The Atlas HO Master 50' Berwick Box Car Illinois Central 501138 models the Berwick Forge and Fabricating 50' sliding door box cars, first produced in 1972, which featured their new corrugated non-terminating “sine-wave” ends. Jackson and Woodin Manufacturing started producing rail cars in Berwick, PA, in 1840. In 1881 that company joined other manufacturers to form American Car and Foundry (ACF). In 1904 ACF built the first all-steel box car in Berwick. In 1961 ACF closed the Berwick plant, which was bought by local businessmen to form Berwick Forge and Fabricating, which became a Whittaker subsidiary in 1968. Faced with a recession in 1982, the Berwick plant finally ceased railcar production and was closed.
Road Name and History:
Illinois Central Railroad: The Illinois Central Railroad was chartered in 1851 to build a rail line from Cairo to Galena,IL, with a branch from Centralia to Chicago.The Illinois Central was the first "land grant" railroad, and with this Federal assistance was able to build these routes by 1856- service from Cairo was extended to New Orleans by steamboat. Like most early railroads, the IC both purchased smaller railroads and built new lines- by 1873 through subsidiaries the IC reached New Orleans by rail. Most railroads in the South were built to 5' gauge- the IC converted to standard gauge all in one day- in 1881. During the 1880s the Illinois Central continued to expand with new routes to Louisville, St. Louis, and even Omaha. A major improvement, completed in 1928, was a cut-off from Edgewood,IL to Fulton,KY to bypass Cairo,IL. With low rail earnings in the 1960s, the IC created Illinois Central Industries, a diversified holding company. The IC merged with the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio in 1972, creating Illinois Central Gulf. In 1988 the holding company spun off the ICG, that again became the Illinois Central. In 1998 the Illinois Central was purchased by Canadian National, which now operates many of IC's former routes as part of its system. (Note: the black and white color scheme represents IC in the time period from 1988-1998 after returning to the IC name but before merger into CN)