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N Scale - Micro-Trains - 33020 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel - Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac - 2458

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Stock Number 33020
Secondary Stock Number 033 00 020
Brand Micro-Trains
Manufacturer Micro-Trains Line
Body Style Micro-Trains Boxcar Steel 50 Foot Plug & Sliding Door
Prototype Vehicle Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac (Details)
Reporting Marks RF&P
Road or Reporting Number 2458
Paint Color(s) blue, silver door
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Standard
Release Date 2001-04-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Steel, Plug & Sliding Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Prototype History:
While the 40-foot boxcar was a standard design, and it did come in different setups depending on the type of freight being transported, it was not large enough for efficient mass commodity transportation. The 50-foot boxcar made its first appearance in the 1930s and steadily grew in popularity over the years, which further improved redundancies by allowing for even more space within a given car. Today, the 50-footer remains the common boxcar size. After the second world war ended, and steel became once again readily available, steel became the go-to choice for construction of boxcars. Pullman Standard and ACF were some of the most prolific builders of these cars.

These cars came in many variations. For instance, double-doors became practical for large/wide loads, end-doors useful for very large lading such as automobiles, and interior tie-down equipment was helpful in keeping sensitive products from being damaged in-transit. In 1954 the Santa Fe developed its "Shock Control" (and later "Super Shock Control") technology for new boxcars with upgraded suspension systems to further improve the ride-quality and reduce the chance of damaging freight.

In the 1960s, the flush, "plug" style sliding door was introduced as an option that provides a larger door to ease loading and unloading of certain commodities. The tight-fitting doors are better insulated and allow a car's interior to be maintained at a more even temperature.

Road Name History:
The RF&P ran from Richmond, Virginia north 114 miles to Potomac Yard (known widely as Pot Yard) on the river near Washington D.C. The purpose of the line was to link the Pennsylvania Railroad and Baltimore & Ohio lines to the northeast with the Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line lines to the south. There were few branchlines of consequence and the mainline was entirely double tracked with no grades to speak of. It was operated as a single route as early as 1901 although the route north of Quantico actually belonged to a PRR subsidiary called the Washington Southern. RF&P absorbed the Washington Southern in 1920. There were also connections with Southern and C&O but C&O traffic in the area was almost entirely east-west and Southern had their own line to Washington D.C.

Traffic was heavy and fast. Pacifics were used for freight and passenger service. These were supplanted by 4-8-2 Mountains then by Northerns and Berkshires. Aside from some Alco switchers, RF&P was an entirely EMD road in the diesel era. E8’s and FP7’s hauled the passengers (mostly PRR, SAL and ACL trains) while F5’s and F7’s hauled freight with GP7’s in support. The second generation brought GP35’s, and GP40’s for road service. The diesel fleet usually ran just under 40 units for the 114 mile line (indicating very heavy traffic.) As a rule, even numbered units faced north and odd numbered units faced south. Road switchers were equipped with dual cab controls and running long hood forward was common.

By 1987, RF&P’s situation had changed. The former PRR connection had mostly faded as Amtrak operated the line to the northeast and not Conrail. That left the former B&O on the north end and the former Seaboard System on the south end. Both were now part of CSX. RF&P was still a vital link but it didn’t make sense to be a separate railroad. CSX already owned much of the stock but a quarter of the shares of RF&P were owned by the state of Virginia’s state employee retirement fund. In the end, CSX gave the state fund the property rights to Potomac Yard in exchange for all of the stock. Pot Yard originated or terminated very little traffic with nearly every train just running through so the property was ripe for development. In fact there was talk of turning part of the property into a new stadium for the Washington Redskins. In the end, it became commercial property instead. The state was happy and CSX closed the gap on their system map. RF&P merged into CSX in 1991.

Brand/Importer Information: Micro-Trains is the brand name used by both Kadee Quality Products and Micro-Trains Line. For a history of the relationship between the brand and the two companies, please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide.

Manufacturer Information:
Micro-Trains Line split off from Kadee Quality Products in 1990. Kadee Quality Products originally got involved in N-Scale by producing a scaled-down version of their successful HO Magne-Matic knuckle coupler system. This coupler was superior to the ubiquitous 'Rapido' style coupler due to two primary factors: superior realistic appearance and the ability to automatically uncouple when stopped over a magnet embedded in a section of track. The success of these couplers in N-Scale quickly translated to the production of trucks, wheels and in 1972 a release of ready-to-run box cars.

Micro-Trains Line Co. split off from Kadee in 1990 to form a completely independent company. For this reason, products from this company can appear with labels from both enterprises. Due to the nature of production idiosyncrasies and various random factors, the rolling stock from Micro-Trains can have all sorts of interesting variations in both their packaging as well as the products themselves. When acquiring an MTL product it is very important to understand these important production variations that can greatly enhance (or decrease) the value of your purchase.

Please consult our Micro-Trains Collector's Guide

Item created by: Lethe on 2015-05-31 17:46:30. Last edited by gdm on 2020-06-09 07:31:01

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