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N Scale - Atlas - 50 002 514 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel, NE - Penn Central - 19802

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N Scale - Atlas - 50 002 514 - Caboose, Cupola, Steel, NE - Penn Central - 19802 NKP Style


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 50 002 514
Original Retail Price $28.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Body Style Atlas Caboose Cupola NE-6
Prototype Caboose, Cupola, Steel, NE (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Road or Reporting Number 19802
Paint Color(s) Jade Green with White Lettering
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 2016-08-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Caboose
Model Subtype Cupola
Model Variety NE-6
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Years Produced 1924-1948
Scale 1/160



Model Information: (Special Note: some of the pictures from Atlas appear to be of one of their larger-scale models - HO or O). This caboose model was introduced in 2004 and was a major step forward in quality from the earlier caboose models. Because of the initial product numbering convention, these models are known as "33" series. They show a higher level of detailing than earlier caboose body styles as can bee seen in the roofwalk, ladders and underframe. They also feature body-mount couplers.

At first glance these models seem very similar to the "39" series C&O cabooses from Atlas. The cupola may be found in the center of the body, and they feature two windows on each side supplemented by two separated windows on each side of the cupola. To distinguish the NE-6 from the "39" series C&O cabooses, you can see that the NE-6's are shorter and the NE-6 cupola has three panels on the cupola roof. Furthermore the cupola on the NE-6 is more squat than the one on the C&O.

The models feature: Finely detailed end rails, smokestack and ladders Brake line detail; Weighted chassis; Friction-bearing or roller-bearing caboose trucks as appropriate; Factory-equipped with AccuMate couplers; Accurate painting and printing; Railroad specific features

They are based on a standard caboose design of the International Car Company of Kenton, Ohio that was used in the 1940s. They are typically associated with the New Haven Railroad but this body style was in fact used by other rail lines as well. The cabooses showed real longevity and were found in operation well into the diesel era.

Two different body styles are available. The New Haven Body Style has windows spaced closer to the cupola, while the Nickel Plate Body Style has windows spaced further from the cupola.

Prototype History:
The Northeast or NE style caboose was introduced by the Reading Railroad in 1924. The design was an all-steel version of a USRA design. The acquisition of these new cabooses was prompted by proposed Pennsylvania legislation requiring larger, more structurally sound caboose for use in through freight consists. The original set of cabooses was ordered from AC&F, but other manufacturers also adopted similar designs.

The Reading selection was made after the consideration of several designs. The original purchase was for 10 cars in 1924, but the design was so effective that it became the de-facto Reading standard and they continued purchasing new cabooses of this type through 1948. The design soon became popular with other Northeastern railroads such as the WM, L&NE, LV, CNJ and others.

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 2016-03-11 18:18:33. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-05-09 00:00:00

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