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N Scale - Atlas - 36459 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel, Double Door - Penn Central - 270278

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N Scale - Atlas - 36459 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel, Double Door - Penn Central - 270278 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 36459
Original Retail Price $19.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Boxcar 50 Foot Freight Double Door
Prototype Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel, Double Door (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Road or Reporting Number 270278
Paint Color(s) Orange/Black/Green
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 2008-10-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Steel, Double Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: The first release of this body style was made by Roco in Austria for Atlas in 1967. Later, in 1971, Atlas moved the tooling from Austria to New Jersey and produced their own second release out of their own factory. I presume that Atlas owned the tooling because unlike other Roco models, this one did not later appear as an import by other brands such as Aurora, Minitrix or Model Power. Sometime in the 1990s Atlas again moved the production to China.

Prototype History:
The 50-foot boxcar made its first appearance in the 1930s and steadily grew in popularity over the years, which further improved redundancies by allowing for even more space within a given car. Today, the 50-footer remains the common boxcar size. After the second world war ended, and steel became once again readily available, steel became the go-to choice for construction of boxcars. Pullman Standard and ACF were some of the most prolific builders of these cars.

Double Doors were frequently an option for most of the major North American railcar manufacturers in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. These cars were slightly more expensive to produce and maintain, but for many applications allowed faster loading and unloading times.

Road Name History:
The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The Penn Central was created as a response to challenges faced by all three railroads in the late 1960s. The northeastern quarter of the United States, these railroads' service area, was the most densely populated region of the U.S. While railroads elsewhere in North America drew a high percentage of their revenues from the long-distance shipment of commodities such as coal, lumber, paper and iron ore, Northeastern railroads traditionally depended on a mix of services.

As it turned out, the merged Penn Central was little better off than its constituent roads were before. A merger implementation plan was drawn up, but not carried out. Attempts to integrate operations, personnel and equipment were not very successful, due to clashing corporate cultures, incompatible computer systems and union contracts. Track conditions deteriorated (some of these conditions were inherited from the three merged railroads) and trains had to be run at reduced speeds. This meant delayed shipments and personnel working a lot of overtime. As a result, operating costs soared. Derailments and wrecks became frequent, particularly in the midwest.

The American financial system was shocked when after only two years of operations, the Penn Central Transportation company was put into bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. It was the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history at that time. Although the Penn Central Transportation Company was put into bankruptcy, its parent Penn Central Company was able to survive.

The Penn Central continued to operate freight service under bankruptcy court protection. After private-sector reorganization efforts failed, Congress nationalized the Penn Central under the terms of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. The new law folded six northeastern railroads, the Penn Central and five smaller, failed lines, into the Consolidated Rail Corporation, commonly known as Conrail. The act took effect on April 1, 1976.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1924 Stephan Schaffan, Sr. founded the Atlas Tool Company in Newark, New Jersey. In 1933 his son, Stephan Schaffan, Jr., came to work for his father at the age of sixteen. Steve Jr. built model airplanes as a hobby and frequented a local hobby shop. Being an enterprising young man, he would often ask the owner if there was anything he could do to earn some extra spending money. Tired of listening to his requests, the hobby-store owner threw some model railroad track parts his way and said, "Here, see if you can improve on this".

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 2016-08-14 12:59:37. Last edited by gdm on 2019-06-19 08:52:17

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