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Body Style Information: This body style first appears in the 1992 Atlas catalogs, marked as "Coming in early '92". The first release was produced in six road names plus and undecorated car. The early production was performed in Atlas' New Jersey facility, but when Atlas moved all their toolings to China in the late 1990s, this mold was moved.
Prototype Information: The airslide covered hopper was introduced by General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) in 1953. Approx. 5000 of the 2600 cu. ft. cars were built between that year and 1969. The airslide is primarily designed for the bulk shipment of dry, granular or powdered commodities. The design of that car is such that it can be loaded and unloaded quickly and with little spillage through the use of air pressure. The most common commodities carried include: flour, sugar, starch, plastic pellets, cement, powdered chemicals and carbon black.
The U.S. federal government created Conrail to take over the potentially profitable lines of multiple bankrupt carriers, including the Penn Central Transportation Company and Erie Lackawanna Railway. With the benefit of industry-wide regulatory requirements being reduced (via the 4R Act and the Staggers Act), Conrail began to turn a profit in the 1980s and was turned over to private investors in 1987. The two remaining Class I railroads in the East, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), agreed in 1997 to split the system approximately equally, returning rail freight competition to the Northeast by essentially undoing the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central Railroad that created Penn Central. Following Surface Transportation Board approval, CSX and NS took control in August 1998, and on June 1, 1999, began operating their portions of Conrail.
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 2017-12-06 20:50:52. Last edited by gdm on 2017-12-06 20:51:28
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