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N Scale - Atlas - 3900 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, ACF Centerflow - Undecorated

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N Scale - Atlas - 3900 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, ACF Centerflow - Undecorated


Stock Number 3900
Original Retail Price $7.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Body Style Atlas Covered Hopper 2-Bay Centerflow
Prototype Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, ACF Centerflow (Details)
Road or Company Name Undecorated (Details)
Paint Color(s) Gray
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
Announcement Date 2004-02-01
Release Date 2004-06-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Covered Hopper
Model Subtype 2-Bay
Model Variety Center Flow
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: 1939 - 1957
Scale 1/160


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Model Information: This body style first appears in Atlas' 1992 catalog with a pre-production photo and labeled "Coming in late '91". Seven road names were announced as well as a 3900 Undecorated model. The original release was made in Atlas' New Jersey facility and marked "Atlas USA" on the frame. Later production was moved to China and marketed under Atlas' Trainman® line.

Prototype History:
The 2-bay covered hopper first entered service in the 1950s. The cars handle loads such as cement, sand and similar denser bulk commodities. In the 1960s, American Car and Foundry introduced the Centerflow design. The Centerflow relies on the car's rounded body to provide structural strength without the added weight of bracing, as well as making gravity unloading easier. This 2-bay car came in a 2,970-cubic foot capacity.

The first ACF covered hoppers were rib-side cars, like many others of the time. In the 1960's ACF eliminated the supporting ribs and started building what they called the Center Flow(R) hopper with a smooth, rounded side. The cars were built at several ACF plants, but the Huntington, West Virginia plant built only Center Flow cars since their inception and was the primary builder.

Road Name History:
Although they may be molded in color, unpainted and unlettered, undecorated products are marketed to modelers who seek to custom decorate their models for private roads and/or road and/or company names that were not commercially produced by any of the major manufacturers.

Undecorated models are frequently also unassembled or only partially assembled and required modelers to be comfortable with glue, paint and sometimes solder in order to prepare their models for display. Materials for these models can vary but often include plastic, pewter and resin. Models may or may not come with decals or other decorations such as plastic signage, railings and ladders to enhance the appearance of the final product.



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: Chance on 2016-09-13 10:34:24. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-22 17:12:30

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