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Body Style 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.
At the end of 1970 Southern operated 6,026 miles (9,698 km) of railroad, not including its Class I subsidiaries AGS (528 miles or 850 km) CofG (1729 miles) S&A (167 miles) CNOTP (415 miles) GS&F (454 miles) and twelve Class II subsidiaries. That year Southern itself reported 26111 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 110 million passenger-miles; AGS reported 3854 and 11, CofG 3595 and 17, S&A 140 and 0, CNO&TP 4906 and 0.3, and GS&F 1431 and 0.3
The railroad joined forces with the Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W) in 1982 to form the Norfolk Southern Corporation. The Norfolk Southern Corporation was created in response to the creation of the CSX Corporation (its rail system was later transformed to CSX Transportation in 1986). The Southern Railway was renamed Norfolk Southern Railway in 1990 and continued under that name ever since. Seven years later in 1997 the railroad absorbed the Norfolk and Western Railway, ending the Norfolk and Western's existence as an independent railroad.
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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 2017-05-19 14:42:05
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