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N Scale - Atlas - 2174 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP40 - Penn Central - 2498

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N Scale - Atlas - 2174 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP40 - Penn Central - 2498 Image Courtesy of George Irwin


Stock Number 2174
Original Retail Price $12.98
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Mehano
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Mehano Diesel Engine GP40
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP40 (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 2498
Paint Color(s) Black and White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
DCC Readiness No
Release Date 1969-01-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety GP40
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This model was first introduced by Atlas in 1969. This early version was made for Atlas by Mehano in Yugosolvia. Atlas discontinued orders in the mid 1970's. Later runs were imported by PMI, Life-Like and finally Model Power.

DCC Information: The Mehano versions do not support DCC at all.

Prototype History:
The GP40 is a 4-axle diesel-electric road-switcher locomotive built by General Motors, Electro-Motive Division between November 1965 and December 1971. It has an EMD 645E3 16-cylinder engine generating 3,000 hp (2,240 kW).

The GP40 is 3 feet (0.914 m) longer than its EMD 567D3A-engined predecessor, the GP35, and distinguished visually by its three 48-inch radiator fans at the rear of the long hood, while the GP35 has two large fans and a smaller one in between. It was built on a 55 ft (16.76 m) frame; the GP35 was built on a 52 ft (15.85 m) frame - as was the GP7, 9, 18, and 30. The difference in length can be seen in the GP40's ten handrail stanchions compared to the GP35's nine.

1,187 GP40s were built for 28 U.S. railroads; 16 were built for one Canadian carrier, Canadian National; and 18 were built for two Mexican carriers, Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico and Ferrocarriles Nacional de Mexico. 60 units were built with high-short-hoods and dual control stands for Norfolk & Western Railway. Two passenger versions, the GP40P and GP40TC, were also built, but on longer frames to accommodate steam generators and HEP equipment.

On January 1, 1972, the GP40 was discontinued and replaced by the GP40-2, which has a modular electrical system and a few minor exterior changes.

From Wikipedia


A Guilford/Pan Am (MEC) train headed by a high-nose GP40 ex-NW followed by two SD40M-2 (rebuilt SD45)

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.

Manufacturer Information:
Mehano is a Slovenian toy manufacturer located in Izola, Slovenija. The company was founded as Mehanotehnika and was producing toys starting in June 1953. They first exhibited at the Nuerenberg Toy Fair in 1959. Mehano produced a number of different locomotives and rolling stock models for the North American market in the 1960s and 1970s. Companies such as Atlas and Life-Like imported a huge variety of their products. Generally they can easily be recognized as they are stamped "Yugosolavia" on the underframe. The company was formally renamed "Mehano" in 1990. Izola today is part of the country of Slovenia since the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Mehano filed for bankruptcy in 2008, but still continued to exist and operate. Since 2012, Mehano products are distributed by Lemke.

Item created by: gdm on 2016-08-17 16:21:20. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-26 07:12:35

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