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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - 5472 - Gondola, 50 Foot, Steel - Penn Central

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N Scale - Aurora Rail Masters - 5472 - Gondola, 50 Foot, Steel - Penn Central


Brand Aurora Rail Masters
Stock Number 5472
Original Retail Price $2.00
Manufacturer Aurora Mexico
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Aurora Gondola 50 Foot Steel
Prototype Gondola, 50 Foot, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Paint Color(s) Green
Print Color(s) Yellow
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 Gondola
Model Subtype Freight
Model Variety 50 Foot, Steel, Cable Spool Load
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Prototype History:
In US railroad terminology, a gondola is an open-topped rail vehicle used for transporting loose bulk materials. Because of their low side walls gondolas are also suitable for the carriage of such high-density cargoes as steel plates or coils, or of bulky items such as prefabricated sections of rail track. For weather-sensitive loads, these gondolas are sometimes equipped with covers.

All-steel gondolas date back to the early part of the 20th century. However, most of the early ones were shorter, 40' designs. The ubiquitous 50' steel gondola we see modeled so often today is more along the lines of gondolas produced following the second world war when steel became once again readily available. Generally, they had a capacity of 70 tons and were 52'6" long. The first models of this design were produced by the Erie Railroad and the Greenville Steel Car Co, but nearly identical cars were produced by Pullman, ACF and Bethlehem.

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 10:16:24. Last edited by scottakoltz on 2019-03-01 10:16:51

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