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N Scale - Atlas - 31942 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, PS-2 - Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - 1664

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N Scale - Atlas - 31942 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, PS-2 - Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - 1664 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad
Different Road Number Shown


N Scale - Atlas - 31942 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, PS-2 - Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - 1664 This item has an image gallery.
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An image of the prototype.


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 31942
Original Retail Price $10.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Credit Link
Body Style Atlas Covered Hopper 2-Bay PS-2
Road or Company Name Pittsburgh & Lake Erie (Details)
Reporting Marks P&LE
Road or Reporting Number 1664
Paint Color(s) Light 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 Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) (reporting mark PLE), also known as the "Little Giant", was formed on May 11, 1875. Company headquarters were located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The line connected Pittsburgh in the east with Youngstown, Ohio at nearby Haselton, Ohio in the west and Connellsville, Pennsylvania to the east. It did not reach Lake Erie (at Ashtabula, Ohio) until the formation of Conrail in 1976. The P&LE was known as the "Little Giant" since the tonnage that it moved was out of proportion to its route mileage. While it operated around one tenth of one percent of the nation's railroad miles, it hauled around one percent of its tonnage. This was largely because the P&LE served the steel mills of the greater Pittsburgh area, which consumed and shipped vast amounts of material. It was a specialized railroad deriving much of its revenue from coal, coke, iron ore, limestone, and steel. The eventual closure of the steel mills led to the end of the P&LE as an independent line in 1992.

At the end of 1970 P&LE operated 211 miles of road on 784 miles of track, not including PC&Y and Y&S; in 1970 it reported 1419 million ton-miles of revenue freight, down from 2437 million in 1944.

Read more on Wikipedia.

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 17:59:22

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