By Tony Cook
Micro-Trains Lines (MTL) recently released several special run N-scale models, which is nothing newsworthy for this manufacturer that routinely offers interesting limited-production 1:160 reproductions. What is important is this group of releases marks the company’s 50th anniversary in the hobby.
It all started with a boxcar… the Micro-Trains line that flourishes in the hobby today supplying N, Z, and even some HO items traces its history to before World War II, which is much more than a half-century ago. Twin brothers Keith and Dale Edwards started their Kadee brand in the world of model railroading with HO turnouts and later made a name for their new company with the patented Magne-Matic coupler. In the days when loop-and-hook connections were deemed not only okay but standard equipment, a more realistic functioning knuckle coupler was a breakthrough. The Kadee line continued to expand with wheels, trucks, and more coupler options, including providing products for then-new N scale in the 1960s. As N exploded, Kadee launched a 40-foot boxcar model in late 1972 (ad shown on the left). The N-scale freight car kits were a success and growth continued and became a separate Kadee division known as Micro-Trains. By the early 1990s, Micro-Trains and Kadee divided with MTL continuing to pursue N, Nn3, Z, and even HOn3 for a time. Today, Micro-Trains is a leader in their field with a regular slate of monthly deliveries. Watch for the company’s all-new N-scale Pullman-Standard two-bay hopper to be reviewed in the near future.
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