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N Scale - Atlas - 37561 - Flatcar, 50 Foot - Great Northern - 60202

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N Scale - Atlas - 37561 - Flatcar, 50 Foot - Great Northern - 60202 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Stock Number 37561
Original Retail Price $11.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Flatcar 50 Foot TOFC
Prototype Flatcar, 50 Foot (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Additional Markings/Slogan Fast Dependable Service
Road or Reporting Number 60202
Paint Color(s) Red; Green, Orange Trailer
Print Color(s) White; Yellow, Black on Trailer
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Announcement Date 2003-12-01
Release Date 2004-04-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Flatcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Double TOFC
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale 1/160


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Model Information: Unlike many other Atlas releases from the 1960's, theAtlas 50 Foot Flatcar was actually produced by Atlas in the United States at their New Jersey facility. This model was first announced in the 1967 catalog with two road names with two Piggyback trailers permanently affixed to the car (TOFC). The two models first appeared for sale in the 1969 catalog at $2.50 each. The 1969 catalog shows two different road names and that is all that was available for 21 years. In 1990, a large new release appears with two dozen road names in two configurations: single 40 foot trailers and twin 24 foot trailers.

Early versions featured Rapido couplers and metal wheels and later versions have Accumate couplers with plastic low-profile wheels. In 1996 (likely when they moved the tooling to China) they started producing multiple road numbers for each paint scheme. By 2008, this tooling was almost 40 years old and showing its age, especially when compared to some of the higher quality models Atlas was producing as part of their new 'Master' line. Rather than retire this very popular (and low-cost) model, Atlas moved the model to their 'Trainman' line along with other older models. This model has been released and re-released a dozen or more times in the last 50 years with a wide range of road names and road numbers.

This model at first glance appears to be very similar to the Rivarossi-produced 40 foot flatcar with stakes, but the TOFC model is 10 scale feet longer and close inspection reveals a different tooling.

Prototype History:
A flatcar (US) (also flat car (US) or flat wagon (UIC)) is a piece of railroad (US) or railway (non-US) rolling stock that consists of an open, flat deck mounted on a pair of trucks (US) or bogies (UK), one at each end containing four or six wheels. Occasionally, flat cars designed to carry extra heavy or extra large loads are mounted on a pair (or rarely, more) of bogeys under each end . The deck of the car can be wood or steel, and the sides of the deck can include pockets for stakes or tie-down points to secure loads. Flatcars designed for carrying machinery have sliding chain assemblies recessed in the deck.

Flatcars are used for loads that are too large or cumbersome to load in enclosed cars such as boxcars. They are also often used to transport intermodal containers (shipping containers) or trailers as part of intermodal freight transport shipping.

From Wikipedia

Road Name History:
The Great Northern Railway (reporting mark GN) was an American Class I railroad. Running from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Seattle, Washington, it was the creation of 19th century railroad entrepreneur James J. Hill and was developed from the Saint Paul & Pacific Railroad. The Great Northern's (GN) route was the northernmost transcontinental railroad route in the U.S.

The Great Northern was the only privately funded - and successfully built - transcontinental railroad in U.S. history. No federal land grants were used during its construction, unlike all other transcontinental railroads.

The Great Northern was built in stages, slowly to create profitable lines, before extending the road further into the undeveloped Western territories. In a series of the earliest public relations campaigns, contests were held to promote interest in the railroad and the ranchlands along its route. Fred J. Adams used promotional incentives such as feed and seed donations to farmers getting started along the line. Contests were all-inclusive, from largest farm animals to largest freight carload capacity and were promoted heavily to immigrants & newcomers from the East.

In 1970 the Great Northern, together with the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway merged to form the Burlington Northern Railroad. The BN operated until 1996, when it merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway.

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: James on 2017-01-12 13:02:27. Last edited by gdm on 2018-03-20 11:39:40

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