10 Facts About Athearn


Athearn is a United States manufacturer of model railroad equipment, produced and distributed by American hobby manufacturer Horizon Hobby, Inc of Champaign, Illinois.

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In 1938 Irvin Athearn built a detailed O scale model railroad layout in his mother's house, which gained an overwhelming response when he placed an advertisement to sell it.

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Athearn opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California, in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

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Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line in 1951 and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger, and freight car models.

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Athearn offered a variety of freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks.

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Athearn produced trains for the short-lived Cox Models brand of electric train sets in the 1970s.

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In 2002, Athearn acquired Rail Power Products, as well as the tooling for modern 50' boxcars from Details West.

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Athearn was purchased in 2004 by Horizon Hobby, which moved the company from Compton to a new facility in Carson, California.

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In 2006, Horizon purchased McHenry Couplers and in 2007 acquired the tooling for several trailers from A-Line, which are released in the Ready To Roll product line In 2008, Athearn acquired the tooling for the short-lived "Tower 55" series of HO scale diesels from Overland Models.

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Athearn continues to produce ready-to-run models of diesel locomotives, passenger cars, and freight cars representing a variety of eras and railroads.

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