Atlas Model Trains did not originally start out as a model train company; it was a tool manufacturer.
In 1924, Stephan Schaffan Sr. moved from Czechoslovak early in life and had begun the tool company in New Jersey. His son Stephan Jr. started working for him, and during this time Jr. graduated from the Essex County Vocational School.
Jr. was a model airplane builder during these times and spent many hours at the hobby shop. This lead Jr. to work at night in his father’s basement, building pre assembled and flexible model train track for the hobby shop. By 1947, Jr. opened his first factory manufacturing model trains.
Atlas Model Trains were the true representations of HO miniature trains. They did great detailed work in ladder, roof walks, brake gears, and the exact colors and numbers of the Great American full sized trains.
They did not stop with just the engines; they made the box cars and the caboose in exact details also.
Although Atlas do manufacture many of their model trains with explicit details; they have some model train sets that will allow the collector to add parts themselves.
Some of the Atlas Model Trains which you can find in their catalog are the RS3 Boston & Maine number 1508 N series.
This locomotive features directional lights, a five pole skewed armature motor, with low friction drive, and metal wheels. It has full body mounted couplers, and is blue and black in color, just like the original diesel engine that was powered at that time.
Another Atlas Model Trains product is the Fairbanks-Morse Train Master. This Diesel powered locomotive is built for the N scale series and is a high nose locomotive.
The Engine is painted with a light grey color, and black under skirting. However, this locomotive has no number or road name.
The Atlas Model Trains collection features the RS-3 Loco Interstate #38. It is a multi colored diesel engine with cream color on the top portion, grey as the second line of color, then Orange as the main color and the color of the engineer cab. The base is also grey in color.
The GP38-2 Grand Trunk 4928 is an N series locomotive diesel engine, which is blue in color and has a red front. The handrails are also detailed in white as is the very large letters GT on the side of the locomotive.
Many of these above mentioned Atlas model train lines are scheduled to be discontinued soon. This will make the ones out there more valuable to the collector of Atlas model trains.
Dan B Morgan is the author of Model Trains For Beginners which covers Atlas Model Trains – compulsory reading for any model train beginner. This website contains valuable information on how to save the most time and money building your dream model train layout.
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