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N Scale - Athearn - 1389 - Gondola, 52 Foot, Thrall 2743 - Gondola Connection - 3-Pack

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N Scale - Athearn - 1389 - Gondola, 52 Foot, Thrall 2743 - Gondola Connection - 3-Pack Image Courtesy of Athearn Trains


Brand Athearn
Stock Number 1389
Original Retail Price $68.98
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style MDC Gondola 50/52 Foot Thrall/Mill
Prototype Vehicle Gondola, 52 Foot, Thrall 2743 (Details)
Road or Company Name Gondola Connection (Details)
Reporting Marks CRLE
Road or Reporting Number 3-Pack
Paint Color(s) Blue
Print Color(s) White, Red & Yellow
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 3
Multipack ID Number 1389
Announcement Date 2019-04-26
Release Date 2020-04-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Gondola
Model Subtype 52 Foot
Model Variety Thrall/Mill
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era V: Modern (1979 - Present)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Open top cars, such as gondolas, have been a mainstay on railroads for decades as they are ideal for carrying large, bulky loads such as coil steel or scrap metal loaded by crane.

Model Information: This car was introduced by MDC Roundhouse in the late 1970's and was later acquired by Athearn in June of 2004. They have been marketed by both companies under various designations including "50 Foot Modern Gondola", "52 Foot Thrall Gondola" and "52 Foot Mill Gondola" as well as several other similar sounding names.

The early versions were released with Rapido couplers and later Athearn releases using McHenry couplers. The later MDC releases *might* have been shipped with some other kind of knuckle coupler. In the mid-1980's, as was true with many MDC releases, these cars came in kit form. Some of the newer releases come with loads.

Prototype History:
Introduced by Thrall Car Manufacturing Co., in 1995, with its new interior height of 5' 6" (i.e., a 6" increase in height over the previous standard), the firm's contemporary design for a 52' 6" length 2743 cubic foot capacity gondola car took advantage of a (then) newly allowed increase in Gross Rail Loading (GRL) of 286,000 lbs, which was up from the previous limit of 263,000 lbs.

Acquired by Trinity Industries (now TrinityRail) in 2001, from 1995 to 1999, Thrall produced over 6,700 of the 2743 gondolas.

The manufacture of the 2743 design was resumed by Trinity in 2005.

Brand/Importer Information:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.

Item created by: scottakoltz on 2019-04-29 14:37:17. Last edited by scottakoltz on 2020-05-25 09:38:44

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