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N Scale - Roundhouse - 8108 - Gondola, 50 Foot, Thrall Hi-Side - Detroit Edison - 176

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N Scale - Roundhouse - 8108 - Gondola, 50 Foot, Thrall Hi-Side - Detroit Edison - 176


Brand Roundhouse
Stock Number 8108
Original Retail Price $6.75
Manufacturer MDC Roundhouse
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style MDC Gondola 50 Foot Thrall Hi-Side
Prototype Gondola, 50 Foot, Thrall Hi-Side (Details)
Road or Company Name Detroit Edison (Details)
Reporting Marks DEEX
Road or Reporting Number 176
Paint Color(s) Black with Orange End
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Kit Complexity Easy-Build
Kit Material(s) Injection Molded Plastic
Release Date 1979-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Gondola
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Thrall Hi-Side
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This is one of the body styles acquired by Athearn from MDC in June of 2004 and re-run under the Athearn Brand. A significant re-release was done by Athearn in 2019.

Prototype History:
Thrall was a recognizable freight car manufacturing company in the 1960s to 1980s. Their designs still carry on today. The company focused on building specialized freight cars including high side gondolas, and rotary-dump gondolas for coal. In the 1980s, Thrall acquired five competing railcar manufacturers and became the largest such manufacturer of these cars in the United States.

In the 1960s, coal haulage shifted from open hopper cars to high-sided gondolas. Using a gondola, the railroads are able to haul a larger amount of coal per car since gondolas do not include the equipment needed for unloading. However, since these cars do not have hatches for unloading the products shipped in them, railroads must use rotary car dumpers (mechanisms that hold a car against a short section of track as the car and track are slowly rotated upside down to empty the car) or other means to empty them.

Road Name History:
This operation was born from the 1970 bankruptcy of Penn Central. PC was unable to provide enough locomotives and hoppers that were in good repair to keep the coal moving between the mines in Pennsylvania’s Monongahela region and the DE power plant in Monroe, Michigan. So, Detroit Edison acquired a fleet of their own locomotives, including SD40’s and U30C’s and their own coal cars. These unit trains were maintained by Detroit Edison but operated by Penn Central (Conrail after 4/1/76) crews. The arrangement lasted at least 20 years when the DE locomotive fleet began to wear out. By that time, Conrail was more than prepared to pick up the slack.

Brand/Importer Information:
MDC Roundhouse was founded in California and relocated to Reno Nevada due to statewide restrictions on painting. MDC Roundhouse was a producer of both RTR (Ready-to-Run) and kit versions of N Scale rolling stock as well as RTR locomotives. MDC Roundhouse was purchased by Horizon Hobbies in June of 2004 and merged into their Athearn line.

Unlike many of their contemporaries which contracted with European firms to produce their products, MDC made their own toolings. They made several popular body styles and produced them for road names that many other vendors (even Micro-Trains) wouldn't touch. This made them popular with modelers. Also, their un-assembled "kits" permitted a lower price point so they were popular with "runners" as well as "modelers".

Of particular interest was the attention given to modern 50 foot steel boxcars. They made some attempt to accurately mold the differences into distinct models to represent each of the major prototype manufacturers products. They have distinct toolings not only for the different products from FMC, BFF and PS, but also multiple models for each of these manufacturers including "standard" vs "Youngstown" doors and "waffle" vs. "rib" sides. In total they produced 13 different versions of the 50 foot steel boxcar.

Item created by: Powderman on 2017-12-26 13:35:05. Last edited by gdm on 2020-07-24 07:28:53

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