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Model Information: Life-Like worked with Sanda Kan to develop this tooling as part of Life-Like's push to move all production of rolling stock to China in the 1990s. As was common at the time, the ownership of the tooling was controlled by Sanda Kan which took advantage of this to manufacture this model for Industrial Rail as well as Life-Like. It has also been sold/decorated by Con-Cor, Bev-Bel and Eastern Seaboard Models, though I do not know if any of these other companies purchased the undecorated models from Life-Like or Sanda Kan directly.
Unlike many of the other Chinese models of this period, this one does not seem to be a direct copy of any of the earlier European made N Scale models. This series of boxcars models the modern, no-roofwalk 50' Evans high-cube prototype. It has been claimed that the model specifically targets the Penn Central X72 version of the Evans car.
The former Evans railcar repair facility in Springfield OR is now owned/operated by Gunderson.
Road Name History:
Its predecessor, the Rock Island and La Salle Railroad Company, was incorporated in Illinois on February 27, 1847, and an amended charter was approved on February 7, 1851, as the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. Construction began October 1, 1851, in Chicago, and the first train was operated on October 10, 1852, between Chicago and Joliet. Construction continued on through La Salle, and Rock Island was reached on February 22, 1854, becoming the first railroad to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River.
In 1980 Rock Island was liquidated. The railroad's locomotives, rail cars, equipment, tracks, and real estate were sold to other railroads or to scrappers. William Gibbons (the trustee) was able to raise more than $500 million in the liquidation, paying off all the railroad's creditors, bondholders and all other debts in full at face value with interest. Henry Crown was ultimately proven correct, as both he and other bondholders who had purchased Rock Island debt for cents on the dollar during the low ebb in prices did especially well.
Read more on Wikipedia and Rock Island Technical Society.
It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.
The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.
In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.
In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.
Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.
Sanda Kan is a highly recognized developer and manufacturer of precision models. It produces a full range of model train locomotives, from the very small 1:220 scale to the large 1:22 scale products. Other hobby items include electronic slot racing cars, sophisticated digital controls as well as accessories such as scenery, promotional cars and trucks. It continues to work closely with some of the world’s leading brands from concept to mold construction through to final production.
Sanda Kan’s unique structure allows for maximum flexibility. Its production facilities are located in Songgang, Shenzhen and Wanjiang, Dongguan. Each location is outfitted with mould shops providing full service on-site mould construction and maintenance. Both locations are also sub-divided into individual factories capable of manufacturing complete products, which are comprehensively equipped with injection moulding machines, tempo printing and spraying facilities, and dedicated assembly lines. This arrangement provides our clients with the dedicated capacity, service and privacy levels that they may require.
In 2008, Sanda Kan was acquired by Kader Holdings, the parent company of Bachmann and Tinco, but remains in operation producing model trains for numerous clients including: Atlas, Lionel, Aristo-Craft, Micro-Ace, S-Helper, Hornby, Brawa, Marklin and Tomix.
For more on Sanda Kan and Mr. Wai Shing Ting, please visit the Atlas Model Trains article on Wai Shing Ting.
Item created by: Alain LM on 2017-10-03 17:01:36. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-16 10:27:23
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