A1G 2340 Series: Flat Cars, Depressed Center with 6 Wheel Trucks


It's a short series of two, but it's unique in one way... check out the trucks!

These cars were made by Roco for Atlas, were re-released and imported by E-R Models in the late 1990's (see below). They are not easy to come by in as manufactured condition, mostly due to that brake wheel that should be on the end of the car. In fact, my two examples don't have the brake wheels either! Finding replacements won't be easy-- you'd need another one of the cars, as only these and the 2350 Piggyback Flats had them. Stand-ins from other manufacturers' cars would work, I suppose. Meanwhile, I'll keep up the chase.

These cars were among the very few US prototypes that came with six wheel trucks. Not until Micro-Trains released its version of the Buckeye Truck in 2001 was there much else to choose from, other than procuring one of these cars and "donating" the trucks to another project. I'll bet a number of the transformer loads found their way to layouts in this manner as well.

This series shares the 2340 designation with the Jumbo Tank Cars.

Key spotting features for this car are:
- underside of bottom of car (the "depressed" part) stamped "Atlas Austria"
- end vertical brake wheel
- six wheel trucks, simulating the "heavy duty" trucks that are required on the prototype; these have the usual "foldover" coupler fasteners, though
- brown simulated wood floor
- transformer load, which has four large insulators at the four corners of the top; this load is three pieces and fits into holes in the floor of the car (which makes modelling an unloaded car a bit of a challenge!)
- absence of stirrups at the corners; if you look carefully, you'll see that they are molded into the ends of the car

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 2340 series flat car in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
- brake wheel intact and attached at the end of the car
- transformer load intact with four insulators
- no weathering
- no abrasions, scratches or other damage to the paint
- the original six wheel 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 2340 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.

Because these cars are relatively scarce in as manufactured condition, there is an estimated value for "runner" cars in this series of from 30-40% of the as manufactured values.

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car.
Catalog # Popup
Image
Reporting
Marks
Description AV
AM
AV
MIB
2341Image CN 137000 Black, White10-1212-15
2342Image N&W (no #)Black, White10-1212-15

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


The E-R Models/Roco Releases


BONUS! Here are images of the E-R Models releases of this car type, added to my accumulation mostly in Summer 2013. These were commissioned by E-R (now out of business) and were made by Roco as the liner label above clearly states! As with other E-R Models runs, I believe these were quite limited in quantity. I was able to grab seven of the eight road numbers in one shot from a local dealer who had acquired a large stash of model trains, including, apparently, the remainder of the unsold E-R merchandise. I already had the eighth road number, so that allows me to share with you the entire series. And yes, that means that the later run had double the roadnames, and quadruple the releases, of the original A1G issuances.

I should note that while I'm certain that I have all of the road numbers, I'm not at all sure that I have all of the road number plus load variations. As you can see in the photos, there are four distinct-- and interchangable-- loads furnished with these cars: a cable reel, an electrical transformer, an army tank, and an army transport. There's no practical way to confirm that the same loads were always supplied with every copy of each car. Also, whether a black or brown body, each of these cars has a deeper brown (like a red/brown) floor.

What's more... it's apparently true that these are not based on the same tooling as the A1G cars. It's been pointed out that the E-R cars are actually clones of the Minitrix cars, which were also marketed by Aurora in the "Postage Stamp" line. The tooling is very close, but not exactly the same as the A1G version. I'll leave the list and images here anyway... if only because it took so long to get all of these!

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car.
Catalog # Popup
Image
Reporting
Marks
Description
040-70375Image PRR 470000Brown/White, Roadname + Road Number Center, Transformer Load
040-70375-1Image PRR 470001Brown/White, Roadname + Road Number Center, Cable Reel Load
040-70376Image ATSF 90000Black/White, Reporting Marks Center, Transformer Load
040-70376-1Image ATSF 90001Black/White, Reporting Marks Center, Cable Reel Load
040-70377Image US ARMY 3802Black/White, Reporting Marks Left, Army Transporter Load
040-70377-1Image US ARMY 3804Black/White, Reporting Marks Left, Army Tank Load
040-70378Image NYC 499025Brown/White, Reporting Marks Center, Transformer Load
040-70378-1Image NYC 499026Brown/White, Reporting Marks Center, Cable Reel Load