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N Scale - Atlas - 33351 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door - Canadian National - 290936

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N Scale - Atlas - 33351 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door - Canadian National - 290936 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 33351
Original Retail Price $8.75
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Boxcar 40 Foot Plug Door
Prototype Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door (Details)
Road or Company Name Canadian National (Details)
Reporting Marks CN
Road or Reporting Number 290936
Paint Color(s) Box Car Red with White Lettering
Body Material Plastic
Release Date 2005-06-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 40 Foot
Model Variety Plug Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Atlas first released this model in 1976. It was originally produced in their New Jersey factor. It replaced a similar model made by Roco for Atlas from 1967 - 1975. The American-made Atlas tooling was launched with an amazing 24 different road names. In the 1997 Atlas catalog, this model is referred to as a 40' Plugdoor Boxcar. However, the earlier Roco model had been referred to alternatively as a "Reefer" (1967, 1969 and 1971) as well as a "40' Insulated Plugdoor" (1975). Sometime in the 1990s, the tooling was moved to China. From September 2006 onward, this model was considered part of the 'Trainman' product line.

Prototype History:
Plug-Door boxcars are usually insulated and typically carry products such as canned goods that require protection from extremes of temperature but do not require refrigeration. Plug-style doors were normally used to ensure a tight seal in the insulation. Designed for transport of both perishables and large loads, plug doors allowed box cars to be sealed from outside dust and dirt. Cars like these were manufactured during the 50s and 60s.

Whether you consider this a reefer or a boxcar is a matter for angel-pinhead-counters. There seems to be a bit of a blurry line during the transition era between the idea of a steel ice reefer and an insulated boxcar. I guess an ice reefer was meant to hold ice for cooling but I doubt this is a cut-and-dry distinction. Modern "mechanical" reefers are a different breed as they contain a refrigeration unit which quite distinctly sets them apart from "boxcars".

Road Name History:
The Canadian National Railway Company (reporting mark CN) is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec that serves Canada and the Midwestern and Southern United States. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad". CN is a public company with 24,000 employees. It had a market capitalization of 32 billion CAD in 2011. CN was government-owned, having been a Canadian Crown corporation from its founding to its privatization in 1995. Bill Gates was, in 2011, the largest single shareholder of CN stock.

CN is the largest railway in Canada, in terms of both revenue and the physical size of its rail network, and is currently Canada's only transcontinental railway company, spanning Canada from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia. Its range once reached across the island of Newfoundland until 1988, when the Newfoundland Railway was abandoned.

Following CN's purchase of Illinois Central (IC) and a number of smaller US railways, it also has extensive trackage in the central United States along the Mississippi River valley from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Today, CN owns about 20,400 route miles (32,831 km) of track in 8 provinces (the only two not served by CN are Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island), as well as a 70-mile (113 km) stretch of track (see Mackenzie Northern Railway) into the Northwest Territories to Hay River on the southern shore of Great Slave Lake; it is the northernmost rail line anywhere within the North American Rail Network, as far north as Anchorage, Alaska (although the Alaska Railroad goes further north than this, it is isolated from the rest of the rail network).

The railway was referred to as the Canadian National Railways (CNR) between 1918 and 1960, and as Canadian National/Canadien National (CN) from 1960 to the present.

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: trainnut3500 on 2016-07-17 11:22:23. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-22 00:23:49

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