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Body Style Information: Atlas first released this model of the Century 420 (C420) in 2007. The first release of the C420 was a low-nose “phase 1” model. The combination of stanchions mounted into the top of the walkway deck and a high-mounted engine air intake (located ahead of the radiator area) identifies this C420 variant. Phase 1 models were produced between June 1963 and October 1964 and this first production run covers all original owners of the low nose version.
Atlas’ 2008 second release of the C420 is a low-nose “phase 2” model. All Phase 2 versions feature the low/vertical mounted engine air intake located ahead of the radiator area on the long hood. Early phase 2 locomotives feature phase 1-style walkways/sills with stanchions mounted into the top walkway deck (referred to as “Phase 2a” models). Later phase 2 locomotives feature a revised configuration where the stanchions are mounted to the sides of the sill (referred to as “Phase 2b” models). Phase 2a production ran from December 1964 through September 1965. Phase 2b units were produced from December 1965 through the end of C420 locomotive production in August 1968.
The C-420 has the standard attributes of modern Atlas models. The chassis is fully DCC-Ready (and, in fact, available with factory-installed decoder). These models perform excellently; they are quiet, responsive and powerful.
Standard Features: Flat or "step" pilots used where appropriate; Long hood with or without dynamic brake detail used where appropriate; 3,100 gallon fuel tank; Separately-applied coupler cut levers; Painted safety rails; Dual flywheels; Directional lighting and a Scale Speed motor.
Prototype Information: ALCo built a total of 131 Century 420 locomotives between 1963 and 1969, when the builder ceased all new locomotive production. Powered by a 12-cylinder, turbocharged, 2,000-hp 251-series prime mover, the C420’s direct competitor in 1963 was the EMD GP18. In fact, EMD did not offer a 12-cylinder, 2,000-hp prime mover until the GP39 model was produced in 1969. The shorter 12-cylinder engine block allowed the C420 to have its distinctive set-back cab and extended short hood.
The first road to purchase the C420 was the Lehigh & Hudson River, with its first two units built in 1963. The largest fleet was purchased by the Long Island Railroad, with 30 units built between 1963 and 1968. All were equipped with a high short hood which housed a steam generator for passenger service. Over time, the largest fleet of C420s was amassed by the Louisville & Nashville. While only 26 units were purchased new, their total fleet grew to well over 60 units through mergers and acquisitions. The C420 can still be found in daily service today in the US. Currently the largest fleet of C420s is operated by the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.
Chartered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1850, the road grew into one of the great success stories of American business. Operating under one name continuously for 132 years, it survived civil war and economic depression and several waves of social and technological change. Under Milton H. Smith, president of the company for thirty years, the L&N grew from a road with less than three hundred miles (480 km) of track to a 6,000-mile (9,700 km) system serving thirteen states. As one of the premier Southern railroads, the L&N extended its reach far beyond its namesake cities, stretching to St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, and New Orleans. The railroad was economically strong throughout its lifetime, operating both freight and passenger trains in a manner that earned it the nickname, "The Old Reliable."
Growth of the railroad continued until its purchase and the tumultuous rail consolidations of the 1980s which led to continual successors. By the end of 1970, L&N operated 6,063 miles (9,757 km) of road on 10,051 miles (16,176 km) of track, not including the Carrollton Railroad.
In 1971 the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, successor to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, purchased the remainder of the L&N shares it did not already own, and the company became a subsidiary. By 1982 the railroad industry was consolidating quickly, and the Seaboard Coast Line absorbed the Louisville & Nashville Railroad entirely. Then in 1986, the Seaboard System merged with the C&O and B&O and the new combined system was known as the Chessie System. Soon after the combined company became CSX Transportation (CSX), which now owns and operates all of the former Louisville and Nashville lines.
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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 2016-06-27 13:03:07. Last edited by gdm on 2016-06-27 16:03:08
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