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N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4893-225 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, Budd - Penn Central - 4993

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N Scale - Aurora Postage Stamp - 4893-225 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, Budd - Penn Central - 4993 Image Courtesy of David K. Smith


Stock Number 4893-225
Secondary Stock Number 4893
Original Retail Price $2.98
Brand Aurora Postage Stamp
Manufacturer Minitrix
Body Style Minitrix Passenger Streamlined Corrugated Observation
Prototype Vehicle Passenger Car, Lightweight, Budd (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 4993
Paint Color(s) Silver with Teal Stripe
Print Color(s) Black
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Release Date 1968-01-01
Item Category Passenger Cars
Model Type Lightweight/Streamlined
Model Subtype Budd
Model Variety 73 Foot Observation
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Unlike their line of freight cars (which were manufactured in Austria by Roco), these 73' models were actually made at Minitrix's West German factory. The line includes coach, Vista-dome and observation cars.

Prototype History:
In the post-war period, passenger rail service boomed. In order to increase efficiency, the railroads set to replacing their old wood, steel and concrete heavyweight passenger cars with newer lightweight, streamlined cars. The new cars were made from stainless steel, aluminum and Cor-Ten steel. These cars required less motive power to pull and were cheaper to manufacture. Production was also concentrated in a few manufacturers rather than each railroad making its own. This led to standardization which further reduced costs. The new "lightweight" cars were also given "streamlined" designs to make them more visually appealing. Budd, Pullman Standard and ACF were all well known manufacturers of these cars.

Budd was well known for their corrugated cars (for which they held a patent).

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 1967, Aurora Plastics Corporation started importing the Minitrix N Scale product line. These trains were marketed as Postage Stamp Trains. It was a bold entry into what would become a very active market in the new N-Scale model train market. The basic starter set took advantage of N-Scale’s small size by packaging everything necessary for a small model railroad in a book-like box. The larger starter sets were packaged in more conventional boxes. Aurora went out of business in 1977.

The Body styles of this product line were made in Austria by Roco, imported into the United States by Minitrix and then rebranded by Aurora. Some of the exact same molds were also produced by Roco for Atlas who branded them using their own name.

A lot of information can be found on All about Aurora Postage Stamp Trains web site by David K. Smith.

Item created by: CNW400 on 2020-05-12 16:23:19. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-05-12 16:23:20

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