Search:
Type the text to search here and press Enter.
Separate search terms by a space; they will all be searched individually in all fields of the database.

Click on Search: to go to the advanced search page.

N Scale - Precision Masters - 1303 - Open Hopper, 5-Bay Ortner Rapid Discharge - Colorado & Wyoming - 111, 129, 173

Please help support TroveStar. Why?
Stock Number 1303
Original Retail Price $17.97
Brand Precision Masters
Manufacturer Precision Masters
Body Style Precision Masters Open Hopper 5-Bay Ortner
Prototype Vehicle Open Hopper, 5-Bay Ortner Rapid Discharge (Details)
Road or Company Name Colorado & Wyoming (Details)
Reporting Marks CW
Road or Reporting Number 111, 129, 173
Paint Color(s) Black
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 3
Multipack ID Number 1303
Ready-to-Run No
Kit Complexity Easy-Build
Kit Material(s) Injection Molded Plastic
Release Date 1986-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype 5-Bay
Model Variety Ortner Rapid Discharge
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Road numbers: 111, 129, 173

Model Information: Precision Master first released this body style in kit form in 1986. Later on, they released the same body as a RTR (Ready-to-Run) model. In 2005, Red Caboose acquired this tooling from PM. Red Caboose has released this model in RTR form. When Red Caboose folded its doors, Fox Valley acquired the tooling and produced releases with the Fox Valley brand.

Different releases had some fairly important differences. Some Red Caboose releases have their coal loads permanently glued in place. This is a shame because the loads are pretty cheesy and if they are permanently affixed, then they cannot be replaced by high quality third party loads such as are made by Hay Brothers. Trucks and couplers vary as well. Early Red Caboose releases feature Micro-Trains trucks and couplers with MT's "standard" wheels. Later Red Caboose releases use cheaper Chinese knock-offs of the MT trucks (to save a few $ we assume). Fox Valley versions have body-mounted (MTL-knockoff) couplers using the new adapter designed by Trainworx.

These models are overall pretty good with a typical 1980s level of detail in the molding. The printing on all the manufacturers' models is quite good. However, the underframe is so awful it looks almost MELTED. Flipping it over and comparing it side-by-side with a 1960s vintage Roco-made hopper really shows off what a complete mess the underside of this car is. The Roco hopper is not just a little, but a LOT superior in terms if the molding. Also, let us be clear, for the models that include loads, these included loads are only a small step up from trash. An early 1960s coal load from an Arnold car looks better! If you are going to run these, make sure you only buy ones that do not have their loads glued in and be prepared to shell out some cash for a Hay Brothers (or equivalent) high quality N Scale load.

Prototype History:
The 1960s brought about a growth in car size (and capacity). Railroads that transported coal moved away from the older 2-bay 55-ton USRA standard to newer railcars. The Ortner Rapid discharge car has a capacity of 100 tons. Over 10,000 cars of this kind were produced. Robert Ortner and a team of engineers created the rapid-discharge door system in the early 1960s. The original unit train consists were operating for Muskingum Electric Railroad (now AEP) and the Missouri Public Service Co.

Unloading a train of rapid discharge cars takes 30 minutes to an hour as opposed to four hours or longer for other unloading systems. Southern developed the unit train concept in 1960. Unit trains shuttle back and forth between mines and power plants. The first unit trains, composed of aluminum gondolas, went to power plants with rotary dumping facilities. Today, Southern has 14 unit coal trains on line; six in immediate prospect; and several others in longer range planning. While passing over a 900-foot long trestle, rapid discharge cars unload their coal in motion. Doors in the bottom of the cars are activated electrically.

Trinity Industries Inc. purchased Ortner Freight Car in late 1986 and continues to develop the rapid-discharge system with both updated transverse and longitudinal door applications. Trinity currently offers aluminum hoppers featuring the RDVI and RDL door systems.

Road Name History:
The Colorado & Wyoming was built in three separate, disconnected segments between 1899 and 1901. The Southern Division ran from Jansen (near Trinidad,) Colorado 27 miles to the New Elk Mine. The Middle Division was a 5 mile switching line in the Pueblo, Colorado area. The Northern Division ran from Sunrise to Guernsey, Wyoming.

For much of its history, the C&W was owned by United States Steel. In later years, the line (and presumably the mill, and mines they served) was sold to CF&I Steel (formerly Colorado Fuel & Iron.) In recent years, the properties were sold to Oregon Steel Mills. You've probably seen Oregon Steel Mills bright blue mill gondolas with CW reporting marks - those are Colorado & Wyoming cars.

Brand/Importer Information:
Precision Masters was founded in 1984 by Bob Byers as a part-time operation. Initially the company was focused on producing a new coupler type that was compatible with Kadee/MTL couplers but had more accurate dimensions. After two years, in 1986, PM released their first entry into Rolling stock with the 5-Bay Ortner Open Hopper. Eventually, their product line grew to comprise 11 different body styles.

Bob's goal with the PM product line was to produce an alternative to the current (1980s) manufacturers releases. At that time, Micro-Trains/Kadee was known for excellent quality models with accurate scale details and high quality printing. All the others produced somewhat clunky models with inaccurately scaled roofwalks, brake wheels, stirrups, ladders and other details. The goal at PM was to produce a close-to-Kadee quality model at a lower price point. One of the ways PM accomplished this was releasing their models in 'easy-build" kit form.

Bob sold substantially all of PM's assets to Red Caboose in March of 1998. Fortunately, Red Caboose continued to release these models until they also sold their assets to Fox Valley Models. Again fortunately, we continue to see releases of these excellent quality models via Fox Valley with InterMountain trains helping with distribution.

Item created by: denverdave49 on 2022-02-26 22:37:09. Last edited by Alain LM on 2022-02-28 06:17:02

If you see errors or missing data in this entry, please feel free to log in and edit it. Anyone with a Gmail account can log in instantly.