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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - 5475 - Flatcar, Bulkhead - Penn Central - 55601

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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - 5475 - Flatcar, Bulkhead - Penn Central - 55601 Image Courtesy of David K. Smith


Brand Aurora Rail Masters
Stock Number 5475
Original Retail Price $2.00
Manufacturer Aurora Mexico
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Arnold Rapido Flatcar Bulkhead Lumber
Prototype Flatcar, Bulkhead (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Road or Reporting Number 55601
Paint Color(s) Red
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Announcement Date 1975-01-01
Release Date 1977-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Flatcar
Model Subtype Freight
Model Variety Bulkhead with Pipe Load
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Prototype History:
Among the earliest types of freight cars, flatcars continue to serve as a valuable part of railroading. Flatcars are used to move a wide variety of loads which do not require protection from weather. These cars, are constructed with steel underframes, wood floors and stake pockets on the sides and ends for fastening tie-downs that keep loads from shifting.

Bulkhead flat cars are a specialized type of flatcar designed which includes reinforced end-walls (bulkheads) to prevent loads from shifting past the ends of the car.

Road Name History:
The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The Penn Central was created as a response to challenges faced by all three railroads in the late 1960s. The northeastern quarter of the United States, these railroads' service area, was the most densely populated region of the U.S. While railroads elsewhere in North America drew a high percentage of their revenues from the long-distance shipment of commodities such as coal, lumber, paper and iron ore, Northeastern railroads traditionally depended on a mix of services.

As it turned out, the merged Penn Central was little better off than its constituent roads were before. A merger implementation plan was drawn up, but not carried out. Attempts to integrate operations, personnel and equipment were not very successful, due to clashing corporate cultures, incompatible computer systems and union contracts. Track conditions deteriorated (some of these conditions were inherited from the three merged railroads) and trains had to be run at reduced speeds. This meant delayed shipments and personnel working a lot of overtime. As a result, operating costs soared. Derailments and wrecks became frequent, particularly in the midwest.

The American financial system was shocked when after only two years of operations, the Penn Central Transportation company was put into bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. It was the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history at that time. Although the Penn Central Transportation Company was put into bankruptcy, its parent Penn Central Company was able to survive.

The Penn Central continued to operate freight service under bankruptcy court protection. After private-sector reorganization efforts failed, Congress nationalized the Penn Central under the terms of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. The new law folded six northeastern railroads, the Penn Central and five smaller, failed lines, into the Consolidated Rail Corporation, commonly known as Conrail. The act took effect on April 1, 1976.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1975 Aurora was on its third owner and about to give up the ghost. They had terminated the Postage Stamp Trains line five years earlier, but the owners evidently made a last-ditch attempt to re-enter the N Scale model railroading market with Rail Masters. This was a very small, oddball product line consisting of battery-operated locomotives and Mexican-made rolling stock using a new coupler type that was completely incompatible with every other coupler on the market.

Item created by: scottakoltz on 2019-03-01 10:08:22. Last edited by scottakoltz on 2020-05-17 15:45:49

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