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N Scale - Atlas - 50 003 631 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel - Kansas City Southern - 20933

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N Scale - Atlas - 50 003 631 - Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel - Kansas City Southern - 20933 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad
Different Road Number Shown


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 50 003 631
Original Retail Price $22.95
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Boxcar 50 Foot Freight Double Door
Prototype Boxcar, 50 Foot, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name Kansas City Southern (Details)
Reporting Marks KCS
Road or Reporting Number 20933
Paint Color(s) Brown with Aluminum Roof
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Announcement Date 2018-01-01
Release Date 2017-02-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Steel, Double Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: The first release of this body style was made by Roco in Austria for Atlas in 1967. Later, in 1971, Atlas moved the tooling from Austria to New Jersey and produced their own second release out of their own Factory. I presume that Atlas owned the tooling because unlike other Roco models, this one did not later appear as an import by other brands such as Aurora, Minitrix or Model Power. Sometime in the 1990s Atlas again moved the production to China.

Prototype History:
While the 40-foot boxcar was a standard design, and it did come in different setups depending on the type of freight being transported, it was not large enough for efficient mass commodity transportation. The 50-foot boxcar made its first appearance in the 1930s and steadily grew in popularity over the years, which further improved redundancies by allowing for even more space within a given car. Today, the 50-footer remains the common boxcar size. After the second world war ended, and steel became once again readily available, steel became the go-to choice for construction of boxcars. Pullman Standard and ACF were some of the most prolific builders of these cars.

These cars came in many variations. For instance, double-doors became practical for large/wide loads, end-doors useful for very large lading such as automobiles, and interior tie-down equipment was helpful in keeping sensitive products from being damaged in-transit. In 1954 the Santa Fe developed its "Shock Control" (and later "Super Shock Control") technology for new boxcars with upgraded suspension systems to further improve the ride-quality and reduce the chance of damaging freight.

In the 1960s, the flush, "plug" style sliding door was introduced as an option that provides a larger door to ease loading and unloading of certain commodities. The tight-fitting doors are better insulated and allow a car's interior to be maintained at a more even temperature.

Road Name History:
The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (reporting mark KCS), owned by Kansas City Southern, is the smallest and third-oldest Class I railroad in North America (just behind Union Pacific Railroad and Canadian Pacific Railway) still in operation. KCS was founded in 1887 and is currently operating in a region consisting of ten central U.S. states. KCS also owns and indirectly operates Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) in the central and northeastern states of Mexico, and is the only Class I Railroad to own any track both inside and outside of Mexico's boundaries (Ferromex is the only other Class I operating in Mexico). Including all trackage owned by wholly owned subsidiaries, KCS owns a total of approximately 9,600 kilometers (6,000 route miles) of track.

Kansas City Southern is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Annual revenues as of 2007 were US$1.7 billion with 6,485 employees, and a market cap of roughly US$5 billion. Kansas City Southern company stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol KSU.

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.

Item created by: gdm on 2018-01-11 14:30:23. Last edited by gdm on 2018-06-08 07:46:17

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