Athearn Trains was founded by Irv Athearn in 1946, manufacturing supplies and kits for O scale modelers. He soon branched out into HO scale in 1948, and later acquired the Globe Models line. By the mid-1950s, the company was offering kits and ready-to-run models made from injection-molded plastic, including standard freight cars and passengers cars that quickly achieved universal acceptance among modelers. Read the full story…
An early 1960s addition that didn’t last long in Athearn’s line was the four-axle GP30 diesel locomotive model.
One of two EMD cowl-body six-axle diesels that joined Athearn’s line in the 1970s was the FP45.
A member of Athearn’s class of ’66, the SD45 diesel was a long-serving “Blue Box” favorite.
Part of Athearn’s big expansion of diesel locomotive models of 1966, the four-axle GP35 was a popular EMD prototype and HO-scale miniature.
Athearn adds its only Baldwin diesel prototype to its line in 1974 with the release of the S-12 switcher.
First introduced in 1970, Athearn adds Alco’s famous PA-1 and PB-1 passenger diesels to its HO-scale line.
At the same time Athearn introduced its Alco PA-1, a booster PB-1 arrives in the line in 1970.
Athearn’s steam generator-equipped SD40 model from 1966 replicated Electro-Motive Division’s SDP40 passenger diesel sold to Great Northern and NdeM, and included a number of fantasy road names as well.
Athearn’s biggest diesel of the blue box era was the D-truck monster DD40. Similar to the DD35A, Athearn decorated its DD40 for Union Pacific and provided the model with numbers matching the prototype DD35A.