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N Scale - Atlas - 49449 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD35 - Montana Rail Link - 703

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N Scale - Atlas - 49449 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD35 - Montana Rail Link - 703 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 49449
Original Retail Price $92.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine SD35
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD35 (Details)
Road or Company Name Montana Rail Link (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 703
Paint Color(s) Blue / Black / White / Red
Paint Scheme Operation Lifesaver
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
DCC Readiness Ready
Release Date 2005-04-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety SD35
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This Atlas model was introduced in the 1999 Atlas catalog, although it was not available for purchase until early 2000. It was produced in China from the get-go and delivered a fairly modern mechanism for its time. It is a split-frame chassis with a single light board using a 5-pole skew-wound motor with two flywheels. In 2005, Atlas revised the model slightly by using its new slow-speed motor and golden-white LED's on the light board. It is a high quality mechanism with excellent running performance. Personally I prefer the faster motors, but I like to run my locomotives fast.

DCC Information: Both versions of this model are fully DCC-Ready. In 2018, the chassis was modified and the model now uses the DN166I3 decoder.

Prototype History:
The EMD SD35 was one of the builder's first second-generation models, released during the mid-1960s. While the locomotive was not as successful as some of its other designs it did sell a few hundred examples during an era when railroads were only starting to realize the benefits of six-axle power. New features of the SD35, which dated back to the SD28 of 1965 was a redesigned frame and new Spartan Cab, commonly known as the standard cab. While EMD was experiencing growing competition from General Electric it was still in its prime and would make another run of phenomenal success during this time with models like the GP35, GP38 series, SD40 series, and others. About a dozen major railroads purchased the SD35 and a number of these remain in service. One example is known to be formally preserved, Baltimore & Ohio #7402 at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, as well as the variant SDP35, Seaboard Air Line #1114 in Hamlet, North Carolina.

Between 1964 and 1966, EMD built a total of 360 six-axle 2,500hp SD35 locomotives. An additional 35 steam generator-equipped SDP35 locomotives were also built during this period. These were all part of EMD’s “35-Series” which also featured the four-axle, 2,250hp GP35 locomotive. All locomotives included the standard EMD 567-series prime mover. A stock model weighed 360,000 pounds, but many roads chose to add weight to increase the locomotive’s tractive effort. From the mid-1960s through the 1980s, the SD-35 could be found in road service on both large and mid-sized roads across the US. Today the number of active units has dwindled to a select few, including those operated by regional railroad Montana Rail Link. From American-Rails and Atlas.

Road Name History:
Montana Rail Link (reporting mark MRL) is a privately held Class II railroad in the United States. MRL, which operates on trackage originally built by the Northern Pacific Railway, is a unit of the Washington Companies, and is headquartered in Missoula, Montana.

The railroad runs between Huntley, Montana and Spokane, Washington, largely within Montana, and the main line passes through the towns of Missoula, Livingston, Bozeman, Billings, and Helena. Montana Rail Link connects with the BNSF on both ends and also in Garrison, Montana. The railroad has over 900 miles (1,400 km) of track, serves 100 stations, and employs approximately 1,000 personnel. The main yard is in Laurel, Montana, with smaller yards located in Missoula, Billings, and Helena.

Montana Rail Link's present status and main line date back to 1987, when MRL under Missoula businessman Dennis Washington agreed to lease Burlington Northern's southern Montana main line between Sandpoint, Idaho and Huntley, Montana, near Billings. This spin-off was controversial as it happened during contract negotiations between Burlington Northern and the United Transportation Union. MRL workers are represented by various unions. Montana Rail Link trains operate between Billings, MT and Spokane, WA using trackage rights over BN successor BNSF Railway's tracks connecting those points.

Montana Rail Link still uses cabooses, which are used to carry remote control switching equipment on Laurel switch engines. A significant number of MRL movements are actually BNSF trains, complete with locomotives, that MRL receives at one end of its track and forwards back to BNSF at the other end. MRL also operates trains of its own to gather and distribute local freight along its lines. Forest products and grain are primary commodities, and MRL also operates a special train, called the Gas Local, between Missoula and Thompson Falls, Montana, to bridge a gap in a long-distance gasoline pipeline.

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: nscalestation on 2016-07-15 17:13:28. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-31 09:51:49

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