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N Scale - Life-Like - S779C - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD45 - Penn Central - 6234

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Stock Number S779C
Brand Life-Like
Manufacturer Mehano
Body Style Mehano Diesel Engine SD45
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD45 (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 6234
Paint Color(s) Black with White Lettering
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety SD45
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160
DCC Readiness No
Release Date 1969-01-01



Model Information: Mehano of Yugoslavia produced this engine for Atlas starting in 1969. The list price when it came out was $16.98. The plastic shell is a reasonable facsimile of the prototype. The mechanism is a typical late 60's Mehano product, with the motor mounted in the middle of the frame. The motor drives a a worm gear in the rear truck. All four of the rear truck drive wheels have traction tires.

Atlas did not produce a lot of these things and all road names became unavailable by 1972. After Atlas ceased production of this tooling, Model-Power and Life-Like produced this model for a short period, followed by Con-Cor in 1972; the Con-Cor model uses the same shell but is fitted with a different mechanism (hence a different body style in this database).

DCC Information: This model is not DCC capable.

Prototype History:
Notable as the first locomotive with an engine larger than 16 cylinders upon its introduction in 1965, the EMD SD45 was used on nearly every railroad at one time or another. Over the course of six years, EMD built a whopping 1260 SD45 locomotives for freight use on more than 25 railroads, with many more acquiring them second-hand. The SD45, while sharing the same common frame as the EMD SD40, was distinguished by a number of characteristics such as the flared radiator that stretched across the side of the locomotive's long hood. Several SD45 locomotives are still preserved and in service today.

From Wikipedia
Read more on American-Rails.com

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:
Life-Like Products LLC (now Life-Like Toy and Hobby division of Wm. K. Walthers) was a manufacturer of model railroad products and was based in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.

The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.

In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.

In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.

Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.

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: Alain LM on 2018-08-25 13:52:51. Last edited by gdm on 2020-07-24 07:29:19

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