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24 Mar 2021 - Updated Larger Photos of 3120 Series 86 Foot Stock Cars here.

Introduction to A1G, the Atlas "1st Generation"...

The "first generation" of rolling stock imported by the Atlas Tool Company, of Hillside, New Jersey, was the backbone of N Scale layouts everywhere during the late 1960's and early 1970's. Sourced from both Rivarossi (Italy) and Roco (Austria), the Atlas "first generation" consisted of a wide variety of body styles, a number of which had never been made before in 1:160, and a few of which have not been made since.

The first mention of Atlas N "Gauge" that I see was in the "Trade Topics" column of Model Railroader Magazine's April 1967 issue. Atlas had already been in the HO Scale market for some time with track, structures and even racing car sets for a while. "We understand," MR wrote, "Atlas Tool Company is expanding its line with a complete selection of N Scale components: track, engines, cars, structures-- the works."

Atlas wasn't alone: Con-Cor had already started working with Seiksui (Kato), a few items from Lima were being imported, in June it was reported that Minitrix would be marketed in the USA by Aurora under the "Postage Stamp" brand, and Arnold had entered the market back in 1960 (!) although it didn't use the term "N Gauge" then, and was making models for Revell as well as continuing under its own name. Kli-We, Vollmer, Boyd and Preiser were offering buildings and accessories, and Peco's track had hit the market as well.

The July 1967 issue of Model Railroader contained the first advertising by Atlas of its new line... such as it was. In a full-page placement mostly devoted to its established HO Scale track line, the bottom right hand corner contained a photo of an Indiana Harbor Belt 0-8-0 steam locomotive and the words, "Coming Soon... Watch For Atlas "N" Gauge Model Railroading." The Atlas advertisement in the October 1967 issue of Model Railroader offered a catalog with "sensational NEW N SCALE railroading items" for ten cents -- but it came with their HO Scale track catalog as well. (Hedging their bets?) Images of pages from that first catalog are available for viewing here. Then, in the November 1967 Model Railroader came a review of four A1G cars: the 2224 Blatz Beer "Refigerator" car (actually a plug door boxcar) in the red roof version, the 2233 Monon composite side gondola, the 2271 Santa Fe caboose, and the 2281 Southern Pacific bulkhead flatcar. ("With a little rebuilding this can be converted to a straight flatcar," MR noted.)

By my reckoning, the "first generation" of Atlas cars ended with the release of the 94 foot "whale belly" tank cars, and the "second generation" began with the release of the "beer can" tank cars, which were made by Atlas in the United States. However, there is a "one and a halfth" generation, some of which is here also: would you believe-- Atlas freight car kits?!? And the exquisitely detailed limited run cars made in China for Atlas, like the 33,000 gallon tank cars, really should be thought of as the "third generation" of their product line.

My first N Scale train set, a Christmas gift in 1969, was an Atlas product. And my first two additional cars, purchased at the legendary Model Railroad Equipment Company in midtown Manhattan, were also from Atlas. In the late 1990's, I realized that I had already quietly accumulated nearly every freight and passenger car offered by Atlas in the first generation, and decided to complete the set. With the exception of variations of specific cars, and causually and inexpensively finding reissues under the E-R Models, Roco and Walthers brands--what I'm generally calling "Life After A1G"-- I'm done, and the results are here for your enjoyment.

Meanwhile, there is also an excellent page discussing the Atlas Freight Car Kits (yes, kits!) that appeared in between the end of the "First Generation" and the start of the "Second Generation"-- so I call it the "one and a halfth generation". That site, looked after by Ross Fink, is here. Ross also has pages on the A1G Train Set Art here and on the artwork for the Atlas-marketed versions of N Scale structure kits, many of which continue to be marketed under other brand names more 40 years later! That page is here. Please note that I've experienced some access problems lately; please keep trying if you get a "404" or other error, as the pages do exist!

And there's also the site of Doug Gosha devoted to the A1G locomotives, which is now hosted here as part of the main A1G site.

There has been increased interest in the "accumulation" of the A1G series among N Scalers. Part of the appeal is the fact that these items are now in the range of 50 years old! (I needed to update that from 40 years... this site itself has been online for more than ten years now.) While not "collectible" in the sense that, say, Micro-Trains® are, the large variety of body styles and paint schemes make this group of rolling stock attractive. In addition, since they were sold for years, much of the series is quite commonly found at swap meets, flea markets and the Internet; although some cars are quite scarce in reasonable condition. In short, you won't go bankrupt trying to assemble a complete set...!

Atlas is of course not only alive and well, but prospering, today. They have changed their name to the Atlas Model Railroad Company and offer an extensive line of track, electrical products, handbooks, structures, freight cars and limited run locomotives in both N and HO Scales, plus their "Atlas O" line in O Scale and Hi-Rail. Click here to visit their official web site.


The N Scale historical community owes a huge debt to the late Barry Wingard, who really got this started when he collated manufacturer data back in the early 1980's (!!!) and published "The Collector's Guide To N Scale" in 1985. Even today it remains a "must have" book for serious students of N Scale.

Other thanks to Ola Ahlström of Sweden for finding and scanning a whole bunch of pages from the 1971/72 Rivarossi/Atlas catalog and providing them to me; Bill Barr, Charlie Vlk, the late Don Brown, and Kelly Cruise of the 'N'ternet community for data, advice and support, and Edward Bridges for gracious permission to use the scans that, among other data, form the 2303 variation page. Special thanks to Paul Graf of Atlas Model Railroad Company for granting permission to post images of the Atlas catalogs of the past.

Lastly and most importantly, thanks to my late dad, for giving me that Atlas N Scale train set. It didn't keep me away from his HO layout, but it did get a lifetime hobby going, and my life would be far less rich without it.

The A1G pages are essentially finished, but will be updated intermittently as time allows and/or new information is located by or shared with me, so keep checking back or watch for announcements on several 'net venues for alerts on when new pages are posted, most notably the "A1G" discussion group on Groups.IO.

Now, let's have a look at the Atlas First Generation...

The Atlas 1972 Catalog
Doug Gosha's A1G Locos/Lone Star OOO Items
Box Cars:
2200 Series: 40 Foot Steel Single Door Box Cars (Rivet Side)
2220 Series: 40 Foot Steel Plug Door "Refrigerator" Box Cars
2280 Series: 40 Foot Steel Double Door Box Cars
(with Roco and Walthers Reissue Lists)
2330 Series: 50 Foot Steel Double Door Box Cars
2360 Series: 40 Foot Single Sheathed Wood Box Cars
2380 Series: 40 Foot Steel Single Door Box Cars (Rivet Side)
3130 Series: 86 Foot Steel "Hi-Cube" Box Cars
Refrigerator Cars:
2220 Series: 40 Foot Steel Plug Door "Refrigerator" Cars
2300 Series: 50 Foot Plug Door Mechanical Refrigerator Cars
2303 Variation: NYMX 1020
2390 Series: 40 Foot Hinged Door Steel Ice Refrigerator Cars
(With E-R Models Reissue List)
Stock Cars:
2250 Series: A1G 40 Foot Cattle Cars (with Roco Reissue list)
2250 Series: "A1.5G" 40 Foot Cattle Cars from Kits(!)
2410 Series: 40 Foot Stock Cars
3120 Series: 85 Foot Steel "Hi-Cube" Stock Cars
Flat Cars:
2280 Series: 40 Foot Bulkhead Flats
2340 Series: Depressed Center Flat Cars w/Load
(With E-R Models Reissue List)
2350 Series: Piggyback Flat Cars w/Trailers
2370 Series: 40 Foot Standard Flat Cars
3000 Series: 60 Foot Bulkhead Log Flat Cars
3020 Series: 50 Foot Container Flat Cars
3100 Series: Auto Rack Cars
2230 Series: 40 Foot Outside Braced Gondolas
2400 Series: 40 Foot Steel Gondolas (plus two "A1.5G")
Open Hoppers:
2240 Series: 2 Bay Steel Ribside Hoppers
2420 Series: 4 Bay Steel Offset Hoppers
2450 Series: Ore Cars (A1G or Not?)
Cov. Hoppers:
2310 Series: 3 Bay Covered Hoppers
2320 Series: Center Flow® Covered Hoppers
Tank Cars:
2260 Series: 1 Dome/Chemical Tank Cars
2290 Series: 3 Dome Tank Cars
2340 Series: Jumbo Tank Cars
3010 Series: Water ("Vinegar") Tank Cars
(With E-R Models Reissue List)
3030 Series: Helium Tank Cars
(With E-R Models Reissue List and Micro-Trains Reissue)
3110 Series: 94 Foot "Whale Belly" Super Tank Cars
Cabooses (Cabeese?):
2270 Series: End Cupola Cabooses
2430 Series: Bay Window Cabooses
(With E-R Models Reissue List)
Passenger Cars:
2600 Series: All Styles