full range of model train locomotives, from the very small 1:220 scale to the large 1:22 scale products. Other hobby items include electronic slot racing cars, sophisticated digital controls as well as accessories such as scenery, promotional cars and trucks. It continues to work closely with some of the world’s leading brands from concept to mold construction through to final production.

Sanda Kan’s unique structure allows for maximum flexibility. Its production facilities are located in Songgang, Shenzhen and Wanjiang, Dongguan. Each location is outfitted with mould shops providing full service on-site mould construction and maintenance. Both locations are also sub-divided into individual factories capable of manufacturing complete products, which are comprehensively equipped with injection moulding machines, tempo printing and spraying facilities, and dedicated assembly lines. This arrangement provides our clients with the dedicated capacity, service and privacy levels that they may require.

In 2008, Sanda Kan was acquired by Kader Holdings, the parent company of Bachmann and Tinco, but remains in operation producing model trains for numerous clients including: Atlas, Lionel, Aristo-Craft, Micro-Ace, S-Helper, Hornby, Brawa, Marklin and Tomix.

For more on Sanda Kan and Mr. Wai Shing Ting, please visit the Atlas Model Trains article on Wai Shing Ting.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-10-03 09:11:59. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-16 10:27:23

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