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Model Information: Atlas started production of this model in their New Jersey Factory in either 1976 or 1977. The initial release consisted of six road names, and was followed up by a second release in 1978 consisting of six more road names. These models featured Rapido couplers with nickel-silver plated wheels.
This model was not run again until 2002 when the tooling was moved to China and new road numbers were created for the CB&Q, PRR and N&W as well as an undecorated version. The initial Chinese version used plastic wheels but also used Rapido couplers. Later Chinese releases switched to Accumates and the model became part of the Trainman product lineup.
Road Name History:
The Wabash's major freight traffic advantage was the direct line from Kansas City to Detroit, without going through St. Louis or Chicago. Despite the Wabash name disappearing in the 1960s, the company continued to exist on paper until being merged into the Norfolk Southern Railway in 1991.
At the end of 1960 Wabash operated 2,423 miles of road on 4,311 miles of track, not including Ann Arbor and NJI&I; that year it reported 6,407 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 164 million passenger-miles.
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.
Manufacturer Information: 'Atlas Model Railroad' represents the New Jersey manufacturing facility for Atlas brand model railroad products. Atlas also imported European made models in their early years and those items will be noted as having manufacturers set appropriately. In the 1990s Atlas moved all their toolings to China.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-05-05 20:05:55
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