Athearn Aniversary Cars

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CNWman, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Hi all:wave:

    I'm thinking about getting the Athearn aniversary boxcar and observation car, but there's one thing I don't know: can the observation car take 18 in. curves? I don't want to order it only to find it won't take my curves. Here's the link to the aniversary stuff: Athearn - Product Search
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Yes..All Athearn's short passenger cars will go around 18 inch curves.
  3. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    That's a short passenger car? It looks like it's over 9 in. to me, but if it can take 18 in. without derailing, I might finally have a little passenger service:p
  4. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    The Athearn cars SHOULD take 18" radius. However, I dunno about the newer releases.
  5. jesso

    jesso Member

    My full-size IHC passenger cars get parked on a 15" radius curve (yes, I know, don't flame me) and they don't derail. However, they have truck mounted couplers where the Athearn one looks like it has body mounts, so that can be one difference.
  6. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    True, but the couplers issue can be dealt with, my main worry is the 6-axle trucks and their ability to handle my 18 in curves. Athearn also seems to have four-axle trucks for these cars, but I only have one Athearn car, my NMRA Convention special hopper.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Athearn passenger cars are called "shorty" because they scale out to72 scale feet long instead of 89. They will take an 18 inch radius curve, because the couplers are truck mounted if I remember correctly. If they aren't truck mounted, they are mounted on long swinging arms to allow them to handle the tight radius curves.
  8. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    I have curves between 15" and 20" in radius on my layout (space limitations) but I've been running 85' boxcars and 6 axle engines for years. Rarely do I have a derailment. However, I have to admit my longer rolling stock looks pretty silly on the 15" areas. :oops: :mrgreen:
  9. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Ah, thanks Russ, that clears things up. You're probably right for the coupler arms, for the observation couplers don't look truck mounted. If they can take 18 in., then I will be getting one:mrgreen:
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    A full-length passenger car would be around 12" long.
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Russ,There are prototypes for those cars..You see the 72 footers was use on second and third class trains.Even the C&O had some 72 footers.
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Thanks for the info, Brakie. I knew the old wooden cars from the 1800's were shorter, and I knew about the 30 footers that the Sierra RR had specially made that were the prototype for MDC's Overton cars; but I didn't know that modern cars were built shorter than 89 feet.
  13. PRRman

    PRRman Dum-Dum Pop Addict

    Now you just need a couple more passenger cars and a suitable engine (although your Chessie ought to suffice:thumb:).
  14. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    My Chessie? I don't own a Chessie engine. Do you mean my BL2?
  15. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Actually, the standard length of passenger cars was 85'. This was almost universal in the lightweight car era (1938+). This was also common in the heavyweight era (1910's-1930's)...but many heavyweights were also built to lengths such as 70', 75', and 80'. The only wooden cars that I can think of being 80' long were a set of Pullman demonstrators build around 1905 or so...I don't feel like checking my reference books for an accurate number.

    The only real concerns with derailments are weight and how far from the trucks the couplers are mounted. Athearns were designed in...50's or 60's...when 18" seemed to be more common.

    Athearn's shorties are for people whom hate the overhang that scale length cars have on tight curves...with the downside...especially for their lightweight cars...that they look downright ridiculous to some people...such as myself. Different people care about different details correct...and no one can get eveything correct as we have to exercise selective compression...I care more about cars & engines than the track. Athearn's heavyweights are more believable since there were prototypes for them. The headend cars are also more believable since headend cars were usually shorter. I can say with a very high degree of confidence that any 72' coaches or sleepers in the lightweight era were rebuilt from earlier cars and wouldn't look like the Athearn cars (see the B&O's rebuilt cars or the NKP's 80 series coaches). The rebuilt cars were usually riveted like the heavyweights...but with rounded roofs and lightweight style windows...

    I think I'm I better stop...

    The Athearn cars are fine for 18" radius. I would go ahead and order the car if you'd like it. Just check to be sure that the wheels are in gauge...and you'll be happy with it.

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