Using Athearn dining cars for sleeper/lounges

Us modelers that started in the seventies used the Athearn streamlined passenger cars, and I still do. The problem is that Athearn never followed through and made any sleeper cars. The Santa Fe “Chief” was an all-sleeper car train with an RPO, Baggage Car, possible Dome car, and an Observation car on the tail end. I decided to use Athearn dining cars as sleepers as there were some “Pullman cars” or Double bedroom lounge cars with similar window configurations. You can see this example in Kalmbach’s “Classic Trains” Summer 2008 edition on page 59. All I did differently was painted “red” curtains for the sleepers and “green” curtains for the diner. The green would indicate the “turquoise Room” on the Santa Fe. Green curtains for diners and red curtains for double bedroom lounge cars. It’s just an example of squeezing out something extra from toy trains. Ah, but then, all my passenger and mail trains have interior lighting with rechargeable battery packs; most have Centralia Car Shops trucks, Kadee couplers, American limited diaphragms, and plenty of lead weight to keep them tracking at 90 miles an hour.

Leave a Reply