Special Run Info

Special Run Cars - What are they?

Special Run Cars are freight cars that are produced in limited quantities, and decorated to your own unique specifications. Over the years, Organizations, Clubs, Dealers, Historical Societies, and individuals have contracted with us to produce short runs of cars to be used in a variety of ways - as fund-raisers, club membership specials, employee incentives, specialty advertising pieces, and historical reproductions - just to name a few. Recently, we have begun accepting orders for prototype paint schemes as well as 'fantasy' schemes. No longer do we require prototype schemes to carry non-proto markings to differentiate them from our regular production runs. Certain caveats do apply in these cases, and are discussed later on this page (see Artwork).


Price quotes are based upon several factors, including, but not limited to, body style, quantity of Special Run Cars, number and type of colors, artwork preparation and, if requested, end printing, multiple road numbers and other special requests.

Minimum Order

The minimum number of Special Run Cars varies by scale as follows:

  • N scale - Minimum order is 300 Special Run Cars
  • Nn3 scale - Minimum order is 100 Special Run Cars
  • Z scale - Minimum order is 100 Special Run Cars
  • (For N scale multi-packs, the minimum is 150ea of each car in the pack.
    If the multi-pack includes different car series, the minimum per series is 200ea.

Color Scheme

If specific colors are requested, you must reference these colors as follows:

  • Floquil color #, or
  • Provide a color chip, or
  • Reference a prior Micro-Trains car and color by series #

At times, it may be necessary to use special color mixes. This is most common when requesting custom colors using Pantone formulas. In the event a requested color requires a special color mix, additional charges associated with such custom colors will be factored into the pricing quotation. 


If your organization can supply the artwork in accordance with the specifications outlined below, it may reduce the price quote. The artwork specifications are as follows:

Template – Micro-Trains will be pleased to supply the template for the requested bodystyle free of charge. Completed templates must be exactly 3X N scale size. If end printing is requested, you must provide the exact format in 6 point size.

Computer Graphics – Please send computer files on disk or zip disk together with a hard copy proof with minimum output of 300 DPI. This will ensure maximum accuracy in preparation of the final artwork. The file must include:

  • A composite of the side artwork, including the car template drawing
  • Separations with registration marks, including the car template drawing
  • Logos on a separate sheet scaled to fit a 8” X 10” page

Please note that the type must be no less than point size 3 at 3X N scale or point size 1 at N scale size.

Film – Artwork produced on film is also acceptable. This must be submitted as film positive, emulsion down, right reading at 3600 DPI or higher. If you will be submitting finished film work, please contact Creative Services Department at ext. 234 directly for additional specifications.

Please note that all artwork used by Micro-Trains in the production of a Special Run Car becomes the sole property of Micro-Trains upon shipment of the Special Run Car. Micro-Trains reserves the exclusive right to use such artwork in any subsequent production run of its own, provided that no such production run shall be released prior to six months from the date the Special Run Car is shipped to you. When possible, alternate road numbers will be used on any subsequent Micro-Trains production run.

Method of Payment

A 50% deposit of the project cost is necessary to contract and schedule a special run. Prior to shipment, you will be invoiced for the balance due on the order, including shipping charges from Talent, Oregon to your requested shipping address. These shipping charges must also be paid in full prior to shipment. Payment may be made via check or money order payable to Micro-Trains Line Co. For your convenience, payment may also be made via Discover, MasterCard or Visa.


Typically, Micro-Trains will ship the Special Run Cars to you within 120 days of receipt of payment in full.


Upon receipt of a firm order and payment in full, information about your Special Run Car including name of organization, special run project name and item number is provided to the N Scale Enthusiasts Association. As a service to both you and the N scale enthusiast community, this organization’s bi-monthly magazine, The N Scale Enthusiast, publishes a list of Special Run Cars produced by Micro-Trains. An additional option offered by The N Scale Enthusiast is to run an advertisement. Information regarding this is included with a formal pricing quotation for your Special Run Car. As an additional service to you, just prior to shipment, Micro-Trains will be pleased to announce your Special Run Car on our website. Such announcement will only list your organization as the source for information and/or sales of the Special Run Car. 

Please click here to download Special Run Web Form

Additional Terms

Please note that Micro-Trains reserves the absolute right to refuse to quote on any Special Run Car which:

  • is deemed not to be in the best interest of Micro-Trains, the N, Nn3 and Z scale communities, or model railroading as a whole.
  • is unfeasible due to production schedule limitations.
  • would exceed annual order limits as established by Micro-Trains from time to time.
  • exceed project quantity limits as established by Micro-Trains from time to time.

If you have questions or require additional information please contact Micro-Trains at:

Phone: 541-535-1755 / 800-422-5526 Or email mtl@micro-trains.com