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N Scale - Atlas - 44006 - Locomotive, Diesel, Alco RS-1 - Great Northern - 184

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N Scale - Atlas - 44006 - Locomotive, Diesel, Alco RS-1 - Great Northern - 184


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 44006
Original Retail Price $84.95
Manufacturer Atlas Model Railroad
Body Style Atlas Diesel Road Switcher RS-1
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, Alco RS-1 (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Reporting Marks GN
Road or Reporting Number 184
Paint Color(s) Orange and Green
DCC Readiness Friendly
Release Date 1998-12-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype Alco
Model Variety RS-1
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Atlas introduced this model in 1988. From 1988 - 1997 this model was produced for Atlas by Kato Japan. In 1998, a new version was designed by Atlas and production was moved to China.

Both versions feature a split-frame design with flywheels. They run smoothly and quietly, but despite the split frame they use a two-part lightboard. In my opinion they should have upgraded to a single-piece lightboard when they did the retooling in 1998 or better yet, introduced a NEM 651 socket. The detail on the shell is typical high quality Kato/Atlas work and the printing is crisp and accurate.

DCC Information: These locomotives qualify as DCC-Friendly because even a relatively solder-clumsy idiot like myself can successfully install a TCS CN-Series decoder into one of these. It was a lot more work than a drop-in decoder, but there are lots of good internet resources explaining how to complete this. I was able to work off the well-written instructions included with the engine, but it was difficult enough, I have been hesitant to install anymore. Furthermore, the CN-Series decoders are a bit pricier than the simpler one-piece "drop-in" decoders most of us are familiar with. One note I would like to make is that the engine was much noisier with the decoder installed than it was when in DC mode. I suspect this was do to my sloppy installation technique, but I had been fairly careful and when I disassembled it to find the sources of the noise, I was baffled.

In summary, a nice engine for DC operations. If you want a DCC version, you can upgrade it yourself with some trouble or hire a pro to do it for you.

Prototype History:
The ALCO RS-1 was a 4-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by Alco-GE between 1941 and 1953 and the American Locomotive Company from 1953 to 1960. The Montreal Locomotive Works built three RS-1s in 1954. This model has the distinction of having the longest production run of any diesel locomotive for the North American market. The RS-1 was in production for 19 years from the first unit Rock Island #748 in March 1941 to the last unit National of Mexico #5663 in March 1960.

The hood unit configuration of the RS-1 pioneered the road switcher type of diesel locomotive, beginning the move away from the carbody units which were the standard design for road diesel locomotives before then. Most North American locomotives built since have followed this basic design. In 1940, the Rock Island Railroad approached ALCO about building a locomotive for both road and switching service.

The first thirteen production locomotives were requisitioned by the US Army, the five railroads affected had to wait while replacements were manufactured. The requisitioned RS-1s were remanufactured by ALCO into six axle RSD-1s for use on the Trans Iranian Railroad to supply the Soviet Union during World War Two.

From Wikipedia

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.

Manufacturer Information: 'Atlas Model Railroad' represents the New Jersey manufacturing facility for Atlas brand model railroad products. Atlas also imported European made models in their early years and those items will be noted as having manufacturers set appropriately. In the 1990s Atlas moved all their toolings to China.

Item created by: gdm on 2015-11-05 10:46:40. Last edited by gdm on 2018-05-22 19:50:17

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