AHM F-M C-Liner

Rivarossi first produces the C-Liner in HO scale. On rare occasion, you’ll see a black undecorated Rivarossi boxed example of the C-Liner.  This early shell is made of Bakelite.  The earliest reference found on Rivarossi’s C-Liner is a 1954 advertisement listing the model as new. Rivarossi produced C-Liners for Lionel’s HO line beginning in 1957.
An early 1960s AHM magazine ad for the C-Liner model states it was produced by Mehanotehika under license from Rivarossi.  Examining samples seems to indicate that all AHM C-Liners may be Yugoslavian made by Mehanotehnika. IHC Hobby offered this same Yugoslavian C-Liner model following AHM’s departure from the hobby in the 1980s. Later runs of the C-Liner often have “Tempo-Yugoslavia” stamped on the bottom of the fuel tank.

If one looked up “crude” in the Hobby Dictionary, if there was such a reference, you might just find this model pictured. The C-Liner model lacks all steps from the cab to the rear of the unit on both sides. It also sports a strange non-prototypical hood hanging over its carved out front pilot. Available since the mid-1950s though the 1990s, this model might also be labeled a “classic” in HO-scale by many hobby historians.

AHM’s C-Liners first came to market in the spring of 1963.  You will find a review of the model in the April 1963 Model Railroder magazine.  The unit arrives first only in Reading paint, followed that summer of 1963 with New Haven and Pennsylvania Railroad offerings.  The original group received 5025-5036 numbers and included Reading, New Haven, Pennsylvania Railroad, Santa Fe, Baltimore & Ohio, Northern Pacific, The Milwaukee Road, Atlantic & East Carolina, Illinois Central, Union Pacific, Canadian National, and New York Central.

Non-powered A-units featured the same road number found on AHM’s powered A-unit. AHM added a B-unit for its C-Liner collection. In the 1967-68 AHM catalog, powered A-units list for $8.95 and non-powered A-units are $3.98. The last appearance by the C-Liner from AHM is found in the 1982 catalog.

AHM’s booster or B-unit C-Liner model is reviewed as a new product in the March 1965 issue of Model Railroader magazine. The review notes this HO C-Liner B-unit is a scale 6-inches wider than the prototype. The review includes the model’s original retail of $3.98, which was a non-powered example, as well as original release road names: Baltimore & Ohio, New Haven, The Milwaukee Road, Pennsylvania Railroad, Reading, and Santa Fe.

AHM also imported an O-scale C-Liner A-unit.  The O-scale example was of more prototypical design and featured a better looking front pilot.  The O-scale AHM C-Liner was never given a B-unit mate. AHM offered its O-scale C-Liner in only two road names:  Pennsylvania Railroad and Santa Fe.

Fairbanks-Morse introduced its C-Liner series of diesels in 1950. The “C” stood for Consolidated. Horsepower variations to the C-Liner model were available to railroad buyers ranging from 1,600- to 2,400-hp. The opposed-piston engine was a rare design in diesel locomotives. The C-Liner could be equipped to operate in either freight or passenger service. Though AHM managed to decorate its 1/87th C-Liner example in a wide variety of railroads, actual buyers were few and included Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Long Island Railroad, The Milwaukee Road, New Haven, New York Central, and Pennsylvania Railroad.

AHM’s F-M C-Liner Roster

Atlantic & East Carolina C-Liner A-unit
No. 5032
No. 5024-I
No. 5024-09

Baltimore & Ohio C-Liner A-unit
No. 5029
No. 5024-F
No. 5024-06
No. 16203 (powered with caboose)
No. 16603 (powered and dummy)

Baltimore & Ohio C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-FD

Burlington Northern C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-R
No. 5024-18

Burlington Northern C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-RD

Canadian National C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-L
No. 5024-12

Chesapeake & Ohio C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-S
No. 5024-19

Chesapeake & Ohio C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-SD

Conrail C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-26

Denver & Rio Grande Western C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-X
No. 5024-24

Great Northern C-Liner A-unit
No. 16204 (powered with caboose)
No. 16604 (powered and dummy)

Illinois Central C-Liner A-unit
No. 5033
No. 5024-J
No. 5024-10

Illinois Central C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-JD

Lackawanna C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-U -1974 release
No. 5024-21

Lackawanna C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-UD

Louisville & Nashville C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-Q 
No. 5024-17

Louisville & Nashville C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-QD

The Milwaukee Road C-Liner A-unit
No. 5031
No. 5024-H
No. 5024-08

Missouri-Kansas-Texas C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-P 
No. 5024-16

Missouri-Kansas-Texas C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-PD

New Haven C-Liner A-unit
No. 5026 

New Haven C-Liner B-unit
No. 7026 

New York Central C-Liner A-unit
No. 5036 (black with gray Lightning Stripes)
No. 5024-M
No. 5024-13

Northern Pacific C-Liner A-unit
No. 5030
No. 5024-G
No. 5024-07

Northern Pacific C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-GD

Penn Central C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-N
No. 5024-14

Pennsylvania Railroad C-Liner A-unit
No. 5027 -1963 release
No. 5024-D
No. 5024-04
No. 16201 (powered with caboose)
No. 16601 (powered and dummy)

Pennsylvania Railroad C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-DD 

What are those circular gray plastic tubes on that Pennsylvania Railroad C-Liner B-unit you ask?  They are coupler protectors.  Certain releases from Mehano included these gray plastic tubes to protect X2f couplers from damage.  The tube fit over the coupler and coupler pocket.  In addition to AHM releases, you’ll find these gray tubes on some American, Train & Track items. For the collector, this is something to keep an eye out for when looking at models at swap meets and eBay.

Reading C-Liner A-unit
No. 5025
No. 5024-C
No. 5024-03

Reading C-Liner B-unit
No. 7025-D

Santa Fe C-Liner A-unit
No. 5028
No. 5024-E
No. 5024-05
No. 16202 (powered with caboose)
No. 16602 (powered and dummy)

Santa Fe C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-ED

Seaboard Coast Line C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-B
No. 5024-02

Soo Line C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-W
No. 5024-23

Soo Line C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-WD

Southern Railway C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-T -1974 release
No. 5024-20

Southern Railway C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-TD 

Southern Pacific C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-V
No. 5024-22

Southern Pacific C-Liner B-unit
No. 5024-VD

Spirit of 1776 C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-Y
No. 5024-25

Union Pacific C-Liner A-unit
No. 5034
No. 5024-K
No. 5024-11

Union Pacific C-Liner B-unit
No. 7024-KD

Transparent C-Liner A-unit
No. 5024-R