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  • Jeffrey MacHan
    IRWINSJOURNAL.COM Presents: The Unofficial Micro-Trains® Release Report February, 2001 (Not affiliated with Micro-Trains Line, Inc.) Copyright (C) 2001,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2001
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      The Unofficial Micro-Trains´┐Ż Release Report
      February, 2001
      (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
      Empire Builder!

      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

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