Athearn Heavyweights : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Hi, I'm thinking of getting some of the Athearn heavyweight pass. cars. Can anyone tell me if they look anything close to the real thing? And if they don't can you tell me how to make them better looking or where to get some better cars? Thanks, Jason

-- Jason Castine (, June 24, 2002


the sal freight and passenger book shows 72 foot heavyweight coaches so i guess they are correct. also the concor baggage looks great if you put athearn six wheel trucks under it

-- john f penca (, September 18, 2002.


The Athearn cars are a good compromise if you've built with tight curves, but they are NOT prototypical. If you want heavyweights that you would have seen on ACL/SAL trains, you've got some options:

Bethlehem Car Works makes an SAL coach - supposedly, Intermountain is going to import an assembled version. They also sell a NYC baggage car (see Rutland Car Shops portion of their site) that is close to a SAL baggage. The PRR Horse-Express car can also be hacked to match an SAL horse-express.

Eastern Car Works makes a kit for an American Flyer coach, appropriate for SAL

Rivarossi 12-1 Pullmans can be bashed using New England Rail Service Parts into many of the appropriate sleepers. I've done two 6-6's, as well as 8-1-3's. The Rivarossi diner is close to the SAL diners (but not exactly).

Branchline is supposed to be coming out with 8-1-2's and 10-1-2's, both of which would be appropriate for ACL - the 10-1-2's are appropriate for SAL.

Hope this helps, Paul

-- Paul Bizier (, June 26, 2002.

I looked at my Walthers catalog and they are just exactly like the real thing. i am planning to buy the observation for my collection and put it my Amtrak train so I can have that feel of someone traveling by private car in which I have seen bring up the rears of numerous Amtrak long and short distance trains over the years. I recomend buying them and get the Athearn Genesis Atlantic Coast Line Pacific to go with the cars. They also have a Seaboard Air Line Mikado,if you can get a set of undecorated heavyweight passenger cars and have them custom painted into Seaboard Air Line paint scheme to go along with the Mikado and you also can get an undecorated pacific and have that lettered in Seaboard Air Line to go along with the mikado and the cars.

-- Bradford Paulson (, June 26, 2002.

Jason, the Athearn cars are too short....72' rather than the prototypical 80-85 feet. They are also generic- for scale lengths, look to Rivarossi, AHM, or IHC, and for scal length and nice cars look to Bachmann Spectrum or Eastern Car Works. Of these, only IHC offers the cars in our roads livery (ACL or SAL)- the ACL cars are nice looking, but again, generic representations. Hope this helped. mvh

-- Mark Huband (, June 25, 2002.

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