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a Thank You to Athearn model trains

a Thank You to Athearn model trains

It took many years to gather a small fleet of chemical tank cars.
I hadn't purchased many over the years because they have a slightly high center of gravity
compared to an old boxcar.
But, with proper location in a train, I have gotten better at not pulling them over.

My very first Frontier Chemical came in a ? 1964 ? Athearn train set.


A 1965 Boys Life magazine article showed how to make a small tank display.
I could do a lot better now with a computer printer to make a paper wrap for those paper towel tubes.
But it's been around all these years with magic marker and some rubber stamp lettering
to mimic the tank car lettering.


I bought this un-assembled kit in 2023,
and from the price on the box,
I am guessing it was new in the early 1960's.
And I assembled it and it runs great.

That old box also had the instructions and part numbers,
something that I didn't get in the 1960's because I bought my first rail cars in a SET.
Back when a whole Athearn train with two locomotives and 5 cars and a caboose came in one big box
with a beautiful big train picture like the little boxes had.
I should have kept that big box for the sake of the picture, it was about 20 x 30 ? inches.
But, during a move, I decided to just take a picture of it and then discard it.


I know I smashed that first tank car really bad, maybe from a train wreck that crashed it on the floor.
The platform split in two all the way across, and some stanchion supports broke off, too.
The hobby shop suggested that I write direct to Athearn for parts.
I didn't have a parts list at the time, but I described it well, and asked them for a price list.
And lo and behold, in a month a brown paper envelope shows up with not a price list, but the entire part with the handrails.
I can't thank them enough for helping a young guy keep the railroad running.

I have bought plenty of Athearn locomotives and cars since then.

Also, it was a small miracle it arrived in one piece,
it wasn't in a box or bubble wrap, just a small brown envelope the size of the palm of my hand,
through the US post office.

I know the tank car was repaired by 1972, when this wreck picture was taken on an old, now long-gone, layout.
The tank car is in white at the upper right of the picture.



Now a-days, I install wreck prevention on parts of the railroad to keep cars from hitting the floor.

That can be done with good scenery like trees and pole lines.

A strip of cardboard that rises 3/8 inch above the ties is enough to stop a car from rolling over the edge,
yet allows viewing of most of the train cars while hugging the cliffs.

If I got energetic, I could print and glue on a paper strip with pictures of shrubbery or steel retaining wall or stone blocks.



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This page was made in February 2023