The Atlas HO Berwick 50' Box Car Chicago & North Western 156177 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:
Chicago & North Western Railway: The Chicago & North Western Railway was chartered in 1859. Its original predecessor line, in which track was actually layed, was the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad, started in 1865. Like all 19th Century railroads C&NW grew by building new track and consolidating with other lines. The Midwest Farm Belt was heavily overbuilt with railroads- called Granger lines- and competition between Chicago and Omaha- and the Union Pacific main line to California- was fierce for many years. Chicago & North Western emerged as one of the more successful of those roads, merging the Omaha Road in 1957, the Minneapolis & St. Louis in 1960, and the Chicago Great Western in 1968. Disappointed at the low rate of return in the railroad industry, in 1968 a holding company called Northwest Industries diversified outside the railroad industry. In 1972 Northwest Industries disposed of C & NW, which was bought by its employees. In all the consolidations and changes among the Granger Roads the North Western was always a survivor. In 1995 it fulfilled Union Pacific's long time dream- with merger UP had a direct Omaha-Chicago route.