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N Scale - Ak-Sar-Ben - 4-RB (1) - Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey - NO. 2

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N Scale - Ak-Sar-Ben - 4-RB (1) - Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey - NO. 2


N Scale - Ak-Sar-Ben - 4-RB (1) - Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey - NO. 2


Stock Number 4-RB (1)
Brand Ak-Sar-Ben
Manufacturer Atlas Model Railroad
Body Style Atlas Reefer 50 Foot Plug Door Mechanical
Prototype Vehicle Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical (Details)
Road or Company Name Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey (Details)
Road or Reporting Number NO. 2
Paint Color(s) Red
Print Color(s) Yellow
Additional Markings/Slogan World's Greatest Show
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
Multipack ID Number 4-RB
Multipack Element 1
Series Name Circus
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Reefer
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Plug Door Mechanical
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Specific Item Information: Generator Car

Model Information: Apparently dissatisfied with the Roco-produced 50 foot mech reefer from 1969, Atlas made a completely new tooling in 1975. This new version featured riveted sides (the Roco version had rib sides). The tooling was moved to China in the 1990s along with all their other molds and production. By December 2006, this tooling was a bit long in the tooth and Atlas reclassified the model and continued production under the Trainman® line.

Four of the early reefers in this sequence (3241, 3242, 3243 and 3244) do not seem to appear in any of the 1970s Atlas catalogs, but they definitely exist. Apparently Atlas was having some serious numbering issues with these reefers. The first four 3241..3244 (at least I think they were the first four) were assigned MPN's that had already been used for their Shorty Tank cars. Then they mis-numbered the 1978 catalog listings as 3551... which apparently was a catalog error, because no such reefers exist. Atlas finally settled on 3651... which is what *most* of the earliest releases used (the original 4 being the exception) and the 1980 catalog is corrected to reflect this. We believe the date of production for these cars was 1975.

This model was also repainted by several of the aftermarket redecorators including Aksarben and Bev-Bel.

Prototype History:
The purpose of a mechanical reefer is to keep perishable items cold. Early reefers were of all wood construction and used ice for cooling. By the 1940s, new reefers were being built entirely of steel. Insulating techniques improved to the point where economical refrigeration could be accomplished using steel side plates in place of wood sheathing. Fifty foot mechanical reefers date back to at least the late 50s / early 60s.

The mechanical reefers could keep a more regular temperature, and often times colder than what the ice bunker cars were capable of. 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.

Road Name History:
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was an American traveling circus company billed as The Greatest Show on Earth. It and its predecessor shows ran from 1871 to 2017. Known as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, the circus started in 1919 when the Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth, a circus created by P. T. Barnum and James Anthony Bailey, was merged with the Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows. The Ringling brothers had purchased Barnum & Bailey Ltd. following Bailey's death in 1906, but ran the circuses separately until they were merged in 1919.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information:
Ak-Sar-Ben Hobby Co
Information on AkSarBen Hobby and their history is sketchy at best. Of course, AkSarBen is Nebraska spelled backwards so one might assume that they got their start in the Husker state. The most recent evidence of their existence, however, was in the 2010 Model Retailer Hobby Industry Directory listing them in Jacksboro, TN. The phone number listed is disconnected, so, who knows for sure? What is known is that AkSarBen Hobbies was owned by Allen Miller and got their start in the 1980's producing very high quality custom, limited edition HO and N Scale products. They probably have left the model train business for more than 20 years ago.

Manufacturer Information: 'Atlas Model Railroad' represents the New Jersey manufacturing facility for Atlas brand model railroad products. Atlas also imported European made models in their early years and those items will be noted as having manufacturers set appropriately. In the 1990s Atlas moved all their toolings to China.

Item created by: Alain LM on 2018-02-11 11:22:52. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-06-05 11:40:01

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