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N Scale - Atlas - 31921 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, PS-2 - Jersey Central - 773

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N Scale - Atlas - 31921 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, PS-2 - Jersey Central - 773 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad
Different Road Number Shown


N Scale - Atlas - 31921 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, PS-2 - Jersey Central - 773 This item has an image gallery.
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An image of the prototype.


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 31921
Original Retail Price $10.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Credit Link
Body Style Atlas Covered Hopper 2-Bay PS-2
Road or Company Name Jersey Central (Details)
Reporting Marks CNJ
Road or Reporting Number 773
Paint Color(s) Gray
Print Color(s) Black
Body Construction Plastic
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date 2005-07-01
Release Date 2005-11-01
Item Category Rolling Stock
Model Type Covered Hopper
Model Subtype 2-Bay
Model Variety PS-2
Prototype Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, PS-2
Region North America
Era/Epoch Era III: 1939 - 1957


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Body Style Information: This model is first mentioned in the 1994 Atlas catalog as 'Expected February 1994'. It was announced in seven road names and an undecorated model. In the 1996 catalog it is shown with 28 different road names. Apparently, it was a very popular model from the time it was launched. This body was one of the first models to be launched from China (most other contemporaneous Atlas products were made from molds sent over to China that had been used in previous USA releases).

Prototype Information: Like their PS-1 boxcars, PS-5 gondolas and other car designs, Pullman Standard applied the PS-2 classification to all of its covered hoppers. Pullman Standard built covered hoppers in many sizes and configurations. But say “PS-2” to most modelers and it is this particular car that usually first comes to mind. The 2003 cubic foot car was one of the first, smallest and prolific of the PS-2 cars.

Pullman began building its standardized freight car designs with the PS-1 boxcar in 1947. Next up would be a standard covered hopper – hence PS-2 – shortly thereafter. Although covered hoppers are among the most common cars on the rails today, in 1947 they were a rarity. The PS-2’s primary competition wasn’t other covered hopper designs but boxcars. Grain, cement, sand and dried chemicals were carried mostly in boxcars prior to the 1950s either in sacks and bags or poured in bulk through hatches in the roof. The theory here was that it made more sense to utilize a single car for a variety of products. The car could carry bags of cement one way and then cut lumber the other. Of course a car that could do many things often couldn’t do many of them well.

Road/Company Information:
The Central Railroad of New Jersey, also known as the Jersey Central or Jersey Central Lines (reporting mark CNJ), was a Class I railroad with origins in the 1830s. It was absorbed into Conrail in April 1976 along with several other prominent bankrupt railroads of the northeastern United States.

The Elizabethtown and Somerville Railroad was chartered on February 9, 1831, to build from Elizabeth on the Newark Bay (with a steamboat transfer to New York City) west to Somerville. The line to Plainfield was completed in March 1839, connecting to the New Jersey Rail Road in Elizabeth. Extensions took it west to Dunellen in 1840, just east of Bound Brook in 1841 and to Somerville in 1842.

The Somerville and Easton Railroad was chartered on February 26, 1847, to continue the line west to Easton, Pennsylvania. The first extension, to Whitehouse, opened in 1848 and was leased to the Elizabethtown and Somerville Railroad. On February 11, 1849, the Elizabethtown and Somerville Railroad bought the Somerville and Easton Railroad, and on February 26 the two companies were consolidated as the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

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 2017-10-12 17:58:27

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