American Made ?????

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by dwight77, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. dwight77

    dwight77 Member

    Hi All: I have a friend who wants to buy a model train, possibly "HO" gauge but would like it to be American made. Does such a company exist? I deal in N gauge and am not familiar with "HO" guage manufacturers.
  2. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Athearn, they even make sure their kits and boxes say 'made in america'. John Ratzenburger should do a show on them:mrgreen:
  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Are there any American-made sets..? I believe that's what Dwight77's friend might be after....
  4. tomustang

    tomustang Has Entered.

    American-Made, that's a rare phrase, even if it's made in america the guy building it might be 'non-american'
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I don't know about sets, but I believe that Accurail is made in the U.S., along with, perhaps, Tichy and Bowser.

  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    We don't even come up with our own TV shows any more. Just look how the most popular shows on TV and movies on the screen are ripped off from the british.

    I wanted to start my own brand of American cheese, called " 'mericun brand American cheese". The slogan would be " 'mericun brand American cheese. Made by Americans, for Americans... in mexico."

    Seriously, if you want USA made trains that are not kits - i really think your only option is to buy vintage stuff at a train show. You probably want pre-1970 just to be sure.

  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I think TYCO might have been the last...Although I'm not sure if they were Am'n made....
  8. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Athearn are made in Chine, have been for a while now. Tyco was made in Hong Kong.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the "blue box" kits are still made in the U.S. The rtr Athearn which includes all of their locomotives are made in China. The older rtr based on blue box models are made from parts cast here and shipped to China I think, but any of the newer rtr is probably made entirely in China.
  10. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    All Athearn is made in China. Has been since they moved from Compton to Carson. When they were in Compton they were made in America. The Blue box, boxes still say Made in America, and will until they run out.

    EDIT Well I guess I was wrong, Athearn BB does still say made in the USA on their site.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the blue box kits require the least amount of labor to put in the boxes. I'm not sure, but I suspect that the tooling that was pre-existing would entail high import duties if shipped to China or there is some other reason why the parts are cast here in the states. Of course when you look at the paint on rtr freight cars compared to the kits, it is obvious that the Chinese are doing a lot more hand work than they do in the US plant. The paint is a lot crisper with a lot of painted on detail that isn't there on the kits which are still pad printed as they were when Irv was still alive.
  12. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    I stand corrected guys, I talked to a friend of mine who recently toured the Athearn Plant and he told me that the BB kits are still made here, but everything else Athearn wise is made in the land of the cheap labor and no quality control, China.
  13. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member


    Manufacturing in China requires something very, very expensive...trans-pacific shipping. If the labor is minimal, there is absolutely no point to make it in China. RTR is made in China because the necessary molds build a single piece, highly detailed car would be next to impossible to make...

    For people that enjoy running trains, but not building...all of the trains will be imports or used. For people whom love build, but not running...nothing will be imported except maybe a few lost wax castings. For the mid-way in between modeler whom likes a little building...they can have mostly made in the USA trains
  14. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

    As some others have already indicated, if you or your friend are looking to purchase a complete American made, Ready-to-Run, HO train, you are out of luck. These are all manufactured overseas today. Individual pieces of rolling stock, in the form of kits (with some RTR) and still made in America by Accurail, Bowser, Model Railroad Warehouse and a few laser-cut wood kit manufacturers. Virtually all locomotives, including ALL of those by Athearn, are imports.

  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the Bowser steam engine kits are probably still American made, but I'm not sure a newby would want to start with a steam engine kit!
  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    More specifically, start with a Bowser kit! The MDC 0-6-0 isn't difficult...but starting with an MDC shay or a Bowser kit is wall1
  17. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    American made HO trains

    As you have been told presently manufactured trains are few and far between. Bowser is still making trains here. And they do make ready to run locomotives.
    Why don't you buy older manufactured trains. Their and plenty out there. Gilbert, Athearn, Varney,Roundhouse and many others.
  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you think buying American made is hard, just try to buy Canadian!

    As for the tools, I was told that in their heyday, Airfix used to ship tools (dies) around to factories in various countries and make the kits where they would be sold because there was less duty involved on a set of dies than on thousands of boxed kits.
  19. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    My car is 75% Canadian! :mrgreen:

    I was wondering that same thing a couple days ago. I tend to think of buying American as meaning the US or the economic level is close and our economies are so intertwined.
  20. diesel

    diesel Member

    I'm sure most of the snap on parts are applied by hand, but the crisper factory 'paint job' (really silk screen) is a result of molded silk screen process. The screen is actually molded to the side of whatever body is being done, and a much better result is had.

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