The Bachmann O Scale 47046 40' Box Car Rock Island models the standard 40' box car. By the 1920s North American railroads began replacing their 36' and smaller box cars with new 40' designs. With the need for economy and improved track infrastructure, heavier freight cars were needed. The Great Depression suppressed new box car purchases, and the 40' car became the standard. After World War II, with a booming economy and manufacturing restrictions lifted, new box cars were usually of the 50' size.
Historic Fact: In 1942 the 40' box car dominated North American railroads. At that time over 750,000 40' box cars were in service!
Road Name and History:
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad: In 1847 the Rock Island & LaSalle Railroad was incorporated to build a railroad between those cities. By 1854 Rock Island had a through route from Chicago to Rock Island, where the Rock Island built the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River. In 1856 a steamboat mysteriously rammed into the bridge and it burst into flames- in a long court battle (the steamboat company argued the bridge was a hazard to navigation)) in 1866 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the railroad. In 1866 the name of the company was changed to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. Over the years the Rock Island greatly expanded, reaching Denver in 1889, Fort Worth in 1893, in 1902 a connection was constructed to the Southern Pacific Railroad at Santa Rosa,,NM, and in 1904 the railroad created a through route from Memphis to Santa Rosa by filling in some gaps. In 1913 a route to Minneapolis/St. Paul had been purchased. By the early 20th Century Rock Island operated a large rail system serving much of the Midwest and Southwest. The CRI &P went bankrupt in 1915, emerging in 1917. Poor management- high dividends and less maintenance- and the Depression resulted in bankruptcy in 1933 which emergence occurring in 1948. Rock Island, by now a weak sister in the territory it served, became the victim of a long struggle as the Union Pacific battled other railroads for control of the CRI&P. By 1974 a deteriorating physical plant caused the UP to lose interest, and as conditions worsened the Rock Island was shut down in 1980. Many of its former routes are now operated by Union Pacific or BNSF Railway.
Historic Fact: Just after World War II the Rock Island Railroad, along with many other Class I railroads, established a less-than-carload (lcl) service to compete with the growing trucking industry. Rock Island named their service "Rocket Freight"- borrowing the word "Rocket" from their fast streamlined passenger train fleet. The bright white color was designed to grab the attention of yard masters to expedite these cars and also provide a rolling advertisement. As highways improved in the 1950s the lcl service provided by the railroads could not keep pace with the speed of truck delivery, and this business was ended.
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.
Height: 3 1/2"
Navigates O-27 curves