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N Scale - Atlas - 39571 - Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow - Chessie System - 601197

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N Scale - Atlas - 39571 - Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow - Chessie System - 601197 Shown with MTL couplers installed


Stock Number 39571
Original Retail Price $8.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Body Style Atlas Covered Hopper 4-Bay ACF 5250 (Chinese Version)
Prototype Vehicle Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow (Details)
Road or Company Name Chessie System (Details)
Reporting Marks B&O
Road or Reporting Number 601197
Paint Color(s) Yellow
Print Color(s) Black
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
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
Release Date 1996-01-01



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:
Chessie System, Inc. was a holding company that owned the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O), the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), the Western Maryland Railway (WM), and several smaller carriers. It was incorporated in Virginia on February 26, 1973, and it acquired the C&O (which controlled the other companies) on June 15. C&O had been popularly known as "Chessie System" since the 1930s.

The three railroads had been closely related since the 1960s. C&O had acquired controlling interest in B&O in 1962, and the two had jointly controlled WM since 1967.

On November 1, 1980, Chessie System merged with Seaboard Coast Line Industries to form CSX Corporation. However, the Chessie image continued to be applied to new and re-painted equipment until mid-1986, when CSX introduced its own paint scheme. The B&O and C&O were not legally merged out of existence until 1987, when the company's official successor, CSX Transportation was founded.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the Chessie System was the creation of Cyrus S. Eaton and his prot?g? Hays T. Watkins, Jr., then president and chief executive officer of C&O. A chief source of revenue for the Chessie System was coal mined in West Virginia. Another was the transport of auto parts and finished motor vehicles.

The signature symbol of the Chessie System was its "Ches-C", a large emblem incorporating the outline of the C&O's famous "Chessie" the kitten logo. The Ches-C was emblazoned on the front of all Chessie System locomotives, and also served as the "C" in "Chessie System" on the locomotive's flanks, and on other rolling stock. The Chessie System itself did not own any locomotives or other rolling stock; rather, equipment would be placed on the roster of one of the three component railroads. While all three companies shared a common paint scheme of yellow, vermillion, and blue, actual ownership of the equipment was denoted by the reporting marks C&O, B&O, or WM.

From 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: Mopjunkie on 2020-03-29 15:14:34. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-05-07 00:00:00

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