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Atlas - 50 000 520 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel ARA/X-29 - Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis - 18003

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N Scale - Atlas - 50 000 520 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel ARA/X-29 - Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis - 18003 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad
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Stock Number50 000 520
Original Retail Price$23.95
Body StyleAtlas Boxcar 40 Foot ARA 1932
Image Provider's WebsiteLink
Prototype VehicleBoxcar, 40 Foot, Steel ARA/X-29 (Details)
Road or Company NameNashville Chattanooga & St. Louis (Details)
Reporting MarksNC&St.L
Road or Reporting Number18003
Paint Color(s)Brown with White Lettering
Paint SchemeDixieland
Coupler TypeAccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel TypeInjection Molded Plastic
Wheel ProfileSmall Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date2010-06-01
Release Date2010-11-01
Item CategoryRolling Stock (Freight)
Model TypeBoxcar
Model Subtype40 Foot
Model VarietyARA 1932
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)

Model Information: First announced in June of 2008 and delivered later that year, the Atlas model of the 1932 ARA boxcar is a modern highly detailed N Scale model. It comes in two different body style variations: A version with a Murphy Panel Roof and 4/4 Dreadnought Ends as well as a second version with an 11-Panel flat riveted roof with riveted ends.
Prototype History:
The first all-steel box car adopted as standard by the American Railway Association or ARA was a sound design, but unfortunately adopted near the depth of the Depression. Accordingly, not many railroads had the funds to buy this design, and orders only totaled 14,500 cars. But some of the railroads which did buy the 1932 car bought substantial numbers of them, and they are significant railroads: the Missouri Pacific (with subsidiaries, purchasing over 3000 cars) and the Seaboard (2000 cars). The Seaboard cars are especially interesting because the railroad chose to use the flat steel roof and ends reminiscent of the ARA’s proposed all-steel box car of 1923 (not adopted as standard), and widely used on the Pennsylvania X29 and Baltimore & Ohio M-26 classes.

In the early 1920's the Pennsylvania Railroad developed plans for a steel-sheathed box car and designated the design X-29. Production of this design began in 1924 and lasted into 1934. During this time period almost 30,000 Pennsylvania X-29 cars were built. Not all X-29's were the same. Their parts components varied from the original cars almost immediately. Variations included: frame components, brake systems, side sheathing, ends and doors just to mention the major changes. The 1924 X-29 was produced with the split K-brake or AB brake (added later), flat ends and side sheathing that has the 2nd to last panel from each end of the car overlapping its adjacent panels.
The ARA / X-29 box cars were noticeably shorter in height (8'-7" inside height) than later cars. .

There are many photographs showing X-29's lasting into Penn Central maintenance of way service.

More on PRR X-29 on this web site.
Road Name History:
The NC&St.L (not to be confused with NYC&St.L which is the Nickel Plate Road) dates to 1845. Before 1873 it was called the Nashville & Chattanooga and locals continued to call it “the NC” until the end.

The NC&St.L ran from Memphis east to Nashville, then southeast to Chattanooga and finally Atlanta. There were also important branches to Paducah, Kentucky where they shared ownership of a bridge across the Ohio River with the CB&Q; Columbia, Tennessee; and Huntsville and Gadsden, Alabama (a big steel center.)

In 1879, NC&St.L began buying and leasing lines to reach Evansville, Indiana then west to St. Louis. In a move typical of the era, the L&N bought 55% of NC&St.L’s stock, and transferred those lines to itself. Although operated independently, the NC&St.L would remain under the control of the L&N for the next 78 years.

NC&St.L was the middle link in “the Dixie Route” for passenger trains between Chicago (or St. Louis) and Florida. Trains such as The Dixie Flagler would travel on (from north to south) C&EI, L&N, NC&St.L (from Nashville to Atlanta), Atlanta Birmingham & Coast, Atlantic Coast Line and Florida East Coast. St. Louis trains skipped the C&EI, and some others used Central of Georgia instead of the AB&C.

On the steam front, Consolidations and Mikes handled the freight with Pacific’s and Mountains pulling passengers. Most engines were equipped with Vanderbilt tenders. The only “modern” steam was a fleet of 25 4-8-4’s, the first of that wheel arrangement in the south. NC&St.L called them “Dixies” instead of Northerns. These had semi-Vanderbilt tenders (flat sides that curved inward toward the bottom), smooth boilers, and conical smoke box fronts. The first batch had wide panels on the running boards that were painted yellow. These earned the nickname “Yellow Jackets.”

North of Chattanooga, the NC&St.L crossed the Cumberland Mountains with 2.5% grades. This required pusher service. They had a trio of 2-8-8-2’s for this but often used 2-8-0’s and Mikes. Since there was nowhere to turn power at the summit, the helpers could face in either direction. Picture a long passenger train with a Yellow Jacket on the point. Passenger trains received helpers ONLY on the head end. So a 2-8-2 couples to the front of the Yellow Jacket -nose-to-nose. The Mike then leads the train over the mountains with the Vanderbilt tender leading the way. This happened routinely.

By 1953, NC&St.L had completely dieselized with an all EMD roster. F3’s and F7’s were painted blue and silver with black roofs. Geeps and switchers were painted oxide red with yellow stripes (with the exception of some dual service geeps in blue and silver.) The first batch of GP7’s were delivered with switcher trucks. There is some argument over whether they did this to save money or weight. Later groups came with standard Blomberg trucks. The F’s were used in freight and passenger service although only the B units had steam generators so a passenger train would have at least an A and B no matter how short it was.

During the 50’s, NC&St.L was 1,043 miles long (a bit longer than Lackawanna or Montana Rail Link), had 132 diesels, 106 passenger cars and 6,800 freight cars. In 1957, they were finally merged into parent L&N.
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: trainnut3500 on 2016-08-11 15:27:40. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-05-07 00:00:00

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