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N Scale - Athearn - 23477 - Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, GATX Airslide 2600 - Penn Central - 2-Pack

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Production Type Announced
Stock Number 23477
Original Retail Price $59.98
Brand Athearn
Manufacturer Athearn
Body Style Athearn Covered Hopper 2-Bay Airslide GATC 2600
Prototype Vehicle Covered Hopper, 2-Bay, GATX Airslide 2600 (Details)
Road or Company Name Penn Central (Details)
Reporting Marks PC
Road or Reporting Number 2-Pack
Paint Color(s) Green
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 2
Multipack ID Number 23477
DCC Readiness No
Announcement Date 2020-03-01
Release Date 2021-05-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Covered Hopper
Model Subtype 2-Bay
Model Variety GATC 2600 Airslide
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Model Information: This is a really impressive model with a surprising array of detail. It is a proper 3rd generation model with body-mount couplers, chemically blackened metal wheels and an array of amazing detail parts. The details include an etched metal roofwalk, hatch covers, and an underframe with at least six different separately applied details. And don't forget the end platform detail - it blows away the Atlas model. Too bad they use McHenry couplers.... I would prefer to see MTL or MTL-knockoff couplers.

This Athearn body style comes in three different variations. (1) Early GATC Airslide body: no angled end gusset plates; channel-section vertical posts at bolsters. (2) Intermediate phase I body: "Hat Section" vertical posts at bolsters; angled gusset plates at ends. All variations feature: Detailed underbody including outlet piping; Rectangular or oval shaker brackets; Gravity or gravity-pneumatic outlets; See through metal roof walk; Factory installed wire grab irons and brake piping; Separately applied round roof hatches and brake wheel; Roller bearing or Bettendorf trucks as appropriate; Accurately painted and printed; Highly detailed, injection molded body; Machined metal wheels; Weighted for trouble free operation; Body mounted McHenry operating scale knuckle couplers; Minimum radius: 9 3/4".

Prototype History:
The airslide covered hopper was introduced by General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) in 1953. Approx. 5000 of the 2600 cu. ft. cars were built between that year and 1969. The airslide is primarily designed for the bulk shipment of dry, granular or powdered commodities. The design of that car is such that it can be loaded and unloaded quickly and with little spillage through the use of air pressure. The most common commodities carried include: flour, sugar, starch, plastic pellets, cement, powdered chemicals and carbon black.

he Airslide was first patented in 1953, the same year Pullman Standard introduced their PS-2. What made the car unique was a set of fabric membranes in the hopper bays. Made of tightly woven cotton and treated with silicone, the Airslide® membranes were moisture-proof but allowed air to pass through. Compressed air was supplied at the unloading site and passed through the membrane up into the load. This aerated the load, allowing it to flow easily through the hoppers.

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:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.

Item created by: CNW400 on 2020-10-16 13:43:49. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-10-16 13:43:50

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