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N Scale - Atlas - 36612 - Reefer, 50 Foot, Plug Door Mechanical - Pacific Fruit Express - 300140

N Scale - Atlas - 36612 - Reefer, 50 Foot, Plug Door Mechanical - Pacific Fruit Express - 300140 Different Road Number Shown
Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 36612
Manufacturer Atlas China
Image Credit Link
Body Style Atlas Reefer 50 Foot Plug Door Mechanical
Road/Company Name Pacific Fruit Express
Reporting Marks PFE
Road/Reporting Number 300140
Paint Color(s) Orange Silver Black
Print Color(s) Black
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Release Date 1999-10-01
Item Category Rolling Stock
Model Type Reefer
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Plug Door Mechanical
Prototype Reefer, 50 Foot, Plug Door Mechanical
Region North America
Era/Epoch Era III: 1939 - 1957


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Specific Item Information: Built 7-43

Body Style Information: Apparently dissatisfied with the Roco-produced 50 foot mech reefer from 1969, Atlas made a completely new tooling for their late 1970s release. This new version featured riveted sides (the Roco version had rib sides). The tooling was moved to China in the 1990s along with all their other molds and production has continued under the Trainman® line.

Road/Company Information:
Pacific Fruit Express (reporting mark PFE) was an American railroad refrigerator car leasing company that at one point was the largest refrigerator car operator in the world. The company was founded on December 7, 1906 as a joint venture between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It began operation on October 1, 1907, with a fleet of 6,600 refrigerator cars built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF).

In 1923, the Western Pacific Railroad joined the venture by leasing its own, brand new fleet of 2775 reefers to PFE. They were painted in standard PFE colors with only WP heralds on the cars instead of the paired UP-SP markings. The WP cars were all retired by the late 1950s, among the last wooden reefers in PFE's fleet. WP ended its partnership with PFE in late 1967 and joined Fruit Growers Express instead.

PFE's assets were divided between the UP and SP when the company was split on April 1, 1978. It is now a UP subsidiary.

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 2017-05-19 15:11:56

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