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Prototype Information: Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, 4-4-0 represents the arrangement of four leading wheels on two axles, usually in a leading bogie, four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and no trailing wheels. Almost every major railroad that operated in North America in the first half of the 19th century owned and operated locomotives of this type. Due to the large number of the type that were produced and used in the United States, the 4-4-0 is most commonly known as the American type, but the type subsequently became popular in the United Kingdom, where large numbers were produced.
Five years after new locomotive construction had begun at the West Point Foundry in the US with the 0-4-0 Best Friend of Charleston in 1831, the first 4-4-0 locomotive was designed by Henry R. Campbell, at the time the chief engineer for the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railway. Campbell received a patent for the design in February 1836 and soon set to work building the first 4-4-0.
The design and subsequent improvements of the 4-4-0 configuration proved so successful that, by 1872, 60% of Baldwin's locomotive construction was of this type and it is estimated that 85% of all locomotives in operation in the US were 4-4-0s. However, the 4-4-0 was soon supplanted by bigger designs, like the 2-6-0 and 2-8-0, even though the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement was still favored for express services. The widespread adoption of the 4-6-0 and larger locomotives eventually helped seal its fate as a product of the past.
With the golden spike driven, CP turned west. They established a subsidiary called Western Pacific (unrelated to the Western Pacific that would later build from the Bay Area to Utah) and acquire the California Pacific to reach the San Francisco Bay at Vallejo. In 1879, CP built from Port Costa to Oakland (trains were barged from Vallejo to Port Costa until Carquinez Strait was finally bridged in 1929.) By 1870, the Big Four had gained control of the Southern Pacific and other area lines. Construction to the south was divided with some segments belonging to Southern Pacific and others to Central Pacific. The CP got as far south as Goshen Junction, about 50 miles south of Fresno.
Also in 1870, the CP bought the California & Oregon Railroad that was building north from Marysville, California. This line was pushed north through the Siskiyou Mountains to a connection with the Oregon & California Railroad at Ashland, Oregon. The Southern Pacific then bought the O&C. By 1884, the operational boundaries between Central Pacific and Southern Pacific were blurred. That year, the companies were re-organized and Central Pacific’s railroad was leased to Southern Pacific. SP continued to add to the CP network. The last of the Big Four died in 1900 and control of the SP and CP was acquired by E.H. Harriman. The last additions to the CP system were the Natron Cutoff and the Modoc Line, both built in the 1920s. It was common during this period for CP equipment to be lettered Southern Pacific and even carry SP reporting marks but have either a small C.P. or even CENTRAL PACIFIC lettering (3” or smaller in a corner of the car side.) Following the breakup of the Harriman empire, Southern Pacific fought to hold on to the Central Pacific. The two were so entangled in their routes down the Central Valley and north into Oregon that splitting them would have been unworkable. Central Pacific remained a paper railroad under the Southern Pacific flag until finally merged out of existence in 1959.
Thanks to Craig Ross of Bluford Shops for this history.
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.
Micro-Trains Line Co. split off from Kadee in 1990 to form a completely independent company. For this reason, products from this company can appear with labels from both enterprises. Due to the nature of production idiosyncrasies and various random factors, the rolling stock from Micro-Trains can have all sorts of interesting variations in both their packaging as well as the products themselves. When acquiring an MTL product it is very important to understand these important production variations that can greatly enhance (or decrease) the value of your purchase.
Item created by: gdm on 2015-10-01 06:10:03
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