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Specific Item Information: Version without automobiles.
Body Style Information: Arnold started producing this in 1970. It is supplied both with and without a handful of N Scale automobiles. It has been imported both by Arnold themselves, Revell (with Revell Branding) and Walthers (with Arnold branding). It features truck mounted Rapido couplers and either metal deep-flange wheels or plastic low-profile wheels on the newer releases. The trucks feature a nasty-clip on pin that makes it hard to swap out for modern couplers, but otherwise it runs fine. Definitely not for tight-radius curves.
The Penn Central was created as a response to challenges faced by all three railroads in the late 1960s. The northeastern quarter of the United States, these railroads' service area, was the most densely populated region of the U.S. While railroads elsewhere in North America drew a high percentage of their revenues from the long-distance shipment of commodities such as coal, lumber, paper and iron ore, Northeastern railroads traditionally depended on a mix of services.
As it turned out, the merged Penn Central was little better off than its constituent roads were before. A merger implementation plan was drawn up, but not carried out. Attempts to integrate operations, personnel and equipment were not very successful, due to clashing corporate cultures, incompatible computer systems and union contracts. Track conditions deteriorated (some of these conditions were inherited from the three merged railroads) and trains had to be run at reduced speeds. This meant delayed shipments and personnel working a lot of overtime. As a result, operating costs soared. Derailments and wrecks became frequent, particularly in the midwest.
The American financial system was shocked when after only two years of operations, the Penn Central Transportation company was put into bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. It was the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history at that time. Although the Penn Central Transportation Company was put into bankruptcy, its parent Penn Central Company was able to survive.
The Penn Central continued to operate freight service under bankruptcy court protection. After private-sector reorganization efforts failed, Congress nationalized the Penn Central under the terms of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. The new law folded six northeastern railroads, the Penn Central and five smaller, failed lines, into the Consolidated Rail Corporation, commonly known as Conrail. The act took effect on April 1, 1976.
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There are several distinct phases of Arnold's model train production. In the period of 1960 - 1962, Arnold marketed the Arnold Rapido 200 product line; this line was very crude yet it also was a sensation because of its much smaller size than TT.
The next phase was from 1963-1967, when the rapido product line begins to swing toward scale representations of the trains. It is during this period that the "Rapido Coupler" comes into production, beginning its widespread use by all model train manufacturers in N-Scale. It was in 1964 that the term "N-Scale" came into use. Between 1968 and 1970, rapido line of trains reached maturity, notably with its turntable and roundhouse. Arnold entered into a business relationship with the U.S. company Revell around 1968, beginning the marketing of Revell Rapido model trains. This relationship was marked by the beginning of production of more accurate North American prototype models by Arnold. This relationship continued for several years, ending in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Arnold continued their expanded production, with new models until the early 1990s.
On Max Ernst's 1976 retirement, Arnold employed perhaps 200 to 250 people, using three facilities in the Nurnberg area. The Company continued under family control until 1995, when Arnold went into bankruptcy and was sold to Rivarossi of Italy. Rivarossi, in turn, also went bankrupt, leading to the sale of all assets to Hornby of the United Kingdom. Production is carried out in China.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-09-17 19:22:15
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