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Road Name History:
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.
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: Steve German on 2016-04-23 12:10:33. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-09 10:48:02
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