by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Originally published on:
Atlas' Center Flow Pressureaide Car is modeled after an ACF freight car designed to handle dry, powdered commodities for fast, efficient unloading.
Pressureaide® Hopper CarAmerican Car & Foundry builds a variety of rail cars including pressure-differential covered hopper cars. A Pressureaide® hopper car is a development of center flow covered hopper, a freight car that has no center sill. Thus the contents can discharge uninterrupted. With Pressureaide® types this is via a discharge manifold system of 15 psi that allows the car load to blow out cleanly. Common commodities transported include grains, flour and plastic pellets. The interior of the hopper binds are frequently coated with a liner to protect the load.
Today covered hoppers are found almost everywhere and in the Midwest can be found in unit trains of 125 cars. The vital statistics for the model prototype are:
- AAR Type: C614
- Detail Info: Covered Hopper, Pressure Differential, Permanent Roof, Greater than 5000 cu ft capacity
- Plate: C
- Max Gross Weight: 286000
- Load Limit: 219700
- Length: 59' 7"
- Width: 10' 8"
- Height: 15' 5"
Atlas N Scale ACF Pressureaide® HopperThis is a sharp model. It comes packed in a clear hard case, sandwiched within a plastic cradle.
I admit being a bit unsure whether this is an ACF or ARI hopper. ARI? American Railcar Industries, Inc. was formed in 1994 from the acquisition of railcar component manufacturing and railcar maintenance assets from ACF Industries.*
It's modeled after an ACF 5000 cubic foot hopper or an ARI PD5001 car. It is factory assembled. Key features are:
* Etched metal roof walks
* Detailed brake gear with scale piping
* AccuMate® couplers 
* Accurate painting and printing
* 100-ton roller-bearing trucks
I found no molding flaws on the model. The factory installed pieces are on tight. While the piping detail looks good the cast-on ladders and grab irons seem a bit overscale -- not surprising for 1/160 scale, and not unreasonable. Small burrs mar the sides of the ladders from cutting them off their sprue, but I only found these while examining the greatly enlarged photos. Speaking of photos, you will find several shots of the B end. This is so you can see the detail under different lighting.
Those etched roof walks greatly enhance the appearance of this model, as does the basic air brake appliances. And from 'the three-foot rule' the 100-ton roller-bearing trucks are convincing. The same goes for the AccuMate® couplers.
My inspection finds the model to be in conformance with NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices, with RP-25 wheels and couplers at acceptable height. It weighs 1.2 ounces, almost spot-on by RP-2O.1 Car Weight recommendation of 1.1 ounces. It is a scale 56 ft 3 in. long from over striker to over striker, while the ARI brochure shows the prototype is 56'-11".
Paint and MarkingsThis model is really impressive. I don't know how Atlas prints the stenciling so sharp in this scale but they certainly do! Trinity Rail Management livery of gray and black lacks a 'wow! factor', however that means there is little to distract you from all the amazing printed data . There is a small amount of color to liven things up -- reflective yellow stripes and ARI Center Flow Pressureaide® in blue. The etched metal roof walks are not painted.
Along with an undecorated model, last March Atlas released nine new paint schemes:
• J.M. Huber
• National Starch
• Procter & Gamble
• Red Venturi
• Trinity Rail Management
All except Red Venturi are available with three different road numbers.
ConclusionAtlas has given N scalers a nice model of a ubiquitous modern freight car. The AccuMate® couplers are a plus, the near-scale piping is pleasing, and the finish and stenciling is excellent. Recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RAILROADMODELING.
 AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.
* About American Railcar Industries, Inc. American Railcar Industries, Inc. http://www.americanrailcar.com/AboutUs.aspx. 2011.
Pressureaide® Covered Hopper Cars. American Railcar Industries, Inc. http://www.americanrailcar.com/RailcarManufacturing/Car.aspx?car=pressureaide. 2011.
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