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N Scale - Atlas - 49803 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP38 - Alaska Railroad - 2005

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Stock Number 49803
Original Retail Price $99.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine GP38
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP38 (Details)
Road or Company Name Alaska Railroad (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 2005
Paint Color(s) Blue
Print Color(s) Yellow
Paint Scheme 1980's
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety GP38
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160
DCC Readiness Ready
Release Date 2001-06-01



Specific Item Information: John's AlaskaRails.org complete Roster shows GP38u acquired in 1986 and still in service. Original paint scheme from 1986 to current on all units BUT #2006 which was repainted 2008.
Atlas made #2003, #2004 and # BLANK.
Atlas box is "Decoder Ready"

Model Information: The Atlas GP38 is made in China and has always been made in China. These mechanisms run fine but the first releases (1996) do not support drop in decoders. Both versions use a dual-flywheel, split frame chassis with a 5-Pole skew-wound motor.

DCC Information: Early Chinese versions are DCC-friendly requiring a complicated split-board DCC install. Later versions are DCC-Ready accepting a 1 Amp N Scale Mobile Decoder for Atlas N-Scale GP40-2, U25B, SD35, Trainmaster, B23-7 and others (DN163A0) from digitrax.com. Unfortunately, the only way to tell which kind you have is to remove the shell and check the chassis. If it has two small lightboards, you have an old one in your hand. A single long lightboard indicates a DCC-Ready chassis.
As of the 2001 run, this model was also offered with factory-installed DCC decoder, first Lenz LE063XF and then (circa 2010s) a NCE decoder.
Since the 2018 run, it is only offered with ESU Loksound sound decoder without DCC no-sound option. So if you want a DCC no-sound, you'll need to install a decoder by yourself.

Prototype History:
The EMD GP38 is a 4-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between January 1966 and December 1971. The locomotive's power was provided by an EMD 645 16-cylinder engine which generated 2,000 horsepower (1.49 MW). The company built 706 GP38s for North American railroads. In 1972, it was replaced by an updated model, the GP38-2.

From Wikipedia

Road Name History:
Born in 1923 with the consolidation and connection of the Tanana Valley and Alaska Northern railroads, the line was owned by the Federal Government (under the Department of the Interior) from the outset, later becoming the responsibility of the Department of Transportation in 1967. In the mid-80s it was sold to the State of Alaska.

The Alaska Railroad links Anchorage with the port of Whittier and Seward to the south, and Fairbanks and environs to the north. Total mileage is about 525 putting it between Bangor & Aroostook and New York Ontario & Western in relative size. Alaska does run its own passenger service over the length of the railroad. Although the Alaska Railroad is disconnected from the rest of the North American rail network, they do interchange with other railroads. A trio of sea-going barges ferry rail cars from the port of Whittier to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. ARR had collected a fleet of Alco RS-1s (and a few RSD-1’s) with cowls, effectively making them cab units unique to this line. These were later replaced by second generation EMD power. The big power on the line is a fleet of 28 SD70MACs. A dozen of these are equipped with HEP for use in passenger service.

The port of Whittier is hemmed in by the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. A 2.5 mile single track tunnel is the only way out of the port. The line through the tunnel is paved like street trackage so that highway traffic can use the tunnel. It is a single lane so highway traffic going south enters from the top of the hour until quarter after. Northbound traffic enters from the bottom of the hour until 45 after the hour. Trains get priority and proceed as soon as traffic has cleared.

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: bob40n105w on 2021-01-08 16:51:06. Last edited by bob40n105w on 2021-01-16 18:30:58

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