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N Scale - Atlas - 53518 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD9 - Penn Central - 6911

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N Scale - Atlas - 53518 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD9 - Penn Central - 6911 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 53518
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine SD9
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD9 (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Road or Reporting Number 6911
Paint Color(s) Black / White
Body Material Plastic
DCC Readiness Ready
Release Date 2006-01-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety SD9
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Years Produced 1954–1959
Scale 1/160



Model Information: The model was introduced in 1990 and the early releases were made by Kato Japan for Atlas. From 2004 on, the models were made in China and the internals were modified to a more modern mechanism. The Atlas SD7, SD9, SD24 and SD26 all share the same internal mechanism and differ only in their shell details. The modern releases fall under the "Classic" label for the SD7 and SD9 models and "Master" label for the SD24 and SD 26.

The early releases featured the Kato-designed "low friction drive" which had been successfully introduced in their Kato-branded U30C model). This design allowed clean transfer of current from wheels to long copper strips to the chassis and then to the lightboard. This may not sound innovative, as many modern mechanisms use this design today, but in 1990 it was a game-changer. The post-2004 releases are fairly standard "modern" mechanisms featuring a split-frame, dual-flywheels, and magnetic operating knuckle couplers. They run quiet and smooth and can pull 30 or more standard-weight cars.

DCC Information: Models produced from 2006 are DCC Ready or Dual-Model Decoder Equipped. They accept the following drop-in decoders:
- Digitrax DN163A0: 1 Amp N Scale Mobile Decoder for Atlas N-Scale GP40-2, U25B, SD35, Trainmaster, B23-7 and others
- TCS AMD4 (Installation for Atlas SD-9)
- NCE N12A0: Plug and play decoder for N-Scale Atlas GP40-2, U25B, U23B, B23-7, 30-7, 36-7, GP38, SD25, TRAINMASTER, etc.
- MRC 1812: N-Scale Sound Decoder for most Atlas short/medium locos (selection of 4 prime movers - might not be prototypical for this model however)

Earlier DCC factory-equipped versions were fitted with Lenz LE063XF decoders, whereas most recent versions are fitted with NCE N12A0 decoders. The Atlas version of these decoders will respond to manufacturer's address "127" (CV8) i.e. "Atlas Model Railroad Products", though being identical to their original manufacturer's specification.

Prototype History:
An SD9 is a 6-axle diesel locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between January 1954 and June 1959. An EMD 567C 16-cylinder engine generated 1,750 horsepower (1.30 MW). This model is, externally, similar to its predecessor, the SD7, but this model, internally, features the improved and much more maintainable 567C engine. The principal spotting feature are the classification lights on the ends of the locomotive, above the number board. The SD9's classification lights are on a small pod, canted outward. The last phase of construction had a carbody similar to the SD18 and SD24, and used two 48-inch (1,219 mm) cooling fans instead of four 36-inch (914 mm) cooling fans.
Four hundred and seventy-one SD9s were built for American railroads and 44 for export.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Full EMD SD9 data sheet on The Diesel Workshop.

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: Steve German on 2016-04-17 15:58:32. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-05-23 11:56:25

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