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History: The 40' Boxcar is widely known as one of the most popular freight cars used by railroads as they transitioned from steam to diesel. In particular the Pullman Standard or PS-1 design was one of the most popular and was widely used by North American railroads. These boxcars were built beginning in 1947 and share the same basic design, with certain elements such as door size, door style or roof type varying among the different railroads and production years. When production of these cars ceased in 1963, over 100,000 had been produced.
So just what is a PS-1? Well the simple answer is it is any boxcar built by Pullman Standard from 1947 on. The design changed over the years – sometimes subtly, sometimes for customer request, and sometimes in a larger way. In general, most PS-1’s built from 1947 to 1961 share the same dimensions and basic construction techniques. These cars all had a length of 40′, a height of 10’5″ or 10’6″, welded sides and ends and roof of Pullman’s own design. The greatest variation was in the size and style of doors used. Pullman Standard also offered 50′ and later 60′ boxcars – also with the PS-1 designation.
Body Style Information: This tooling was introduced by Atlas in 1976. It replaced the earlier (and very similar) model from Roco of Austria that had been imported by Atlas from 1967 until 1975. Initial production was at the New Jersey factory. Production was later moved to China. As of 2017, this model is now very long in the tooth, so recent releases have been classified as 'Trainman' (budget) product line. Newer versions come equipped with Accumate couplers. This model should not be confused with the much newer 'Master' PS-1 boxcar from Atlas which is a completely different tooling.
Similar to other Atlas models of the 1970s and 1980s, this tooling originally featured Rapido Couplers and deep-flange nickel-silver plated wheels. When production moved to China, they started appearing with plastic low-profile wheels and Accumate couplers.
Sometime after 2005, Atlas created a 'Master' version of this model, and downgraded this tooling to the "Trainman" line. The new tooling was a complete redo of the model and has body mounted couplers, metallic wheels and excellent detailing, especially of the underframe. Since these are also marketed as 'PS-1' boxcars, it can be confusing. That tooling, however is different enough that we associate those cars with a different body style.
Reduced coal traffic coupled with highway competition and short hauls forced it into bankruptcy in the 1970s. The railroad was merged into Conrail in 1976, but the corporation lasted into 2000, disposing of real estate holdings.
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: Emily on 2016-10-16 16:02:13. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-19 14:42:57
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