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N Scale - Con-Cor - Limited Edition Set #34 / 8518 - Freight Train, Steam, North American, Transition Era - Great Northern - 14-Unit

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Stock Number Limited Edition Set #34 / 8518
Secondary Stock Number 8518
Tertiary Stock Number 0001-008518
Original Retail Price $279.95
Brand Con-Cor
Manufacturer Con-Cor
Body Style Con-Cor Box Set North American Prototype
Prototype Vehicle Freight Train, Steam, North American, Transition Era (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Reporting Marks GN
Road or Reporting Number 14-Unit
Paint Color(s) Cars: Omaha Orange and Pullman Green
Loco: Black
Caboose: Red
Print Color(s) White and Pullman Green
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 14
Multipack ID Number 8518
Series Name Limited Edition Set
Series Release/Issue Number 34
Release Date 1995-07-01
Item Category Freight Train
Model Type Steam
Model Subtype 2-8-2
Model Variety 14-Unit Set
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)



Specific Item Information: Limited Edition Set #34 Great Northern Special Merchandise "Loader Cars " Basic Set: one steam locomotive with 12 boxcars and a caboose.

- Con Cor Steam Locomotive 2-8-2 Mikado #3399 (powered)
- Vanderbilt Oil Tender GN #3399
- Cupola Caboose GN #X615
- 40' Single Door Box Car with Markings "DF" #39394, #39396, #39427, #39431, #39433
- 40' Single Door Box Car with Markings "Stb" #39402
- 50' Double Door Box Car with Markings "DF" #39348, #39357, #39359, #39454, #39469
- 50' Double Door Box Car with Markings "PC" #39355

As a number of original buyers purchased both the basic and the add-on set and then mixed up the cars between the two sets, the original composition of each set could not be determined with certainty.
Below are the additional (and different) numbers that we think belong to the add-on set:
- 40' Single Door Box Car with Markings "DF" #39398
- 40' Single Door Box Car with Markings "Stb" #39404, #39407
- 40' Single Door Box Car with Markings "PC" #21941, #21943, #21947
- 50' Double Door Box Car with Markings "DF" #39346, #39347, #39348, #39458
- 50' Double Door Box Car with Markings "PC" #39362, #39376

So be careful if acquiring the sets from different sellers, you might end up with duplicate numbers.

Series Information: Con-Cor "Limited Edition Sets" or "Limited Edition Collector's Sets" were started after requests to 'custom paint' replicas of great passenger trains of the past. As these sets were very limited in quantity, many were sold out before they got to the retailer. While the quality of painting varied from time to time, they are a handsome addition to any collection and impressive on a layout.
With the exception of the first set, all were furnished in a wood-grained cardboard box with colored foam storage insert. For some sets, the manufacturer furnished additional cars or add-on sets.
The number of the set in the series is not printed on the box, but a listing was kept by Con-Cor and available as print-out in the most recent sets or on the (former) Con-Cor website.
Sets #1 to #13 were without stock number; stock numbers have been assigned and printed on the side label starting with set #14.

The wood-grained cardboard box has been used for other sets called "Special Edition Set" by Con-Cor, that only received a regular stock number, but were not accounted in the "Limited Edition Set" collection.

Prototype History:
A freight train or goods train is a group of freight cars (US) or goods wagons (International Union of Railways) hauled by one or more locomotives on a railway, transporting cargo all or some of the way between the shipper and the intended destination as part of the logistics chain. Trains may haul bulk material, intermodal containers, general freight or specialized freight in purpose-designed cars. Rail freight practices and economics vary by country and region.

During the transition era, steam engines were heavily used by smaller railroads which relied upon secondhand motive power from the Class-I's. During the postwar years, it was fairly uncommon for these railroads to get their hands on modern diesels and furthermore secondhand steam power was both plentiful and cheap.

Road Name History:
The Great Northern was born in 1881 with the consolidation of several railroads of the northern plains under the leadership of James J. Hill. By 1893, the mainline from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River to Seattle was complete.

The GN had two distinctly different characters. The eastern half was a largely flat, grain producing region serving cities like Fargo, the Twin Cities, Grand Forks, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and even Winnipeg in Canada. The east end also included the iron ore rich regions of Minnesota. Half of North Dakota was blanketed by GN branchlines (21 in all) serving every imaginable grain elevator.

The western half is the mountainous portion that most people identify with Great Northern. This included crossing the northern Rockies and the even more difficult Cascade ranges. Cities on the western half included Billings, Butte, Helena, Havre, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In 1931, a connection to the Western Pacific was completed from Bieber north to Bend, Oregon. This line was disconnected from the rest of the Great Northern. They used trackage rights on the Oregon Trunk and SP&S to bridge the gap. The Cascade Tunnel, the longest on the continent at 7.8 miles, wasn’t completed until 1931. Construction included a massive sluiceway and hydro-electric power station to feed the electrified line through the tunnel and several miles of railroad on either side. This replaced the original Cascade Tunnel which was a third as long but 500 feet higher up the mountain. That replaced the original route that was another 700 feet higher, had 4% grades and 50 miles of snowsheds. All told, Great Northern had about 8,300 route miles.

The steam era was especially unkind to the Great Northern. They seemed to go out of their way to make their locomotives ugly. Belpaire fire boxes were the norm (made famous by the Pennsylvania, made hideous on the GN.) Headlights were often mounted just above center giving them a spinster look. Cab fronts were often at odd angles. The tender coal bunkers were often taller than the engines. But it wasn’t just aesthetics. GN had a knack for buying the wrong engines for the job. 150 Prarie type 2-6-2’s were so unstable at speed that they were busted down to branchline duty almost straight away and none survived after about 1930. Their first 4-8-2 Mountains built for passenger and fast freight were such a disaster, they were rebuilt into 2-10-2’s. Many railroads had built Mountains out of Mikes but no one had ever started with a Mountain and had to build something else from it. The first 2-6-6-2’s were so under-powered, the boilers were used to make Mikados instead. They did manage to build the largest, fastest, and most powerful Mikados in the country however. Their articulated fleet included 2-6-6-2, 2-6-8-0 (later rebuilt into Mikes), 2-8-8-0, 2-8-8-2 types as well as a pair of Challengers originally delivered to SP&S. Many engines were dressed up with green boilers and boxcar red cab roofs.

For the first generation of diesels, GN bought like many large railroads did: a sampling from everyone. Cab and hood units from EMD and Alco and switchers from EMD, Alco, and Baldwin populated the roster. GN’s first generation geeps and SD’s were delivered with the long hood as the front. This included their GP20’s which had high short hoods and the long hood as the front. Aside from an early black scheme for switchers, the GN fleet was delivered in Omaha Orange and green with yellow piping.

Beginning with the arrival of GP30s in 1962, the paint scheme was simplified by dropping the bottom orange band and the yellow piping. For the second generation, General Electric replaced Alco as a supplier of new road engines.

In 1962, some GN freight cars began to appear in Glacier Green which ran along side the vermilion paint adopted in 1956. In 1967, they went for a major shift. Sky Blue, white, and dark gray were joined by a new version of the Rocky the goat logo. There was talk that this would become the paint scheme for Burlington Northern. The GN name and logo was painted on a steel panel bolted the the hand railings of hood units, making it easier to remove after the merger. For whatever reason, they went with green, black and white, a version of which was simultaneously being tested on the Burlington Route. In 1970, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland & Seattle, and Burlington Route merged to form Burlington Northern.

Brand/Importer Information:
Con-Cor has been in business since 1962. Many things have changed over time as originally they were a complete manufacturing operation in the USA and at one time had upwards of 45 employees. They not only designed the models,but they also built their own molds, did injection molding, painting, printing and packaging on their models.

Currently, most of their manufacturing has been moved overseas and now they import 90% of their products as totally finished goods, or in finished components. They only do some incidental manufacturing today within the USA.

Important Note: The Con-Cor product numbering can be very confusing. Please see here in the article how to properly enter Con-Cor stock numbers in the TroveStar database.

Item created by: Alain LM on 2019-05-19 03:57:46. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-05-30 12:35:45

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