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August 2014 RailKing Product Spotlight

RailKing O Gauge 3-Dome Tank Car

Three-dome tank cars were actually three complete tanks on a single car body. Each tank had its own end bulkheads and expansion dome. Since older tank cars were filled to the top of the tank to prevent fluids from sloshing around during shipment (which could make the car unsteady), the domes provided space for the cargo to expand when the sun heated the tank. Because the additional bulkheads and domes added weight, multiple-dome cars had a smaller capacity than single-dome cars.

August 2014 Premier Product Spotlight

Premier Line O Scale Husky Stack Car

On April 26, 1956, a revolution in shipping began when the first container ship, a converted oil tanker named Ideal X, left Port Newark, NJ headed for Houston. The brainchild of truck-driver-turned-shipping-magnate Malcolm Purcell McLean, containerization was a giant step forward in shipping efficiency, security and cost.

August 2014 Premier Product Spotlight

Premier Line O Scale 36' Woodsided Reefer

The coming of the railroad changed the way America ate and drank. Before the iron horse connected every town of any importance to the outside world, most food was grown or produced locally. The arrival of cheap, fast, refrigerated transport — in the form of the woodsided reefer with ice bunkers at each end — enabled local brewers, dairies, meat processors, and other food businesses to become players on a national scale.

July 2014 RailKing Product Spotlight

RailKing O Gauge 19th Century 34’ Box Car

In the beginning, American railway equipment followed British practices. But the open gondola, which remained the basic British merchandise car for over a century, was not as well suited to American needs. Whereas Britain’s mild climate and coke-burning engines made it possible to transport freight in open cars, covered with a tarp when necessary, American winters were much harsher, distances traveled were greater, and wood-burning American engines threw off sparks that ignited unprotected goods.

July 2014 Premier Product Spotlight

Premier Line O Scale Bay Window Caboose

As freight cars grew taller, observing a train from the cupola of a caboose became increasingly difficult. In the wooden car era, another problem with cupola cabooses was sagging roofs. In an effort to solve these problems, the Akron, Canton & Youngstown railroad introduced the bay window caboose in 1923. (In fact, however, bay windows had been used on New York & Harlem Railroad passenger cars as far back as the 1850s, to enable conductors to better anticipate station arrivals.)

July 2014 Premier Product Spotlight

Premier Line O Scale 3-Bay Centerflow® Hopper

Although covered hoppers had achieved widespread use by the 1950s, it wasn’t until the following decade that they began to carry North America’s grain harvest. Prior to the 1960s, U.S. and Canadian farmers sent their wheat and other grains to market in 40’ box cars. The crop was packed in sacks or in cars with disposable grain doors that covered most of the door opening and turned the car into a rolling grain bin. Either way, loading and unloading was labor-intensive and time-consuming.