The Atlas HO Master 1932 ARA Box Car Norfolk Southern 25229 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:
Norfolk Southern Railroad: The Elizabeth City & Norfolk Railroad finished a line between its namesake cities in 1880 (Chartered in 1870). Renamed the Norfolk Southern Railroad, the road went bankrupt in 1889 and was reorganized as the Norfolk & Southern in 1891. In 1906 a group of small North Carolina railroads were merged (Including the Norfolk & Southern), as the Norfolk & Southern Railway. Bankrupt in 1908, the railroad emerged as the Norfolk Southern Railroad in 1910. With the purchase of more small railroads and new construction the NS reached Charlotte, Durham, and Fayetteville, NC, by 1920. The company was again bankrupt in the Great Depression, going into receivership in 1932, reorganized in 1942 as the Norfolk Southern Railway. From 1947-53 corrupt management, lead by Patrick McGinnis, controlled the Norfolk Southern. In 1974 the regional (primarily in North Carolina) Norfolk Southern Railway was acquired by the Southern Railway.
Historical Fact: The Norfolk Southern Railway name was changed to the Carolina & Northwestern so the new megamerger Norfolk & Western-Southern Railway holding company could take the name "Norfolk Southern".