UMTRR 2002.01 (11)
- IRWINSJOURNAL.COM Presents:
The Unofficial Micro-Trains� Release Report
(Not affiliated with Micro-Trains Line, Inc.)
Copyright (C) 2002, George J. Irwin.
New Release: 13201, Marklin Coupler, $14.50, 13201-2, Micro-Trains Coupler,
$16.20, 50 Foot Gondola with Straight Sides, Western Maryland (Company
Service). Freight car red with white lettering including speed lettering
roadname across car. Reporting Marks: WM 51302. Approximate Time Period:
early 1960's (1963 rebuild/repaint date given by MTL) to late 1970's.
Here's a new body style for Z Scale which like the fishbelly side gon
introduced in 1:220 in 2001, follows an MTL N Scale body style that's been
around a while. This WM scheme has been done in N as well, but on a
fishbelly side gon as catalog number 46110/46456. I don't follow Z that
carefully but I believe this is also the first time that red oxide colored
trucks have been supplied with a Z Scale freight car. Well, it's at least
the first time on a Z Scale gondola. OK, on a straight sided Z Scale
Western Maryland first flirted with their Speed Lettering roadname circa
1952, and officially adopted it circa 1953 for boxcars and gondolas. That
puts this new release, repainted in 1963, well within the speed lettering
era. The roadname was to be placed 7 feet 5 inches from the railhead, no
matter how tall the car actually was. I guess this would create a smooth
flow of "speed" in a group of WM cars traveling together, were that to
happen in a train. But it must have been a bit trying painters of WM
rolling stock, in both prototype and model forms.
The ORER for January 1964 shows the series 51301 to 51375, of all 75 cars,
AAR Class GB, description "Gondola, Steel Sides, Ends and Underframe, Drop
Ends, Flat Bottom, Wood Floor." The inside length is 52 feet 6 inches,
outside length 55 feet even, and inside height 3 feet 4 inches. The height
from the rail is shown as 7 feet 3 inches... well, there goes that 7-foot-5
convention! In April 1970's Register we find that the original group has
been combined with others, to yield a collection of 192 cars numbered 51301
to 51496, and that the outside length has been increased to 57 feet 6
inches. By April 1976, some WM equipment was already getting the Chessie
System paint scheme, but the speed lettering was still around. However,
this car wasn't: the series had sunk all the way to just four cars, and the
51302 wasn't one of them.
--George in Ellison Park, New York
--Author, The Unofficial Micro-Trains Release Report
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