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N Scale - Atlas - 32961 - Open Hopper, 3-Bay, 90 Ton - Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - 80011

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N Scale - Atlas - 32961 - Open Hopper, 3-Bay, 90 Ton - Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - 80011 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 32961
Original Retail Price $8.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Open Hopper 3-Bay 90 Ton
Prototype Open Hopper, 3-Bay, 90 Ton (Details)
Road or Company Name Pittsburgh & Lake Erie (Details)
Reporting Marks P&LE
Road or Reporting Number 80011
Paint Color(s) Black White Yellow
Print Color(s) White and Yellow
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date 2003-12-01
Release Date 2004-05-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype 3-Bay
Model Variety 90 Ton
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This model was introduced in 1977 and re-run multiple times, almost every year. In 2007, it moved to the Atlas Trainman range, where it continues to be produced.

Prototype History:
The 1960s brought about a growth in car size (and capacity). Railroads that transported coal moved away from the older 2-bay 55-ton USRA standard to newer 90- and 100-ton three bay hoppers. On the WM, the first 90 ton cars were purchased for stone service to Sparrows Point around 1963. These cars were effective and long-lived. Many railroads swapped out the trucks on these cars to increase the capacity to 100 tons. Many companies produced these, including Pullman, Bethlehem, Evans, Greenville, Trinity and Ortner. Details, of course, vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but typically they were rib-sided. As of 2007, the NS still had lots of 90 ton hoppers in coal service.

Road Name History:
The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) (reporting mark PLE), also known as the "Little Giant", was formed on May 11, 1875. Company headquarters were located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The line connected Pittsburgh in the east with Youngstown, Ohio at nearby Haselton, Ohio in the west and Connellsville, Pennsylvania to the east. It did not reach Lake Erie (at Ashtabula, Ohio) until the formation of Conrail in 1976. The P&LE was known as the "Little Giant" since the tonnage that it moved was out of proportion to its route mileage. While it operated around one tenth of one percent of the nation's railroad miles, it hauled around one percent of its tonnage. This was largely because the P&LE served the steel mills of the greater Pittsburgh area, which consumed and shipped vast amounts of material. It was a specialized railroad deriving much of its revenue from coal, coke, iron ore, limestone, and steel. The eventual closure of the steel mills led to the end of the P&LE as an independent line in 1992.

At the end of 1970 P&LE operated 211 miles of road on 784 miles of track, not including PC&Y and Y&S; in 1970 it reported 1419 million ton-miles of revenue freight, down from 2437 million in 1944.

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: gdm on 2017-04-15 12:34:39

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