57-foot Mechanical Reefer
Work Caboose
Standard Caboose
Bay Window Caboose
Wide-Vision Caboose
Covered Gondola
Gondola w/Cannisters
Gondola w/Containers
50' Outside Braced Box Car
40' AAR Box Car
Special Box Car
40' Steam Era Box Car
40' AAR Refrigerator Car
40' Wood Reefer Private Owner
40' Wood Reefer
40' AAR Steel Reefer
Express Reefer
50-foot Steel Single Door Box Car
50' Steam Era Auto Box Car
50' Double-Door Auto Box Car
50' Mechanical Refrigerator
50-foot Outside Braced Refrigerator
3-Dome Tank Car
Chemical Tank Car
Single Dome Tank Car
62' Tank Car
Heavy Duty Flat Car
40' Flat Car w/Stakes
40' Flat Car w/Load
50' Flat Car w/Stakes
85' All Purpose Flat Car
85' Piggyback Flat Car
Pickle Car
55' ACF Hopper
54' PS Hopper
Quad Hopper
Pulpwood Car
40' Wood Box Car
Grain Loading Box Car
50' Flat w/2 Vans
25' Piggyback Vans
Stock Car
34' Offset Side Hopper
34' Composite Side Hopper
34' Ribbed Side Hopper
Tractor w/40' Trailer
40' Trailers
Snow Plow
Auto Loader
200 Ton Crane
4-Door 86' Hi-Cube
8-Door 86' Hi-Cube
40' Outside Brace Hi-Cube
40' Smooth Side Hi-Cube
50' Plug Door
Modern Billboards
Streamline Passenger Cars
Streamline Baggage
Streamline Diner
Streamline R.P.O.
Streamline Coach
Streamline Vista Dome
Streamline Observation
Heavyweight Passenger Cars
Athearn OEM
About This Site


Site Mission Statement
My goal and interest in creating this website is to present a visual record of a period in Athearn's history.  Athearn's production begins prior to what is found on this site and very successfully continues today beyond the scope of what I present. 
This site focuses upon Athearn from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s.  The Athearn I knew growing up was the top of the line in HO-scale plastic trains.  With the demise of Athearn's fabled "blue box" kit series, I hope this site will serve as a scrapbook and reference for what I see as the classic era of "blue box" kits.  The days when Athearn had only so many models and only made so many roadnames. 
As you search swap meets and online on eBay, you'll find many examples of cars that at first glance appear to be genuine Athearn releaess.  Often these turn out to be Bev-Bel or other secondary companies stamping and lettering Athearn kits.  This site will be a resource only for Athearn releases.
Beyond the mentioned releases of the late '60s to the early 1980s, I am including examples and some information on earlier Athearn products like their '60s steam engines.  I knew Athearn once made steam engines and offered ready-to-run train sets, but that was ancient history to me growing up in the 1970s.
Some may laugh at honoring these older Athearn items.  The metal sideframes that frequently sparked as they ran and could short out with some degree of ease.  The wide body shells and clunky handrails.  The now crude appearing tampo stamp printing of heralds and lettering.  However, if you grew up on these Athearn models you'll appreciate the charm of these features today.  They're fun to collect too.  Because of the quantity produced and number of years made, nearly all these Athearn pieces are easy and inexpensive to obtain.  The challenge and entertainment may be in locating unbuilt, mint examples with all the paperwork, etc.

Why Athearn? Why Just These Releases?

If you grew up in the 1970s, these Athearn kits were likely some of the first freight cars you assembled yourself. Many other readily available and amply produced HO-scale model trains were ready-to-run at the time. On shelves of hobby shops and toy stores when I was a kid, I found cars and locos from companies like AHM, Bachmann, Cox, Lionel-HO, Model Power, TYCO and others. The Athearn releases were a bit different in the need to put them together and were also at the upper end of quality for the time.

Please note that this site was created for use by those with an interest in HO-scale model trains and does not necessarily represent the current Athearn line available today. The author is not affiliated with, nor representing Athearn and/or Horizon Hobby in any way. This site is intended for your enjoyment and information only.
Images and information presented on this site comes from a variety of sources including magazines, internet, catalogs, visitor input, and the author's collection.