Model Railroad News Product Reviews

Micro-Trains Line New Mill Gondola in N Scale

Micro-Trains Line recently added this 65-foot mill gondola replica to its catalog. The plastic body includes a die-cast section between the trucks to give this N-scale effort its weight. The model rides on 33-inch metal wheels, comes with a load, and includes add-on detail for trainline hose and coupler cut levers on both ends of the car.

Micro-Trains Line New Mill Gondola in N Scale

N scaleReview by Tony Cook/photos by the author

Micro-Trains Line (MTL) adds a new body style to its already wide variety of N-scale rolling stock with the arrival of this 107-series mill gondola model.

This Penn Central (PC) release is the second road name for this new MTL model; the first release was a Mineral Red gondola lettered for Santa Fe (107 00 011). The model was included in MTL’s August 2023 Micro-News flyer with Santa Fe road number 170902 and returned in September’s flyer with another Santa Fe release (ATSF 170943); this Penn Central gondola was announced in October 2023’s flyer. This green with white lettering Penn Central offering includes a cast-resin load (as does the prior Santa Fe gondola release).


ABOVE: Above: This view shows the drop-end panel in its down or lowered position. I applied the molded green coupler cut lever and trainline hose to this B-end of the gondola model.

This is a fine model and solid addition to MTL’s product line. It’s a long freight car; I measured this PC sample and observed it was 65 scale feet out to the edges of the gondola’s sides. This is a great-looking plastic and metal model with thin stirrup steps, detailed brake rigging with separate brake wheel, and functioning drop-end design.

The body, including the separate ends, is molded plastic. A cast metal section appears as part of the underframe and does most of the work in supplying this N-scale freight car model with its 0.7-ounce weight. The provided load is a good bonus, as are the details included for the owner to add to the ends. Be very careful in adding the cut lever so you don’t send this tiny part flying, as you need each of the two that are included.


ABOVE: This underside view of Micro-Trains’ N-scale mill gondola shows the detail molded into the metal section making up the bulk of the underbody. The area on the ends where the trucks and coupler attach is plastic. This second release comes with friction-style Bettendorf truck sideframes, and these plastic frames are of a slightly narrower design, allowing them to turn without running into conflict with the gondola’s stirrup steps. Note the left end shows the opening for the trainline hose. I have added that detail and the cut lever to the opposite side of the model (right end in this view). 

A product of the late steam/early diesel era, this gondola is a 70-ton freight car and thus rides on 33-inch wheels. Be aware MTL noted an issue with the first Santa Fe models: the truck sideframes were a bit too wide and could encounter the stirrup steps and cause the gondola to derail. This was noted by the manufacturer online and quickly corrected. Check MTL’s website for details, should you have that first Santa Fe model.

Micro-Trains Line
N-scale 65-foot 70-ton Mill Gondola

Penn Central 595027
107 00 030, $33.95

January 2024This review appeared in the January 2024 issue of Model Railroad News. Subscribe Today!

This article was posted on: January 6, 2024