The Atlas HO Scale Master 1932 ARA Box Car Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis 18003 models the 1932 ARA box car. The American Railroad Association (ARA), the agency that managed the US railroads during World War I on behalf of the US Government, sought in the 1920s to design a new all steel box car that could serve as a standard for the industry. First introduced in 1923, it was not until the 1932 all steel box car was introduced did the railroads accept a standardized design. Although later designs, such as the 1937 AAR design would prove more popular, the 1932 car was truly revolutionary. For the first time, railroads bought a box car "off the shelf" with all railroads using basically the same design. Previously Mechanical Department's had specified individual designs per railroad.
Road Name and History:
Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railway: The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad was incorporated in 1845 and by 1853 had built a rail line from Nashville, TN, to Bridgeport,AL, on the Tennessee River. The route was critical as a Union supply route during the Civil War, and the tracks were often torn up and later relayed. At the end of the war the United States Military Railroad restored the line and returned it to its owners. After the 1873 purchase of a route from Nashville to Hickman, KY, the railroad was renamed the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway.In 1879, when the railroad attempted to actually open a line to St. Louis, the larger Louisville & Nashville took control of the NC&SL to avoid the competition. The Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis became, as a subsidiary of L&N, the critical bridge carrier for Midwest-Southeast rail traffic. In 1957 Louisville & Nashville finally merged its long-time subsidiary into the L&N.
Historical Fact: The 1957 merger of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis into the Louisville & Nashville is considered by many rail historians to be the "birth" of the "Modern Merger Movement".