News & Reviews Product Reviews Staff Reviews Atlas N scale H24-66 Train Master

Atlas N scale H24-66 Train Master

By Cody Grivno | April 12, 2024

Latest version features an upgraded chassis

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Color photo of N scale locomotive painted gray, maroon, and yellow.
The latest run of the Atlas N scale H24-66 Train Master features an upgraded chassis. The six-axle road locomotive is offered with and without sound. Cody Grivno photo

Atlas Model Railroad Co. recently released a new run of its N scale Fairbanks-Morse H26-44 Train Master diesel locomotive. The six-axle road locomotive, part of the Atlas product lineup since 2000, is now offered with a factory-installed speaker (Silver Series) or a dual-mode ESU LokSound V5 sound decoder (Gold Series).

Prototype history

Fairbanks-Morse produced the H26-44 Train Master from April 1953 to June 1957. During that time, the Beloit (Wis.)-based company produced 105 units for U.S. railroads and 22 for Canadian lines.

The sample we received is decorated as Erie-Lackawanna 1854. The prototype was built as Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 854. Following the October 1960 merger between the DL&W and Erie, the unit became EL 1854.

After the merger the diesel was repainted yellow and black. In the mid-1960s it was repainted in the scheme depicted on the Atlas model. The unit was retired in 1968.

Model features

The Atlas H26-44 has a multi-piece plastic shell consisting of the body, cab, and sill unit. The body is offered in Phase Ia, Ib, and II versions; the E-L is a Phase Ia.

Most of the details on the shell are molded. Freestanding plastic details include the handbrake and two single-chime air horns. A pair of etched-metal grills cover the radiator fans near the front of the long hood. Molded fans are visible under the screens.

Probably the biggest change to the Train Master is the die-cast metal chassis. Unlike previous releases that used a split-frame chassis, the latest run features a solid chassis.

A trough milled down the center of the chassis houses the motor, two brass flywheels, drive shafts, and worm gears. A metal cap, attached with four screws, spans those parts.

The printed-circuit (PC) board is secured to the metal cap with two screws. The decoder is located above the rear truck. The rectangular speaker is above the front truck.

Wires run from wheel wipers to JST connectors that plug into sockets on the bottom of the PC board. Another pair of wires go from a JST connector/socket on top of the board to the motor contacts.

Measuring up

I compared the model to drawings published in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia: Vol. 2, Diesel Locomotives (Kalmbach, out of print). Most of the major dimensions follow published data. However, the length of the long hood is a scale 9″ too short. The short hood is approximately a scale 8″ too short.

The sample we received has an ESU LokSound V5 sound decoder. I ran the model on our workshop test track using an NCE PowerCab. At step 2, the locomotive moved at 2 scale mph. At step 28, the unit topped out at 66 scale mph. The maximum speed of the prototype Train Master was 66 to 79 mph depending on the gear ratio.

If the upgraded N scale Train Master is any indication, Atlas Model Railroad Co. isn’t resting on its laurels as it celebrates its centennial. Even though the Fairbanks-Morse H26-44 has been in the manufacturer’s Master Line for nearly a quarter century, the crew in Hillside, N.J., has found innovative ways to keep this popular prototype up to speed with the latest trends in the hobby.

See the Atlas N scale H24-66 Train Master in action on the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy State Line Route on

Facts & features

Price: Direct-current model with factory-installed speaker, $139.95; with dual-mode ESU LokSound V5 sound decoder, $249.95


Atlas Model Railroad Co.

378 Florence Ave.

Hillside, NJ 07205

Era: mid-1960s to June 1968 (as decorated)

Road names: Phase Ia — Erie-Lackawanna; Chihuahua Pacific; and Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. Phase Ib — Jersey Central Lines, Reading Co., and Southern Pacific. Phase II — Canadian Pacific and Pennsylvania RR. Two to three road numbers per scheme.


  • Blackened metal wheel stubs mounted on plastic axles, in gauge
  • Body-mounted Accumate couplers, at correct height
  • Minimum radius: 9.75″
  • Weight: 3.7 ounces
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