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HO Scale - Atlas - 20 002 482 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side - Great Northern - 73571

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HO Scale - Atlas - 20 002 482 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side - Great Northern - 73571 Image Courtesy of Atlas.


Brand/Importer Atlas (Details)
Stock Number 20 002 482
Original Retail Price $21.95
Body Style Atlas Open Hopper 2-Bay Offset Side
Prototype Open Hopper, 2-Bay, Offset Side (Details)
Road Letters/Reporting Mark GN
Road/Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Road/Reporting Number 73571
Paint Color(s) Black
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel-Set Type/Construction Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile RP25
Release Date 2013-10-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype 2-Bay
Model Variety AAR 70 Ton Offset



Prototype Information:
The late 1920s saw the introduction of the AAR standard “offset-side” 50- and 70-ton hoppers. The design went through several variations in the late 1920s and early 1930s before settling on two versions of the 50-ton car and one 3-bay, 70-ton car in 1935. Most roads went for the AAR standard designs, but the N&W, VGN, and Pennsy were notable holdouts. World War II brought the famous “war emergency” hoppers (only the N&W and MP bought the 70-ton version) and several composite versions of existing designs. After the war, AC&F found some brief success with a welded outside-stake hopper design, but the weld joints broke under the stress of loading and unloading rather than flexing like riveted joints. The offset-side design also had problems: the inside stakes were more prone to corrosion, and they suffered worse from loading and unloading stress than outside-staked hoppers. The design waned in the 1950s and was all but abandoned for new cars by 1960. Some roads (notably the C&O, the B&O, and the L&N) made the best of a bad situation by rebuilding their offset-side cars with all new outside-staked sides in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Road/Company Information:
The Great Northern was born in 1881 with the consolidation of several railroads of the northern plains under the leadership of James J. Hill. By 1893, the mainline from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River to Seattle was complete.

The GN had two distinctly different characters. The eastern half was a largely flat, grain producing region serving cities like Fargo, the Twin Cities, Grand Forks, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and even Winnipeg in Canada. The east end also included the iron ore rich regions of Minnesota. Half of North Dakota was blanketed by GN branchlines (21 in all) serving every imaginable grain elevator.

The western half is the mountainous portion that most people identify with Great Northern. This included crossing the northern Rockies and the even more difficult Cascade ranges. Cities on the western half included Billings, Butte, Helena, Havre, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In 1931, a connection to the Western Pacific was completed from Bieber north to Bend, Oregon. This line was disconnected from the rest of the Great Northern. They used trackage rights on the Oregon Trunk and SP&S to bridge the gap. The Cascade Tunnel, the longest on the continent at 7.8 miles, wasn’t completed until 1931. Construction included a massive sluiceway and hydro-electric power station to feed the electrified line through the tunnel and several miles of railroad on either side. This replaced the original Cascade Tunnel which was a third as long but 500 feet higher up the mountain. That replaced the original route that was another 700 feet higher, had 4% grades and 50 miles of snowsheds. All told, Great Northern had about 8,300 route miles.

The steam era was especially unkind to the Great Northern. They seemed to go out of their way to make their locomotives ugly. Belpaire fire boxes were the norm (made famous by the Pennsylvania, made hideous on the GN.) Headlights were often mounted just above center giving them a spinster look. Cab fronts were often at odd angles. The tender coal bunkers were often taller than the engines. But it wasn’t just aesthetics. GN had a knack for buying the wrong engines for the job. 150 Prarie type 2-6-2’s were so unstable at speed that they were busted down to branchline duty almost straight away and none survived after about 1930. Their first 4-8-2 Mountains built for passenger and fast freight were such a disaster, they were rebuilt into 2-10-2’s. Many railroads had built Mountains out of Mikes but no one had ever started with a Mountain and had to build something else from it. The first 2-6-6-2’s were so under-powered, the boilers were used to make Mikados instead. They did manage to build the largest, fastest, and most powerful Mikados in the country however. Their articulated fleet included 2-6-6-2, 2-6-8-0 (later rebuilt into Mikes), 2-8-8-0, 2-8-8-2 types as well as a pair of Challengers originally delivered to SP&S. Many engines were dressed up with green boilers and boxcar red cab roofs.

For the first generation of diesels, GN bought like many large railroads did: a sampling from everyone. Cab and hood units from EMD and Alco and switchers from EMD, Alco, and Baldwin populated the roster. GN’s first generation geeps and SD’s were delivered with the long hood as the front. This included their GP20’s which had high short hoods and the long hood as the front. Aside from an early black scheme for switchers, the GN fleet was delivered in Omaha Orange and green with yellow piping.

Beginning with the arrival of GP30s in 1962, the paint scheme was simplified by dropping the bottom orange band and the yellow piping. For the second generation, General Electric replaced Alco as a supplier of new road engines.

In 1962, some GN freight cars began to appear in Glacier Green which ran along side the vermilion paint adopted in 1956. In 1967, they went for a major shift. Sky Blue, white, and dark gray were joined by a new version of the Rocky the goat logo. There was talk that this would become the paint scheme for Burlington Northern. The GN name and logo was painted on a steel panel bolted the the hand railings of hood units, making it easier to remove after the merger. For whatever reason, they went with green, black and white, a version of which was simultaneously being tested on the Burlington Route. In 1970, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland & Seattle, and Burlington Route merged to form Burlington Northern.

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".

Atlas has made a ton of wonderful products throughout the years and we often get questions one whether we have run a certain road name on a particular model. It should be noted that Atlas locomotives and rolling stock are greatly appreciated for their superior operating and running characteristics. Atlas products are also well known for their outstanding collectability not only due to their superior prototypical workmanship, details and decoration, but because there are relatively so few of them made. Each and every production run has been carefully built to market demand, meaning almost every piece in any given run is sold out by Atlas on arrival or shortly thereafter, thus creating a built in collectors market.

Item created by: devsummers428 on 2019-09-02 16:39:29. Last edited by devsummers428 on 2020-05-07 00:00:00

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