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N Scale - Atlas - 44027 - Locomotive, Diesel, Alco RS-1 - Penn Central - 9926

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N Scale - Atlas - 44027 - Locomotive, Diesel, Alco RS-1 - Penn Central - 9926 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 44027
Original Retail Price $92.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Production Type Regular Production
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Road Switcher RS-1
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, Alco RS-1 (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Road or Reporting Number 9926
Paint Color(s) Black
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
DCC Readiness Friendly
Release Date 2003-01-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype Alco
Model Variety RS-1
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Atlas introduced this model in 1988. From 1988 - 1997 this model was produced for Atlas by Kato Japan. In 1998, a new version was designed by Atlas and production was moved to China.

Both versions feature a split-frame design with flywheels. They run smoothly and quietly, but despite the split frame they use a two-part lightboard. In my opinion they should have upgraded to a single-piece lightboard when they did the retooling in 1998 or better yet, introduced a NEM 651 socket. The detail on the shell is typical high quality Kato/Atlas work and the printing is crisp and accurate.

DCC Information: These locomotives qualify as DCC-Friendly because even a relatively solder-clumsy idiot like myself can successfully install a TCS CN-Series decoder into one of these. It was a lot more work than a drop-in decoder, but there are lots of good internet resources explaining how to complete this. I was able to work off the well-written instructions included with the engine, but it was difficult enough, I have been hesitant to install anymore. Furthermore, the CN-Series decoders are a bit pricier than the simpler one-piece "drop-in" decoders most of us are familiar with. One note I would like to make is that the engine was much noisier with the decoder installed than it was when in DC mode. I suspect this was do to my sloppy installation technique, but I had been fairly careful and when I disassembled it to find the sources of the noise, I was baffled.

In summary, a nice engine for DC operations. If you want a DCC version, you can upgrade it yourself with some trouble or hire a pro to do it for you.

Prototype History:
The ALCO RS-1 was a 4-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by Alco-GE between 1941 and 1953 and the American Locomotive Company from 1953 to 1960. The Montreal Locomotive Works built three RS-1s in 1954. This model has the distinction of having the longest production run of any diesel locomotive for the North American market. The RS-1 was in production for 19 years from the first unit Rock Island #748 in March 1941 to the last unit National of Mexico #5663 in March 1960.

The hood unit configuration of the RS-1 pioneered the road switcher type of diesel locomotive, beginning the move away from the carbody units which were the standard design for road diesel locomotives before then. Most North American locomotives built since have followed this basic design. In 1940, the Rock Island Railroad approached ALCO about building a locomotive for both road and switching service.

The first thirteen production locomotives were requisitioned by the US Army, the five railroads affected had to wait while replacements were manufactured. The requisitioned RS-1s were remanufactured by ALCO into six axle RSD-1s for use on the Trans Iranian Railroad to supply the Soviet Union during World War Two.

From Wikipedia

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: gdm on 2015-12-01 17:19:26. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-05-07 00:00:00

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