The first appearance of Bachmann's The Rock set is in the 1977 catalog. Bachmann lists the diesel
that year as a U33B, which would suggest that it was a single truck powered model. For 1978, Bachmann calls the blue
and white The Rock U-boat a U36B, but I believe '78 to also be the year that single truck power began standard for the U36B. The
1977 example also sports a blue vertical stripe down the center of the loco's nose. This nose stripe
was dropped as of the 1978 catalog. For more information regarding the drives of Bachmann U-boats and variations
to paint schemes on them, see the U33B and U36B pages in the Locomotives section of this website.
Beyond the discrepancy of labeling the locomotive between 1977 and 1978, The Rock set also sees
a minor change to its freight car line up. The 1977 catalog displays the set with a Santa Fe 51' Mechanical Reefer;
the 1978-79 image changes this to a TYCO 50 Plug Door Box Car lettered for Santa Fe El Capitan service. Examples of
this red Santa Fe 50' Plug Door have confirmed that for some reason Bachmann had a TYCO produced 50' Plug Door Box Car
in this train set. I have no information regarding this interesting situation, beyond the actual examination of examples
of this car that confirm it to be a TYCO car in Bachmann packaging. In addition to the Santa Fe El Capitan 50' Plug
Door Box Car from TYCO in Bachmann packaging, I have examples of TYCO's 40' Skid Flat with 3 Culvert Pipes decorated for Western
Maryland in Bachmann packages. It would appear that this TYCO car/Bachmann box situation is limited to train set offerings
of the late '70s. The other minor switch for The Rock set was the replacement of the green CP Rail 51' Plug Door Box
Car of 1977 with a yellow Chessie System example that was cataloged for the set in both 1978 and '79.
The Rock set contents list included the Diesel pulling a 200-ton Flat Car with Logs; 51' Mechanical
Reefer; Open Quad-Hopper; 51' Plug Door Box Car; Steel Gondola; and Caboose. The set additionally featured Bachmann's
Operating Dual Crossing Gates; Signal Bridge; a 45" x 36" Oval track plan; Power Pack; and Instructions.