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Body Style Information: This is a bit of an oddball. The first version used a Rivarossi made shell on a Rivarossi mechanism. Later versions recycled the Roco mechanism from the E7 using the Rivarossi shell. You can tell the difference based on whether the mechanism says "Italy" or "Austria" on the bottom. Atlas first released this model in 1967. The locomotives were made by Rivarossi which later released them under its own name. The model serves both the E-8 as well as the E-9 prototypes because the two locomotives are superficially identical. The original Rivarossi mechanism apparently is a bit of a dog, and that is likely why Atlas replaced it with the Austrian mechanism in their later releases. The models with a Roco mechanism, however, run pretty darn well and are not too loud despite the antique gearing. They pickup and drive on both trucks.
The original Italian mechanism models were made between 1967 and 1969 and appeared in Atlas Catalogs as late as 1973. They appear in various train sets form Atlas as well as being sold individually. The same shell has also been used by Con-Cor with a Kato-made mechanism.
DCC Information: Neither the Roco nor the Rivarossi mechanism is DCC compatible. I have not seen the Kato mechanisms so I am not sure about the Con-Cor releases.
Prototype Information: Most of the premier passenger trains including the AT&SF "Super Chief," various CB&Q "Zephyrs," Great Northern's "Empire Builder," New York Central's "Twentieth Century" and Pennsylvania Railroad's "Broadway Limited" were pulled by EMD "E" unit diesel locomotives from the 1940's to the 1970's.
The E8 was a 2,250-horsepower (1,678 kW), A1A-A1A passenger-train locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of La Grange, Illinois. 450 cab versions, or E8As, were built from August 1949 to January 1954, 447 for the U.S. and 3 for Canada. 46 E8Bs were built from December 1949 to January 1954, all for the U.S. The 2,250 hp came from two 12 cylinder model 567B engines, each driving a generator to power the two traction motors on one truck. The E8 was the ninth model in the line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units. Starting in September 1953 at total of 21 E8As were built which used either the 567BC or 567C engines.
In profile the front of the nose of E7, E8, and E9 units is less slanted than earlier EMD units, and E7/8/9s (and their four axle cousins, the F-unit series) have been nicknamed ?bulldog nose? units. Earlier E-unit locomotives were nicknamed ?slant nose? units. After passenger trains were canceled on the Erie Lackawanna in 1970, the E8s were re-geared for freight and were very reliable for the EL. These units were on freight trains until the early years of Consolidated Railroad Corporation ("Conrail").
Units noted with the designation E8m were rebuilt using components from earlier EMC/EMD locomotives. Externally the units look just like E8s. The difference in horsepower produced in these E8m units is because the older generators are reused.
The PRR was the largest railroad by traffic and revenue in the U.S. for the first half of the twentieth century. Over the years, it acquired, merged with or owned part of at least 800 other rail lines and companies. At the end of 1925, it operated 10,515 miles of rail line; in the 1920s, it carried nearly three times the traffic as other railroads of comparable length, such as the Union Pacific or Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroads. Its only formidable rival was the New York Central (NYC), which carried around three-quarters of PRR's ton-miles.
At one time, the PRR was the largest publicly traded corporation in the world, with a budget larger than that of the U.S. government and a workforce of about 250,000 people. The corporation still holds the record for the longest continuous dividend history: it paid out annual dividends to shareholders for more than 100 years in a row.
In 1968, PRR merged with rival NYC to form the Penn Central Transportation Company, which filed for bankruptcy within two years. The viable parts were transferred in 1976 to Conrail, which was itself broken up in 1999, with 58 percent of the system going to the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), including nearly all of the former PRR. Amtrak received the electrified segment east of Harrisburg.
Read more on Wikipedia.
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 2016-03-05 06:53:03. Last edited by Dora on 2016-04-05 12:23:36
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