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Model Information: This model was first produced by Kato for Atlas in 1989. The model was retooled and production transferred to China in 1998. In 2003, the mechanism was updated again and a slow speed motor was introduced.
Although the retooling was performed in 1998, this model has all the features one would expect of a 2000's vintage design. A split-frame, flywheels, blackened wheels and body-mounted couplers. It runs quite well and can pull plenty of cars.
The U25B (nicknamed U-Boat) was the first commercially successful domestic diesel electric road locomotive designed, built, and sold by General Electric after its split with the American Locomotive Company (Alco), a company dating back to the steam era. Along with Ingersoll-Rand, GE built the first viable American diesel-electric locomotive in 1928. In 1940 GE partnered with ALCO to enter regular production of Diesel locomotives. They were successful in building locomotives for switching and short-haul applications, having introduced the first road-switcher design in 1941 (which would supplant the carbody design developed by the Electro-Motive Corporation by the mid-1950s) and gained about a 40% market share during the Dieselization era. ALCO-GE's efforts in main line road locomotives had not been successful at breaking into EMD's dominant position in that market, although they introduced a successful gas turbine-electric locomotive to market in 1952. In 1953 GE went independent from ALCO in locomotive production, with their new subsidiary GE Rail taking over the gas turbine-electric venture while they sought a supplier of more reliable Diesel engines suitable for road locomotives. Production of Cooper-Bessemer powered Universal Series locomotives began in 1956 and some 400 export locomotives were sold before the U25B was offered in the United States. The U25B was announced by General Electric as a domestic model on April 26, 1960. It was the first locomotive powered by GE's highly successful FDL-16 engine.
DCC Information: The early Kato models are all kinda-sorta DCC friendly, but IMHO, I wouldn't bother. Buy a new mechanism and drop your old shell on it. It will likely fit (no promises though!). All the 1998+ accept DCC boards and many come with factory-installed decoders. For the DCC-Ready versions, they accept the DN163A0 decoder: 1 Amp N Scale Mobile Decoder for Atlas N-Scale GP40-2, U25B, SD35, Trainmaster, B23-7 and others from digitrax.com.
Like many railroads in the northeast already financially vulnerable from the expanding U.S. Interstate Highway System, the line was severely weakened fiscally by the extent, duration and record flood levels due to Hurricane Agnes in 1972. It would never recover, and most of the corporation's holdings were subsumed into the federal rescue purchases creating Conrail in 1976, ending its days as an operating railroad company.
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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 2016-03-11 07:47:20. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-12 19:26:07
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