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N Scale - Athearn - 5450 - Trailer, Fruehauf Z-Van - Rock Island - 209260

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Production Type Announced
Stock Number 5450
Original Retail Price $29.99
Brand Athearn
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Athearn Vehicle Trailer 40 Foot Fruehauf Z-Van
Prototype Vehicle Trailer, Fruehauf Z-Van (Details)
Road or Company Name Rock Island (Details)
Reporting Marks RIZ
Road or Reporting Number 209260
Paint Color(s) White
Print Color(s) Black & Blue
Additional Markings/Slogan The Rock
Kit Material(s) Injection Molded Plastic
Announcement Date 2021-11-29
Release Date 2023-01-01
Item Category Vehicles
Model Type Trailer
Model Subtype Box Van
Model Variety 40 Foot Fruehauf Z-Van
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: In the 1970s and 1980s, Fruehauf Corporation was one of the more prolific builders of semi-trailers that were designed specifically for intermodal service. Trailer equipment that was designed to be carried on flatcars as part of rail operations usually carried the letter “Z” as the last letter of the reporting mark; hence Fruehauf’s designation of “Z-Van”. Such equipment was built to higher durability standards than normal trailers, as it had to withstand the rigors of both road and rail travel.

The Z-van was originally available in a 40’ length; 45’ was offered later. Many of the 40’ trailers were subsequently extended to 45’. Refrigeration equipment was available, as well as different landing gear and door rod configurations. Construction began with the ribbed- side versions, then proceeded to beaded-side construction, with the smooth side version representing the most modern construction method.

Prototype History:
Fruehauf Trailer produced a variety of different semi box trailers. During the 1960s the 40 and 45 foot dry models were quite popular and many are still in service today.

Road Name History:
The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (CRI&P RR) (reporting marks RI, ROCK) was a Class I railroad in the United States. It was better known as the Rock Island Line, or, in its final years, The Rock. At the end of 1970 it operated 7183 miles of road on 10669 miles of track; that year it reported 20557 million ton-miles of revenue freight and 118 million passenger-miles. (Those totals may or may not include the former Burlington-Rock Island Railroad.)

Its predecessor, the Rock Island and La Salle Railroad Company, was incorporated in Illinois on February 27, 1847, and an amended charter was approved on February 7, 1851, as the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. Construction began October 1, 1851, in Chicago, and the first train was operated on October 10, 1852, between Chicago and Joliet. Construction continued on through La Salle, and Rock Island was reached on February 22, 1854, becoming the first railroad to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River.

In 1980 Rock Island was liquidated. The railroad's locomotives, rail cars, equipment, tracks, and real estate were sold to other railroads or to scrappers. William Gibbons (the trustee) was able to raise more than $500 million in the liquidation, paying off all the railroad's creditors, bondholders and all other debts in full at face value with interest. Henry Crown was ultimately proven correct, as both he and other bondholders who had purchased Rock Island debt for cents on the dollar during the low ebb in prices did especially well.

Read more on Wikipedia and Rock Island Technical Society.

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: CNW400 on 2021-11-29 13:46:13. Last edited by CNW400 on 2021-11-29 14:15:30

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