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Model Information: The Atlas Alco C-628 and C-630 share the same internal mechanisms and have very similar shells. They were introduced in 2004 and are typical modern Atlas locomotives. The mechanisms feature a split-frame design, blackened low-profile wheels LED lighting, and Accumate couplers.
The engines run smoothly and quietly and can easily pull 30 or more cars on an even grade. The shell detail is quite good including 'F' and 'R' indicators for normal operating direction.
Prototype Information: Primarily used for heavy-haul road freight service throughout the US, the C-628 generated a total of 2,750 hp, and was part of the American Locomotive Company?s (ALCO) Century Locomotive Line. A total of 185 units were built by ALCO for railroads in the US, Mexico and Australia between 1963 and 1968.
During 1965 Alco started producing the 3,000 hp. Century 630 Locomotive. It was produced concurrently with the 2,800 hp. C-628, but it incorporated an advanced GE a.c. traction alternator which provided the extra 200 hp. The most distinctive spotting feature of the C-630 is the large aftercooler radiator housing which extends above the roofline (the aftercooler radiators enhanced the performance of the locomotive while operating under a heavy load). The C-630 also featured a modified cab which offered more interior space for the crew. Through the end of production in the late 1960s, a total of 133 units were produced for railroads in the US and Canada.
Chartered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1850, the road grew into one of the great success stories of American business. Operating under one name continuously for 132 years, it survived civil war and economic depression and several waves of social and technological change. Under Milton H. Smith, president of the company for thirty years, the L&N grew from a road with less than three hundred miles (480 km) of track to a 6,000-mile (9,700 km) system serving thirteen states. As one of the premier Southern railroads, the L&N extended its reach far beyond its namesake cities, stretching to St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, and New Orleans. The railroad was economically strong throughout its lifetime, operating both freight and passenger trains in a manner that earned it the nickname, "The Old Reliable."
Growth of the railroad continued until its purchase and the tumultuous rail consolidations of the 1980s which led to continual successors. By the end of 1970, L&N operated 6,063 miles (9,757 km) of road on 10,051 miles (16,176 km) of track, not including the Carrollton Railroad.
In 1971 the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, successor to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, purchased the remainder of the L&N shares it did not already own, and the company became a subsidiary. By 1982 the railroad industry was consolidating quickly, and the Seaboard Coast Line absorbed the Louisville & Nashville Railroad entirely. Then in 1986, the Seaboard System merged with the C&O and B&O and the new combined system was known as the Chessie System. Soon after the combined company became CSX Transportation (CSX), which now owns and operates all of the former Louisville and Nashville lines.
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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 2016-02-13 12:32:35
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