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N Scale - Atlas - 4003 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SW1500 - Penn Central

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N Scale - Atlas - 4003 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SW1500 - Penn Central The image shown is the same body type though not necessarily the same road name or road number.



Stock Number 4003
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Rivarossi
Body Style Rivarossi Diesel Switcher SW-1500/1200
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SW1500 (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
DCC Readiness No
Release Date 1971-10-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety SW1500
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Years Produced 1966-1974
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This model was first produced by Rivarossi for Atlas in 1971. After Atlas stopped ordering them, Con-Cor began importing the model. At a certain point, Con-Cor had Kato design a new, more reliable, mechanism but continued use of the Rivarossi shell. This new Kato/Rivarossi hybrid was produced until 1989. In 1996, Arnold/Rivarossi re-released the same model with yet another new mechanism. At this point Con-Cor released a new version of the model this time using a Chinese manufactured mechanism, but with the shell still more or less the same. These Chinese versions were marketed as SW-1200s. Con-Cor stopped making their version during the downsizing in 2005 and Arnold stopped producing theirs in 2006 with the bankruptcy.

The model was designed from early EMD drawings for this prototype, that were quite similar to the SW1200 drawings. Eventually the final prototype was released with significant changes to the early drawing. So though the model is sold as a SW1500, it is actually closer to a SW1200 than to a SW1500.

Review Courtesy of Doug Gosha: The Rivarossi model is a plastic shell and separate walkway molding over a zamac frame. There is an additional weight that fits into the cab portion of the shell. The same basic Rivarossi motor is used as in their other A1G locomotives but in a quite different configuration. In this case, the motor has a double-ended shaft with a worm on each end. Due to considerable space limitations in this small chassis, the worm diameters are much smaller than on the other Rivarossi A1G locos. The motor is kind of suspended under the zamac frame in an opening in the center with a spring sheet metal retainer that passes through holes in the top of the frame and snaps over the bushing extensions on the motor can and cap. The worms on the shaft then extend into openings in the bottom of the frame. The trucks are retained by plates mounted on the frame at each end with slots in them to engage bosses which extend from each side of the truck gearboxes. The left side plate at each end is insulated from the frame with a plastic spacer between it and the frame. A single screw through both plates and the frame hold them in place with an insulating washer on the left side.Wheel wipers are mounted on the gearboxes in the boss area and make contact with both the inner surface of each wheel and the retainer plates which gets current that far. Wires soldered to lugs under the left plate mounting screws carry current to the motor brush holder on the left (hot) side and the right (ground) brush holder has a flat spring which contacts the motor can and the can is grounded through the motor retainer. Because the right side truck retainer plates are also grounded to the frame, this completes the circuit. Actually, the wiring from the left side of the frame could go to either the right or left side of the motor depending on how the motor cap was installed in the factory since this would determine on which side the ground contact would be. In a departure from the past Rivarossi engines, there are no plastic traction tires used on this locomotive, Thus all eight wheels contribute to current collection with some sacrifice in pulling capacity. This little loco will still pull about 20 cars on level track!

DCC Information: No provision for DCC in any of these different versions.

Prototype History:
The EMD SW1500 was a 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) Diesel-electric locomotive intended for switching service and built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division between June 1966 and January 1974. 808 examples were constructed. It was closely related to the less powerful EMD SW1000 model, forming a line of switchers powered by the new EMD 645 engine. The SW1500 replaced the SW1200 in the EMD product line, and was in turn replaced by the MP15DC.

The SW1500 was a substantially bulkier locomotive than the SW1200, with a much bulkier frame, larger cab and bigger hood. In many respects it was approaching a road switcher in abilities. While the SW1500 came as standard with AAR switcher trucks, the majority of them were delivered with the optional Flexicoil trucks which permitted speeds up to 60 mph (100 km/h). The SW1500 was, in fact, often operated as a road-switcher for branchline service, and continues in this role today.

From Wikipedia

Road Name History:
The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

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.

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.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-09-20 12:09:32. Last edited by Alain LM on 2018-04-17 06:55:30

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