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N Scale - Atlas - 40 004 658 - Locomotive, Diesel, GE U23B - Penn Central - 2708

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N Scale - Atlas - 40 004 658 - Locomotive, Diesel, GE U23B - Penn Central - 2708 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad
Road Number different than shown


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 40 004 658
Original Retail Price $239.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Production Type Regular Production
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine U23B
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, GE U23B (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Road or Reporting Number 2708
Paint Color(s) Black
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
DCC Readiness DC/DCC Dual Mode Decoder
Announcement Date 2019-04-15
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype GE Transportation
Model Variety U23B
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: MASTER MODEL FEATURES: • Operational low nose headlight (used where appropriate) • Both DCC ready and DCC equipped versions • Separate coupler cut lever • Cab with 4 or 2 side windows (as appropriate per road name) • Directional lighting • Golden white LEDs • Painted safety rails • Blackened metal wheels • Dual flywheel equipped 5-pole skewed armature motor with a low friction mechanism • Factory-installed AccuMate® magnetic knuckle couplers!

Model Information: This model was introduced by Atlas in 2006. It features Operational low nose headlight (used where appropriate); Separate coupler cut lever; Cab with 4 or 2 side windows (as appropriate per road name); Golden white LEDs; Painted safety rails; Dual flywheel equipped 5-pole skewed armature motor with a low friction mechanism.

DCC Information: The chassis is fully DCC-Ready and, in is usually available with factory-installed decoder. The model is a modern split-frame design and accepts drop-in decoders.

Prototype History:
The GE U23B Diesel-electric locomotive was introduced by GE Transportation in 1968 as a medium horsepower roadswitcher, featuring a 12 cylinder FDL engine. It was one of the most successful models of the Universal Series, with railroads ordering it from 1968 until 1977 when it was replaced by the B23-7. 481 units were built, including 16 exported to Peru. Not many U23Bs still exist, but a few shortline and regional railroads still use them in everyday service. The Georgia Central Railway was one of the last U23B holdouts, rostering almost all of the remaining ex Southern Railway (U.S.) high short hood U23Bs. The Georgia Central as of July 2015 has all of its U23Bs off of the roster with the 3965 going to the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum in Oak Ridge, TN.

The Huntsville and Madison County Railroad Authority in Huntsville, AL, operates perhaps one of the last U23B's used in daily freight service, as of October 2015. HMCR 9554 was originally built in late 1974 as L&N 2800. The last U23B built, originally Conrail 2798, and more recently Providence and Worcester 2203, is in regular excursion service at the Naugatuck Railroad, operated by the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston, Connecticut. Western Rail Inc in Airway Heights, WA currently has a U23B that you can lease. It was used on the Eastern Washington Gateway Railroad as of 2017 for freight service. It is numbered NIWX 2204 and is a ex Northern Illinois and Western locomotive.

Road Name History:
The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The Penn Central was created as a response to challenges faced by all three railroads in the late 1960s. The northeastern quarter of the United States, these railroads' service area, was the most densely populated region of the U.S. While railroads elsewhere in North America drew a high percentage of their revenues from the long-distance shipment of commodities such as coal, lumber, paper and iron ore, Northeastern railroads traditionally depended on a mix of services.

As it turned out, the merged Penn Central was little better off than its constituent roads were before. A merger implementation plan was drawn up, but not carried out. Attempts to integrate operations, personnel and equipment were not very successful, due to clashing corporate cultures, incompatible computer systems and union contracts. Track conditions deteriorated (some of these conditions were inherited from the three merged railroads) and trains had to be run at reduced speeds. This meant delayed shipments and personnel working a lot of overtime. As a result, operating costs soared. Derailments and wrecks became frequent, particularly in the midwest.

The American financial system was shocked when after only two years of operations, the Penn Central Transportation company was put into bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. It was the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history at that time. Although the Penn Central Transportation Company was put into bankruptcy, its parent Penn Central Company was able to survive.

The Penn Central continued to operate freight service under bankruptcy court protection. After private-sector reorganization efforts failed, Congress nationalized the Penn Central under the terms of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. The new law folded six northeastern railroads, the Penn Central and five smaller, failed lines, into the Consolidated Rail Corporation, commonly known as Conrail. The act took effect on April 1, 1976.

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: scottakoltz on 2019-04-18 14:31:46. Last edited by CMK on 2020-05-12 14:56:16

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