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N Scale - Atlas - 53908 - Engine, Diesel, GP40 - Amtrak - 658

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N Scale - Atlas - 53908 - Engine, Diesel, GP40 - Amtrak - 658


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 53908
Original Retail Price $99.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Credit Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine GP40
Road or Company Name Amtrak (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 658
Paint Color(s) Silver / Black / Red / Blue / White
Body Construction Plastic
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
DCC Readiness Ready
Release Date 2006-11-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety GP40
Prototype Engine, Diesel, GP40
Region North America


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Body Style Information: This model was first introduced by Atlas in 1969. This early version was made for Atlas by Mehano in Yugosolvia. It was later retooled and moved to Chinese production in 1996. It was later revised with a DCC-Ready chassis in 2003. The same mechanism is used for the GP38, GP38-2, GP40 and GP40-2.

The earliest (Mehano) releases only came as GP-40's. The other versions (GP38, GP38-2 and GP40-2) only arrived later after the production was moved to China.

Both of the Chinese mechanisms run fine but the first releases (1996) do not support drop in decoders. Both versions use a dual-flywheel, split frame chassis with a 5-Pole skew-wound motor.

The current model features: Golden-white LEDs; Separately-applied roof detail; Painted safety rails; Directional lighting; Blackened metal wheels; Scale Speed motor; Separately-applied coupler cut levers; Non-Dynamic, Dynamic, and Extended Range Dynamic Brakes used where appropriate; Pilot: Standard or with Snow Plow; Low short hood and High short hood versions available.

DCC Information: The Mehano versions do not support DCC at all. Early Chinese versions are DCC-friendly requiring a complicated split-board DCC install. Later versions are DCC-Ready accepting a 1 Amp N Scale Mobile Decoder for Atlas N-Scale GP40-2, U25B, SD35, Trainmaster, B23-7 and others (DN163A0) from digitrax.com.

Unfortunately, the only way to tell which kind you have is to remove the shell and check the chassis. If it has two small lightboards, you have an old one in your hand. A single long lightboard indicates a DCC-Ready chassis.

Prototype Information: The GP40 is a 4-axle diesel-electric road-switcher locomotive built by General Motors, Electro-Motive Division between November 1965 and December 1971. It has an EMD 645E3 16-cylinder engine generating 3,000 hp (2,240 kW).

The GP40 is 3 feet (0.914 m) longer than its EMD 567D3A-engined predecessor, the GP35, and distinguished visually by its three 48-inch radiator fans at the rear of the long hood, while the GP35 has two large fans and a smaller one in between. It was built on a 55 ft (16.76 m) frame; the GP35 was built on a 52 ft (15.85 m) frame - as was the GP7, 9, 18, and 30. The difference in length can be seen in the GP40's ten handrail stanchions compared to the GP35's nine.

1,187 GP40s were built for 28 U.S. railroads; 16 were built for one Canadian carrier, Canadian National; and 18 were built for two Mexican carriers, Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico and Ferrocarriles Nacional de Mexico. 60 units were built with high-short-hoods and dual control stands for Norfolk & Western Railway. Two passenger versions, the GP40P and GP40TC, were also built, but on longer frames to accommodate steam generators and HEP equipment.

On January 1, 1972, the GP40 was discontinued and replaced by the GP40-2, which has a modular electrical system and a few minor exterior changes.

From Wikipedia

Road/Company Information:
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States. Founded in 1971 through the government-sponsored consolidation of most of the remaining U.S. passenger rail companies, it is partially government-funded yet operated and managed as a for-profit corporation.

Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day on 21,300 miles (34,000 km) of track with select segments having civil operating speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states in addition to three Canadian provinces. In fiscal year 2015, Amtrak served 30.8 million passengers and had $2.185 billion in revenue, while employing more than 20,000 people. Nearly two-thirds of passengers come from the 10 largest metropolitan areas; 83% of passengers travel on routes shorter than 400 miles. Its headquarters is at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

The name "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "trak", the latter itself a sensational spelling of "track".

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: Steve German on 2016-04-13 13:47:58. Last edited by gdm on 2016-09-06 07:16:51

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