Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad
Express Cars 215-239

S Scale      Kit No. CNS&M-215-S


Picture to follow

The North Shore Line's express business was extensively developed under the name of Merchandise Dispatch by the Insull management after 1916
Experience with the 203 class express motors suggested that additional cars, which were soon needed, should be of similar dimensions and design, but with freight doors located at the center of the car side instead of at each end. A total of 25 cars built to this modified pattern were ordered over the next several years. Between 1927 and 1947, an important job of the merchandise dispatch motors was hauling trains of flat cars loaded with highway truck trailers in the first big "piggyback" operation.
Increases in freight traffic during WWII necessitated placing some of the M.D. motors in carload freight service as locomotives. Two cars in multiple-unit usually provided adequate for hauling short freight trains. Other M.D. cars were pressed into service to augment the road's small fleet of cabooses.
After all less-than-carload work ceased in 1947, the better cars of the series were placed in service doing whatever utility chores they could be adapted to handle. Cars 229 and 232 served as yard switchers at Highland and Harrison Street, Milwaukee. Cars 231 and 238 were equipped with truck-mounted snow plow blades to serve in storms with a light enough snowfall that the large Russell plow was not needed. Six other merchant dispatch cars, in 2 trains of 3 cars each, were assigned to sleet cutting service. They were sent out from the centrally located Pettibone freight yard when there was danger of trolley wire icing.
A list of the cars with pertinent information can be found here: