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Model Information: Atlas introduced the Kato-produced RS-3 in 1983. They followed up with the RSD-4/5 in 1987 (also Kato-produced). Kato also recyled the chassis for use in their RS-11. Atlas redesigned the RS-3 in 1999 and production moved to China. The models were again modified in 2001 (RS-3) and 2004 (RS-4/5) and from then on featured Atlas "Slow-Speed" motors. The Chinese RS-3 and RSD-4/5 share the same internal mechanism.
The early releases were the first locomotive produced by Kato for Atlas. It was vastly superior to the earlier models produced by Roco for Atlas. The combination of the split-frame design, directional lighting and 5-pole motor with bearing blocks to hold the worm gear in place made it the first "modern" N-Scale design for a North American locomotive. The 2001 Chinese version is very similar to the Kato version.
The Atlas-China version features: Golden-white LEDs; Directional lighting; Separately-applied painted handrails (where appropriate); Blackened metal wheels; Scale Speed™ motor and Accurate painting and printing.
DCC Information: Unfortunately the one modern feature this model lacks is a single-lightboard design to permit a "drop-in" decoder board installation. The split-board requires some soldering and careful installation to upgrade even the most modern edition of this locomotive to DCC. Special split decoders are available to convert these models to DCC. Some soldering required. TCS makes the 1278-CN which works pretty well.
TCS CN decoder installation shown on Brad Myers' N-scale DCC decoder installs blog and on TCS website.
A classical wired DCC decoder detailed installation was available on maritime.dns.ca/mgerrits/trains (website no longer exists).
Well over 1,300 RS-3 road-switcher locomotives were built by ALCO between 1950 and 1956. It can be considered one of the most successful four-axle diesel road-switchers ever produced by the builder. These 1,600hp locomotives were powered by an ALCO 244 V-12 engine which was complimented by rugged GE electrical components. The RS-3 was truly a versatile locomotive. It could be found in virtually every type of service from passenger and commuter runs to heavy-haul and local freight assignments. Original owners of the RS-3 tended to be in the eastern and central regions of the US (with heavier concentrations in the northeast and southeast).
During this same time-period, ALCO offered a six-axle road-switcher which was more commonly found in the west. The RSD-4/5 was externally very similar to the RS-3, having six-axle trucks as an obvious spotting feature. They produced the same 1,600hp as an RS-3, but offered increased tractive effort due to the use of a larger generator. Many RSD-4/5s were assigned to operate in mountainous territory (with varying degrees of success) on the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and the Utah Railway.
Road Name History:
The railroad was chartered in 1905 by James J. Hill to connect the two transcontinental railroads owned by him, the Northern Pacific (NP) and Great Northern (GN), to Portland, Oregon from Spokane, Washington, to gain a portion of the lumber trade in Oregon, a business then dominated by E.H. Harriman's Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. Construction began in 1906 under the name Portland & Seattle Railway, proceeding eastward from Vancouver, Washington. 1906 also saw the start of construction of the line between Vancouver and Portland, including work on three major new bridges, crossing the Columbia River, the Oregon Slough and the Willamette River. The northernmost of these was the first bridge of any kind to be built across the lower Columbia River.
In January 1908 "Spokane" was added to the railroad's name, making it the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway. SP&S freight and passenger service (from Pasco) to Portland was inaugurated in November 1908. By 1909 the railroad had completed construction of its line up to Spokane along the Snake River. In 1910 SP&S gained control of the Oregon Electric interurban railway, which the Great Northern had acquired two years before. Under the control of the SP&S the railroad was extended southward to Eugene, Oregon by 1912. SP&S also operated a second subsidiary railroad in western Oregon, the Oregon Traction Company, which owned a route to Seaside, Oregon. A third route on which the SP&S operated extended southward from Wishram, Washington to Bend, Oregon was the Oregon Trunk Railroad.
Read more on Wikipedia and The Spokane Portland and Seattle Railway Historical Society
In those days, railroad modelers had to assemble and build everything from scratch. Steve Jr. created a "switch kit" which sold so well, that the entire family worked on them in the basement at night, while doing business as usual in the machine shop during the day.
Subsequently, Steve Jr. engineered the stapling of rail to fiber track, along with inventing the first practical rail joiner and pre-assembled turnouts and flexible track. All of these products, and more, helped to popularize model railroading and assisted in the creation of a mass-market hobby. The budding entrepreneur quickly outgrew the limitations of a basement and small garage operation. Realizing they could actually make a living selling track and related products, Steve and his father had the first factory built in Hillside, New Jersey at 413 Florence Avenue in 1947. On September 30, 1949, the Atlas Tool Company was officially incorporated as a New Jersey company.
In 1985, Steve was honored posthumously for his inventions by the Model Railroad Industry Association and was inducted into the Model Railroad Industry Hall of Fame in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, Steve was nominated and entered into the National Model Railroad Association Pioneers of Model Railroading in 1995.
In the early 1990s, the Atlas Tool Company changed its name to Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc.
Item created by: Bryan on 2016-08-11 04:16:38. Last edited by Alain LM on 2018-05-01 14:14:08
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