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N Scale - Atlas - 985 00 133 - Engine, Steam, 4-4-0 American - Central Pacific - 254

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N Scale - Atlas - 985 00 133 - Engine, Steam, 4-4-0 American - Central Pacific - 254


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 985 00 133
Original Retail Price $124.95
Manufacturer Micro-Trains Line
Body Style Atlas Steam Engine 4-4-0 American
Road or Company Name Central Pacific (Details)
Reporting Marks CP
Road or Reporting Number 254
Paint Color(s) Black and Gold
Release Date 2015-10-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Steam
Model Subtype 4-4-0
Model Variety American
Prototype Engine, Steam, 4-4-0 American
Region North America
Era/Epoch All Eras


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Prototype Information: Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, 4-4-0 represents the arrangement of four leading wheels on two axles, usually in a leading bogie, four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and no trailing wheels. Almost every major railroad that operated in North America in the first half of the 19th century owned and operated locomotives of this type. Due to the large number of the type that were produced and used in the United States, the 4-4-0 is most commonly known as the American type, but the type subsequently became popular in the United Kingdom, where large numbers were produced.

Five years after new locomotive construction had begun at the West Point Foundry in the US with the 0-4-0 Best Friend of Charleston in 1831, the first 4-4-0 locomotive was designed by Henry R. Campbell, at the time the chief engineer for the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railway. Campbell received a patent for the design in February 1836 and soon set to work building the first 4-4-0.

The design and subsequent improvements of the 4-4-0 configuration proved so successful that, by 1872, 60% of Baldwin's locomotive construction was of this type and it is estimated that 85% of all locomotives in operation in the US were 4-4-0s. However, the 4-4-0 was soon supplanted by bigger designs, like the 2-6-0 and 2-8-0, even though the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement was still favored for express services. The widespread adoption of the 4-6-0 and larger locomotives eventually helped seal its fate as a product of the past.

From Wikipedia

Road/Company Information:
The CP was established in 1861 by a group of California businessmen: Huntington, Hopkins, Crocker and Stanford. These men were given the collective name the Big Four (no relation to the Big Four route of the Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago & St. Louis Railroad.) CP was to build from Sacramento, California over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Virginia City, Nevada. The following year, Congress expanded the mission of the CP to continue building east and meet the Union Pacific that would be building west to form the first transcontinental railroad. Construction began in 1863. They reached the Nevada state line in 1867 and in May of 1869 met the Union Pacific in Utah.

With the golden spike driven, CP turned west. They established a subsidiary called Western Pacific (unrelated to the Western Pacific that would later build from the Bay Area to Utah) and acquire the California Pacific to reach the San Francisco Bay at Vallejo. In 1879, CP built from Port Costa to Oakland (trains were barged from Vallejo to Port Costa until Carquinez Strait was finally bridged in 1929.) By 1870, the Big Four had gained control of the Southern Pacific and other area lines. Construction to the south was divided with some segments belonging to Southern Pacific and others to Central Pacific. The CP got as far south as Goshen Junction, about 50 miles south of Fresno.

Also in 1870, the CP bought the California & Oregon Railroad that was building north from Marysville, California. This line was pushed north through the Siskiyou Mountains to a connection with the Oregon & California Railroad at Ashland, Oregon. The Southern Pacific then bought the O&C. By 1884, the operational boundaries between Central Pacific and Southern Pacific were blurred. That year, the companies were re-organized and Central Pacific’s railroad was leased to Southern Pacific. SP continued to add to the CP network. The last of the Big Four died in 1900 and control of the SP and CP was acquired by E.H. Harriman. The last additions to the CP system were the Natron Cutoff and the Modoc Line, both built in the 1920s. It was common during this period for CP equipment to be lettered Southern Pacific and even carry SP reporting marks but have either a small C.P. or even CENTRAL PACIFIC lettering (3” or smaller in a corner of the car side.) Following the breakup of the Harriman empire, Southern Pacific fought to hold on to the Central Pacific. The two were so entangled in their routes down the Central Valley and north into Oregon that splitting them would have been unworkable. Central Pacific remained a paper railroad under the Southern Pacific flag until finally merged out of existence in 1959.

Thanks to Craig Ross of Bluford Shops for this history.

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.

Manufacturer Information:
Kadee Quality Products originally got involved in N-Scale by producing a scaled-down version of their successful HO Magne-Matic knuckle coupler system. This coupler was superior to the ubiquitous 'Rapido' style coupler due to two primary factors: superior realistic appearance and the ability to automatically uncouple when stopped over a magnet embedded in a section of track. The success of these couplers in N-Scale quickly translated to the production of trucks, wheels and in 1972 a release of ready-to-run box cars.

Micro-Trains Line Co. split off from Kadee in 1990 to form a completely independent company. For this reason, products from this company can appear with labels from both enterprises. Due to the nature of production idiosyncrasies and various random factors, the rolling stock from Micro-Trains can have all sorts of interesting variations in both their packaging as well as the products themselves. When acquiring an MTL product it is very important to understand these important production variations that can greatly enhance (or decrease) the value of your purchase.


Item created by: gdm on 2015-10-01 06:10:03

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