A1G 2250 Series: Cattle Cars, 40 Foot

This series is interesting! The first four roadnames are clearly in the "first generation" of Atlas freight car releases, and were made by Roco in Austria for Atlas. Around 1987, Roco did its own set of these cars, initially distributed by Walthers, with mostly box car red paint schemes. Meanwhile, Atlas kept the 2250 series numbering and did four more roadnames on a different body style made in the United States... as kits! In the interests of completeness, and because the "One and A Halfth Generation" is of particular interest as a "lost" part of the Atlas lineup, both sets of cars are included in this review. Check out the "2250A" series for the "A1.5G" lineup. I'm calling these "Cattle Cars" because Atlas did; it's how they distinguished the 2250's from their 2410 series "Stock Cars" which are a little smaller.

First, we'll look at the strictly A1G quartet. There's a lettering variation in the 2553 ATSF release; there are white lettered and yellow lettered versions of this car. Overall, though, the cars are pretty basic and pretty common. Stock cars of all types have a more limited appeal to N Scalers; among other things, many of us don't actually remember when they were used on the prototype. By the way, notice that the paint scheme shown for the NISX/New York Central stock car doesn't match the catalog illustration.

Key spotting features for this car are:
- underframe stamped "Atlas Austria"
- Large solid board across the dead center of the car, with three "slat" boards above and below this solid board; this feature is what marks the A1G group from the later Atlas releases
- No cross braces on the door
- original trucks with wheels pressed on seperate axles and Rapido couplers, attached with "foldover" metal strips

Note: The following information on conditions and "Approximate Value" prices are intended to be a guideline only and is presented with no warranties, express or implied. Caution: Definitions and prices can and do vary with collectors, buyers and sellers, and, of course, whether a person is buying or selling an item. That's the way a "free market" works...

A 2250 A1G series car in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
- all four stirrups intact
- brake wheel and running board (roofwalk) in place with no breakage or bending
- no weathering
- no abrasions, scratches or other damage to the paint
- the original trucks with the original metal wheels which were fitted to the axles
- "Rapido" type couplers, truck mounted (this is a case where changing to Micro-Trains® trucks and/or couplers is not a plus!).
Note that minor paint flaws on these cars were common and should not be considered especially "collectible"; in fact, I'd rather have a "perfect" paint job.

A 2250 A1G series car in "mint in box" or "MIB," meets all "As Manufactured" criteria plus:
- no dust, dirt or wear on the car itself
- no wear on wheels (although discolored wheels are common)
- kept in the original Atlas box
- box itself is intact with no cracks, breakage or crazing, with original Atlas label (usually white with black printing), plastic liner (usually blue), and cover. Both inserts and labels vary as the A1G series was sold for years. Store price stickers may or may not detract depending on the placement, size and wear.

There are no approximate values for "runner" 2250 A1G series cars.

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car.
Catalog # Popup
Description AV
2251ImageMKT 502 Yellow/Black, Brown Roof, Ends3-54-6
2252ImageNISX 5407 Green/White, New York Central3-54-6
2253aImageATSF 50656Green/Yellow3-54-6
2253bImageATSF 50656Green/White 4-65-7
2254ImageC&NW 14373Green,Yellow/White3-54-6

AV = Approximate Value (US$ range)
AM = As Manufactured (see above)
MIB = Mint In Box (see above)
Abbreviations: Hld=Herald, R/N=Roadname, L/R=Left/Right Side of Car

Life After A1G: The Roco/Walthers Releases

A full-color advertisement in the January 1987 issue of Model Railroader announced the return of this tooling under the Roco banner, marketed (at least in the USA) by Walthers. "Six authentic roadnames are available," it was noted, and if by "authentic" you mean that these six were actual railroads, not that they rostered this specific type of stock car, then that's accurate! When released, these had a list price of $5.98. When I see them at train shows, which is not often, the asking price is still around that original MSRP.

I have two of the six cars these in the accumulation (the UP and T&P), and I'll add photos at some point; meanwhile here is a table of the 1987 Roco releases.
Catalog # Popup
28684ATSF 60542Mineral Red/White, Reporting Marks L, Small B+W Square Circle Cross R
28685SP 70649Brown/White, Reporting Marks L, Small Circle Herald R
28686UP 49537Yellow/White, Roadname and Reporting Marks L, Small Shield R
28687CB&Q 52148Mineral Red/White, Reporting Marks L, Small Square 'Burlington Route' Herald R
28688T&P 22171Brown/White, Roadname + Rep Marks L, Small Herald R, Texas and Pacific
28689MP 52437Brown/White, Reporting Marks L, Small 'Buzzsaw' Herald R