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N Scale - Atlas - 50 003 520 - Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow - Great Northern - 171332

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N Scale - Atlas - 50 003 520 - Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow - Great Northern - 171332


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 50 003 520
Original Retail Price $19.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style Atlas Covered Hopper 4-Bay ACF 5250 (Chinese Version)
Prototype Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Reporting Marks GN
Road or Reporting Number 171332
Paint Color(s) Green
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
Release Date 2018-04-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Covered Hopper
Model Subtype 4-Bay
Model Variety ACF 5250
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This model was originally introduced in 1993. It is somewhat similar to the earlier Roco/Atlas produced 3700-series model which was still available in the 1990s when this new model became available. The earlier models can be distinguished from this one because they are stamped either "Austria" or "Atlas USA" on the underframe. The later models can also be identified by the angled stirrups at each end (as opposed to squared off ones on the Austrian tooling). Lastly, the Chinese versions have several ridges along the side towards the roof-line in a 'washboard' pattern.

This new Chinese production model was specifically identified as modeling the ACF 5250 c.f. Centerflow hopper When this model appeared in the 1994 Atlas catalog it was on the next page after the earlier tooling (apparently many of the old models were still in the warehouse). The new ones were marketed as 'ACF 4-Bay Centerflow® Hopper - All New Mold Work!" as opposed to the older models which were labeled as "ACF 4-Bay Centerflow® Covered Hopper". Atlas' model represents the post-1971 version of the ACF 5250 4-Bay Covered Hopper Car that was used by railroads and private shippers across North America.

Prototype History:
Contemporary 2-bay covered hoppers, like ACF's Centerflows, were 100-ton cars designed to haul dense loads, like cement. Their larger 3 and 4-bay brethren, while usually still having 100 ton capacities, were designed for lighter-density loads, like grain or flour. Their sizes had to do with the fact that a low-density product like grain will "cube out" the cubic capacity of a smaller 2-bay car way before you hit the cars' tonnage rating. Conversely, load a 3 or 4-bay covered hopper to its cubic maximum with a dense product like cement, and you'll wind up with a seriously overloaded car tonnage wise. In short, keep the smaller 2-bay cars for heavy commodities, and keep the larger cars for lighter loads like grains, sugar, flour, etc.

Road Name History:
The Great Northern Railway (reporting mark GN) was an American Class I railroad. Running from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Seattle, Washington, it was the creation of 19th century railroad entrepreneur James J. Hill and was developed from the Saint Paul & Pacific Railroad. The Great Northern's (GN) route was the northernmost transcontinental railroad route in the U.S.

The Great Northern was the only privately funded - and successfully built - transcontinental railroad in U.S. history. No federal land grants were used during its construction, unlike all other transcontinental railroads.

The Great Northern was built in stages, slowly to create profitable lines, before extending the road further into the undeveloped Western territories. In a series of the earliest public relations campaigns, contests were held to promote interest in the railroad and the ranchlands along its route. Fred J. Adams used promotional incentives such as feed and seed donations to farmers getting started along the line. Contests were all-inclusive, from largest farm animals to largest freight carload capacity and were promoted heavily to immigrants & newcomers from the East.

In 1970 the Great Northern, together with the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway merged to form the Burlington Northern Railroad. The BN operated until 1996, when it merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway.

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 2018-04-14 11:03:08

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