The Unofficial Micro-Trains� Release Report
(Not affiliated with Micro-Trains Line, Inc.)
Copyright (C) 2001, George J. Irwin.
Z SCALE NEW RELEASES: Time for another B-unit...
17008, Marklin Coupler, $41.95, 17008-2, Micro-Trains Coupler,
$43.65, Unpowered F-7B Diesel, Great Northern. Green and orange
with yellow stripes. No lettering. Road Number: None.
Approximate Time Period: 1950's through 1970's.
Well, now we can guess why MTL did a 1:220 Great Northern
reprint last month! This B unit, or any number of them, can be
added to the already released powered A and unpowered A units to
string out as long of a lashup as you'd like. The typical setup
was an A-B-B-A quartet, providing 6000 horsepower.
The prototype units were built for the GN circa 1950, and of
are in the attractive "Empire Builder" scheme. While
these were most likely used for freight service, let's take a
at the contemporaneous version of the train that gave the paint
scheme its popular name, courtesy of the Official Guide of the
Railways, December 1951-- a new addition to the accumulation of
research material courtesy of Bob Dunham. (Many thanks from the
gang, Bob, and for the June '63 OG as well.)
Trains Number 1 and 2, THE EMPIRE BUILDER in all caps, were
on their own page-- number 1069, to be exact. The trains were
"All Accomodations Reserved" but "No Extra Fare." There were
"seven latest types of Pullman accomodations" including Drawing-
Rooms, Compartments, Double Bedrooms, Roomettes, Duplex
Lower and Upper Berths. And there were "Day-Night Coaches" with
"reclining seats with leg rests forming a couch for sleeping."
Caution: Banana Messenger tickets would not be honored on the
Westbound Number 1 left Chicago at 1:00PM and travelled on the
Burlington up to St. Paul, arriving there at 7:45PM. It left on
the Great Northern at 8:15PM, stopping first in the Twin City of
Minneapolis, and then hurtled through the Minnesota, North
and Montana night and following morning, arriving at Havre at
12:05PM, Mountain Time, the next day. From there it was on
to Spokane, arriving at 11:30PM Pacific Time, and the train was
split to carry guests to Portland on the SP&S, arrival 7:30AM
second day out from Chicago, or to Seattle via GN rails,
at 8AM. Eastbound, Number 2 left Seattle or Portland at 3PM and
arrived back in Chicago at 2PM two days later.
Not much is left of the Great Northern's fleet of F-units.
Toppan's "Surviving F-Units" lists just the former 455B, now in
the roster of the Central British Columbia Railway and Forest
Museum, as the only survivor of the B's, although there are at
least a few A's, three of which still operate.
Z SCALE REPRINTS: No releases this month.
--George in Ellison Park, New York
--Author, The Unofficial Micro-Trains Release Report
Visit the website, now at: http://www.irwinsjournal.com
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.