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N Scale - Atlas - 39752 - Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow - GATX Corporation - 60446

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N Scale - Atlas - 39752 - Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow - GATX Corporation - 60446 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Stock Number 39752
Original Retail Price $11.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Covered Hopper 4-Bay ACF 5250 (Chinese Version)
Prototype Covered Hopper, 4-Bay, ACF Centerflow (Details)
Road or Company Name GATX Corporation (Details)
Reporting Marks GACX
Road or Reporting Number 60446
Paint Color(s) Gray with Black Lettering
Body Material Plastic
Announcement Date 2005-11-01
Release Date 2006-05-01
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


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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: GATX Corporation (NYSE: GMT) is an equipment finance company based in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1898, GATX's primary activities consist of railcar operating leasing in North America and Europe. In addition, GATX leases locomotives in North America, and also has significant investments in industrial equipment and marine assets, including ownership of the American Steamship Company, which operates on the Great Lakes. The CEO/Chairman is Brian A. Kenney.

GATX Corporation is divided into four business segments: Rail North America, Rail International, American Steamship Company (ASC), and Portfolio Management. Portfolio Management consists largely of the corporation's non-rail and non-Great Lakes assets.

GATX is one of several major North American rail operating lessors, and measured by fleet size, ranks as number two in this market behind GE Rail Services. Other major North American rail operating lessors include CIT, First Union, Union Tank Car Company, Trinity Industries Leasing, ARL, and Helm Financial.

GATX derives its name from its primary reporting mark for its North American railcars, "GATX". The mark itself was derived from GATX's prior corporate name, "General American Transportation". Since all non-railroad owners of railcars must append an "X" to the end of their mark, GAT became GATX. GATX mainly applies the GATX mark to tank cars, although the mark has been used in other examples such as with hoppers; GATX's primary freightcar marks are GACX (for general-service freight cars), GGPX (for coal cars), GIMX (for intermodal cars), GPLX (for plastic pellet cars), GMTX and LLPX (for locomotives), and GPFX (for pressure-differential cars). GATX also owns a number of other marks, including GABX, GAEX, GFSX, GOHX, GSCX, IPSX, and TRIX. Many GATX cars carry a large "GATX" logo in the upper right-hand corner of the car regardless of the reporting mark they carry; this logo is applied for marketing reasons and does not have any operational significance.

The General American Transportation Corporation became GATX Rail Corporation, a unit of the GATX Corporation, on January 1, 2000.

GATX engages in both full-service and net leasing of railcars. In a full-service lease, a GATX-owned mark is applied to the car, and GATX maintains the railcar and pays for any required property insurance and property taxes. In a net lease, the lessee applies its mark to the car, and the lessee pays for any required property insurance and property taxes. Often, on a net-leased car, there is no evidence of GATX ownership, although some net lease cars carry a GATX logo.

The most common type of car in the GATX North American fleet is the tank car; other major car types include covered hoppers, open-top hoppers, and gondolas. GATX invests in nearly every type of railcar operated in North America. In Europe, tank cars also make up GATX's largest fleet, but unlike in North America, GATX's European fleet includes substantial quantities of intermodal cars which are owned in a GATX joint venture called AAE Cargo. In contrast, GATX's North American intermodal car fleet is relatively small. This is true of most North American operating lessors; historically the bulk of the industry's intermodal investment has been made by TTX Corporation, which is jointly owned by North America's Class I railroads.

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 2016-08-17 17:27:28. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-31 08:00:41

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