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N Scale - Atlas - 40 000 026 - Locomotive, Diesel, Alco C-420 - British Columbia - 631

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N Scale - Atlas - 40 000 026 - Locomotive, Diesel, Alco C-420 - British Columbia - 631 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 40 000 026
Original Retail Price $109.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine C-420
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, Alco C-420 (Details)
Road or Company Name British Columbia (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 631
Paint Color(s) Two-Tone Green and Black
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
DCC Readiness Ready
Announcement Date 2007-11-01
Release Date 2008-05-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype Alco
Model Variety C420
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Atlas first released this model of the Century 420 (C420) in 2007. The first release of the C420 was a low-nose “phase 1” model. The combination of stanchions mounted into the top of the walkway deck and a high-mounted engine air intake (located ahead of the radiator area) identifies this C420 variant. Phase 1 models were produced between June 1963 and October 1964 and this first production run covers all original owners of the low nose version.

Atlas’ 2008 second release of the C420 is a low-nose “phase 2” model. All Phase 2 versions feature the low/vertical mounted engine air intake located ahead of the radiator area on the long hood. Early phase 2 locomotives feature phase 1-style walkways/sills with stanchions mounted into the top walkway deck (referred to as “Phase 2a” models). Later phase 2 locomotives feature a revised configuration where the stanchions are mounted to the sides of the sill (referred to as “Phase 2b” models). Phase 2a production ran from December 1964 through September 1965. Phase 2b units were produced from December 1965 through the end of C420 locomotive production in August 1968.

The C-420 has the standard attributes of modern Atlas models. The chassis is fully DCC-Ready (and, in fact, available with factory-installed decoder). These models perform excellently; they are quiet, responsive and powerful.

Standard Features: Flat or "step" pilots used where appropriate; Long hood with or without dynamic brake detail used where appropriate; 3,100 gallon fuel tank; Separately-applied coupler cut levers; Painted safety rails; Dual flywheels; Directional lighting and a Scale Speed motor.

Prototype History:
ALCo built a total of 131 Century 420 locomotives between 1963 and 1969, when the builder ceased all new locomotive production. Powered by a 12-cylinder, turbocharged, 2,000-hp 251-series prime mover, the C420’s direct competitor in 1963 was the EMD GP18. In fact, EMD did not offer a 12-cylinder, 2,000-hp prime mover until the GP39 model was produced in 1969. The shorter 12-cylinder engine block allowed the C420 to have its distinctive set-back cab and extended short hood.

The first road to purchase the C420 was the Lehigh & Hudson River, with its first two units built in 1963. The largest fleet was purchased by the Long Island Railroad, with 30 units built between 1963 and 1968. All were equipped with a high short hood which housed a steam generator for passenger service. Over time, the largest fleet of C420s was amassed by the Louisville & Nashville. While only 26 units were purchased new, their total fleet grew to well over 60 units through mergers and acquisitions. The C420 can still be found in daily service today in the US. Currently the largest fleet of C420s is operated by the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.

Road Name History:
BC Rail (reporting mark BCOL, BCIT), known as the British Columbia Railway between 1972 and 1984 and as the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (PGE) before 1972, was a railway that operated in the Canadian province of British Columbia between 1912 and 2004. It was a class II regional railway and the third-largest in Canada, operating 2,320 km (1,440 mi) of mainline track. Its operations were owned by the public as a crown corporation from 1918 until 2004, when the provincial government leased operations for 999 years to CN. The track and other assets, including a marine division and stevedoring subsidiary as well as large tracts of real estate, remain under public ownership. 40 km of track serving the Roberts Bank Superport that were scheduled to be sold to OmniTRAX remain under BC Rail management due to that sale being cancelled because of the transaction being tainted by an influence-peddling and bribery scandal resulting in convictions in 2010. The provincial government, which promised when originally elected to never sell the railway, has announced that the crown corporation and its remaining operations and assets would be "wound down" and taken over by various departments of the Ministry of Transportation The details of the sale/lease to CN, which are related to the OmniTRAX affair, have become the subject of protracted public inquiry as part of the proceedings of the trial surrounding a scandal known as the British Columbia Legislature Raids Affair, or "Railgate". Government leaders and civil servants involved with the arrangements to CN have refused to comment on the deal because the matter "is before the courts".

Chartered in 1912, the railway was acquired by the provincial government in 1918 after running into financial difficulties. A railway that ran "from nowhere, to nowhere" for over 30 years, neither passing through any major city nor interchanging with any other railway, its southern terminus was at Squamish and its northern terminus at Quesnel during that period. It expanded significantly between 1949 and 1984. Primarily a freight railway, it also offered passenger service, as well as some excursion services, most notably the Royal Hudson excursion train. The railway's operations only reached profitability in 1980, due to large capital and operating debts, which were intended as subsidies to develop and sustain mining and timber economies and employment in the regions it accessed, though during the 1980s it regularly posted significant profits, contributing to the public treasury significantly, and maintained a lower operating debt than any of the continent's other major railways. The railway's operations and management, as one of the province's largest crown corporations, have necessarily been at the centre of public debate since its takeover. Notably, as example, the Social Credit governments of WAC Bennett and his son Bill Bennett forgave the railways' capital debts in 1954 and 1979, respectively, with bookkeeping matters related to that bringing much criticism. The current provincial government has been accused of fabricating falsehoods about the state of its debts and viability in order to justify the deal with CN, claiming the railway was in disarray. Other participants in the bidding process withdrew their bids, saying that CN had unfair access to confidential information about their own operations, provided by the government, and at least one bidder (Canadian Pacific) privately stated in since-released communications that the bid was "rigged". Controversy over CN's management of the line has focused on layoffs, toxic spills and other safety concerns, and cuts in service to some regions. The line has generated profits for CN in the range of $25 million per year since its takeover of the railway's operations.

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 2017-12-12 12:46:15

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