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N Scale - Al's Kustom Train Kars - 174 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, PS-1 - Spokane Portland & Seattle - 3-Pack

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N Scale - Al


N Scale - Al


Brand Al's Kustom Train Kars
Stock Number 174
Secondary Stock Number 174-3P
Commissioned By Lowell Smith
Manufacturer Micro-Trains Line
Aftermarket Decorator Al's Kustom Train Kars
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Micro-Trains Boxcar 40 Foot PS-1
Prototype Boxcar, 40 Foot, PS-1 (Details)
Road or Company Name Spokane Portland & Seattle (Details)
Reporting Marks SP&S
Road or Reporting Number 3-Pack
Paint Color(s) Brown
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Standard
Body Material Plastic
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 3
Multipack ID Number 174
Release Date 1990-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 40 Foot
Model Variety Steel, PS-1
Prototype Region Europe
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Signature Series.

Model Information: This is Micro-Trains first body style. It was introduced in 1972. Its is a model of a Pullman-Standard PS-1 boxcar from circa 1957. Micro-Trains does not market it as a PS-1 so as to allow themselves some latitude so they can use this car to model non-PS prototypes. Hundreds of different releases have used this body style in various paint schemes and road names. They are equipped with 6' sliding doors, either Youngstown (4/5/4 rib pattern) or Superior (7 panels). It is not a model of a "modern" steel boxcar as the length (40 foot) and the roofwalk are more typical of the transition era (1939 - 1957).

In 2019, Micro-Trains started releasing this model with new body-mounted couplers attached to a new underframe.

Prototype History:
The 40' Boxcar is widely known as one of the most popular freight cars used by railroads as they transitioned from steam to diesel. In particular the Pullman Standard or PS-1 design was one of the most popular and was widely used by North American railroads. These boxcars were built beginning in 1947 and share the same basic design, with certain elements such as door size, door style or roof type varying among the different railroads and production years. When production of these cars ceased in 1963, over 100,000 had been produced.

So just what is a PS-1? Well the simple answer is it is any boxcar built by Pullman Standard from 1947 on. The design changed over the years – sometimes subtly, sometimes for customer request, and sometimes in a larger way. In general, most PS-1’s built from 1947 to 1961 share the same dimensions and basic construction techniques. These cars all had a length of 40′, a height of 10’5″ or 10’6″, welded sides and ends and roof of Pullman’s own design. The greatest variation was in the size and style of doors used. Pullman Standard also offered 50′ and later 60′ boxcars – also with the PS-1 designation.

Road Name History:
The Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway (SP&S) (reporting mark SPS) was a United States-based railroad incorporated in 1905. It was a joint venture by the Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific Railway to build a railroad along the north bank of the Columbia River. Remnants of the line are currently operated by BNSF Railway.

The railroad was chartered in 1905 by James J. Hill to connect the two transcontinental railroads owned by him, the Northern Pacific (NP) and Great Northern (GN), to Portland, Oregon from Spokane, Washington, to gain a portion of the lumber trade in Oregon, a business then dominated by E.H. Harriman's Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. Construction began in 1906 under the name Portland & Seattle Railway, proceeding eastward from Vancouver, Washington. 1906 also saw the start of construction of the line between Vancouver and Portland, including work on three major new bridges, crossing the Columbia River, the Oregon Slough and the Willamette River. The northernmost of these was the first bridge of any kind to be built across the lower Columbia River.

In January 1908 "Spokane" was added to the railroad's name, making it the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway. SP&S freight and passenger service (from Pasco) to Portland was inaugurated in November 1908. By 1909 the railroad had completed construction of its line up to Spokane along the Snake River. In 1910 SP&S gained control of the Oregon Electric interurban railway, which the Great Northern had acquired two years before. Under the control of the SP&S the railroad was extended southward to Eugene, Oregon by 1912. SP&S also operated a second subsidiary railroad in western Oregon, the Oregon Traction Company, which owned a route to Seaside, Oregon. A third route on which the SP&S operated extended southward from Wishram, Washington to Bend, Oregon was the Oregon Trunk Railroad.

Read more on Wikipedia and The Spokane Portland and Seattle Railway Historical Society

Brand/Importer Information: Al's Kustom Train Kars was a model train decorator from 1983 to 2004. They ceased customizing N Scale trains in 2004, but continued business under the same name though unrelated to model trains (on-line shop still available on eBay).

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

Commissioner Information: Desiring to bring a creative and artistic approach to model railroad cars, Lowell Smith Signature Series was born in 1994. The first special run car commemorated the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Golden Spike - "Wedding of the Rails". Since 1994, Lowell Smith Signature Series has continued to produce over one hundred and thirty-five unique cars or train locomotives to date.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon.
Following Lowell's passion of model trains, The Hobby Smith was built to be the community center for model railroaders - operators and collectors alike. Located in the Hollywood District of Portland, The Hobby Smith was the place to learn and to enjoy the camaraderie of others with the same passion.

Item created by: gdm on 2018-04-17 13:24:26. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-05-08 04:23:20

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