Speaking Of Micro-Trains...

Doug Gosha Jan 16, 2022

  1. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    OK, maybe we weren't specifically but this year marks the 50th anniversary of Micro-Trains offering N scale freight cars in addition to their N scale couplers which were first marketed in 1968. I believe the first cars were in September of 1972.

    Doug
     
  2. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have always admired their work. I feel the apex was the airplane fuselage.
     
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  3. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, and I want to reiterate, as we found in another thread, George Irwin (umtrr-author) has been publishing the "Unofficial Micro trains Release Report for 25 of those 50 years.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's a neat fun fact Doug. I'm trying to recall which was my first M-T/Kadee car. I'm thinking that it was the Virginia Bi-Centennial car in 1976. At the start, all M-T/Kadee cars were available with Rapido couplers and that's what I chose.

    upload_2022-1-16_21-25-36.png
     
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  5. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    Doug is off by just a couple of months... the first Micro-Trains cars were released in November 1972. At the then-astronomical price of three dollars-- or $3.25 for cars with two-color printing!-- they were much higher cost of most of what was out there. (I mean, I was getting freight cars at Two Guys for 49 cents...)

    Initially, they were not that popular and Kadee had to start releasing their cars with a Rapido Coupler option.

    Micro-Trains is planning a bunch of special things for their 50th.

    https://micro-trains.com/50-years
     
  6. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the correction, George. I wasn't sure but I knew it was in that latter part of the year.

    I have some early cars, the most valuable (or at least it was back in the nineties, anyway) of which is the Missouri Pacific "Route of the Eagles" plug door car, road number 96020, with the original Kadee catalog number 21110. I think it was released in 1973. Price - $2.75. At one time, it was selling for almost a thousand dollars when it was believed to be a lot rarer than these days. I don't know what it's worth, now.

    As George indicated, they seemed expensive because most other N scale cars were about a buck fifty, regular price, and were often discounted.

    Doug
     
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  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I believe that these cars being manufactured, with that coupler, were what kept me going in N scale. I had started dabbling in N and once I discovered these beauties, I was hooked!
     
  8. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    That's what originally got me into N from O. Now back to N from HO.
     
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  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    They were indeed pricey and I think it was a year before I bought my second car, the 24120 L&N Boxcar. I'd moved to Knoxville, TN and just had to have one. :) I thought the sliding door was just amazing.

    upload_2022-1-17_9-4-51.png
     
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  10. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    I was never even aware of kadee/micro-trains as a kid which was not long after their first cars were produced. It wasn't until the late 90's when I got back into trains that I discovered the brand while visiting the local train store in La Mesa. So my first MT was purchased there. Although I was unfamiliar with Domtar these center beams were a common site north of Las Vegas along the I-15 which I used to travel frequently at the time.

    s-l1600.jpg

    That is a pretty cool set. Their weathered 89' flat car with well car wreck is dang nice as well as their "on track for a cure" boxcar but visually the airplane is very unique and quite an eye catcher.
     
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  11. pmpexpress

    pmpexpress TrainBoard Member

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    Kadee Micro-Trains first production N-Scale cars release details from my Micro-Trains: Early Kadee Production Trivia blog post:

    "With a retail price of $3.00 each (i.e., with the exception of green and white printed stock number 20018 and black and white printed stock number 20093, which retailed for $3.25 each and may have been the first American manufactured N-Scale models to bear a slight upcharge to cover the cost of the additional pad printing strikes), the first five (or seven if the production variations are taken into account) Kadee® Micro-Trains® models released in November 1972 were 40 Foot Standard Steel Single Sliding Door Boxcar stock numbers 20000 (Unlettered with light brown or Tuscan paint), 20018 (Grand Trunk Western with road number 516798 and two color printing), 20058 (Rock Island with road number 27653), 20089 (Union Pacific with road number 124239 and white or yellow printing), and 20093 (Southern Pacific with road number 105043 and two color printing)."
     
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  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    My first Kadee car was the GTW 20018 (later 20010), acquired just before Christmas of 1972. Wish I had kept it, just as a nostalgic souvenir.
     
  13. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Living in the Puget Sound area we get to see the prototype of the aircraft cars quite a bit on their way to the Boeing plant in Renton. I still don’t understand how it is cheaper to build half the airplane in multiple locations then haul it to another via rail to final assembly. You would think start to finish at one location would be the most economical.
     
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  14. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok, Ok, I will find my bright red, um, not sure with kadee that is from circa, um, er, I don't know.
    I can remember create a 'bi-coupler' car with Rapido on one end and 'Kedee' on the other.
    Two Aspects About that:
    * It worked
    * My father was seriously impressed
    > "You had a problem. You designed a solution. It worked."
    Well, not the first time. I had to adjust...
    He cut me off and said, 'Bonus!'.
    Ya, I remember that car.
     
  15. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I bought one MT-1040 underframe just because I wanted to see what it was like and initially installed it on an Atlas A1G Union Pacific gondola. It was on that car for many years until fairly recently when I put the original plastic-with-weight underframe back on it. I then put the MT underframe on another car and of the few hundred cars I have, I can't remember which one it was.

    :D

    Doug
     
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  16. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    My friend called his M-T/Rapido coupler car a "compromise car", harkening back to attempts in the 1800s to run dual gauge cars. I have one so that I can pull my old Rapido-equipped cars just for the fun of it.
     
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  17. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I had one of those when I first dipped my toes into the N scale pool. I bought someone’s collection off eBay and it was a mess of random equipment and some unitrack. I had a Kato UP 1996 (SP Heritage unit) and that was it. Problem was most of the hodgepodge of cars was rapido, and only a couple were knuckle. So I made an adaptor car. It worked quite well for what I was doing. I don’t know what happened to that stuff, it just disappeared one day (I think my wife thought it was a box of junk and threw it out). Oh well. Now the only rapido stuff I have is a commuter train that will only ever couple to itself so no cares as to what couplers it uses.
     
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  18. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I have always called them "transition cars" and I made two way back when I first started converting to MT couplers (1968) and I still have them. One is an Atlas Katy cattle car and the other a Life-Like Florida East Coast boxcar. Although I pretty much have all MT coupler equipped rolling stock on my current layout, I keep them because there are still Rapido coupler cars and locos in my stuff and if I want to run them...

    Doug
     
  19. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    Which I call "Car One" although that's not really accurate, as since Neville noted above, there were multiple boxcars all released in November 1972.

    http://www.irwinsjournal.com/umtrr/index.htm?ms-carone.htm
     
  20. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    I JUST GOT a car from 'that auction site'...a Kadee PFE reefer...one Kadee coupler one Rapido (it was not advertised as such). Luckily I have plenty of spare MT trucks and couplers.
     
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