News & Reviews Product Reviews Staff Reviews Atlas N scale Thrall covered hopper

Atlas N scale Thrall covered hopper

By Cody Grivno | April 19, 2024

The Trainman series model is based on a 4,750-cubic-foot capacity prototype

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Color photo of N scale covered hopper painted red and white.
New paint schemes and road numbers are being offered on the Atlas N scale Thrall covered hopper. The Trainman series car is based on a 4,750-cubic-foot capacity prototype. Cody Grivno photo

Price: $24.95 (undecorated, $17.95)


Atlas Model Railroad Co.

378 Florence Ave.

Hillside, NJ 07205

Road names: New paint schemes — Transportation Corp. of America; Burlington Northern (with FRA-224 stripes); CATX; David J. Joseph Transportation; Midwest Railcar; Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern; and Rail Logistics. New road numbers — Canadian National and Peavey. Three numbers per scheme; also available undecorated.

Era: Late 1970s to present (varies based on paint scheme)

Comments: Atlas is offering its Trainman series Thrall 4,750-cubic-foot capacity three-bay covered hopper in new paint schemes and road numbers. The model is based on full-size cars built in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The sample we received is decorated as Transportation Corp. of America 60078, part of the leasing company’s 60000 through 60199 series built by Thrall Car between June and September 1979. Cars 60069 through 60084 were leased to Farmers Co-op Grain & Supply Co. of Minden, Neb. Examples of these cars are still in service today, but with new reporting marks and road numbers.

The Atlas N scale Thrall covered hopper has a one-piece plastic body with separate slope sheets.  Freestanding details on the B end of the car include an air reservoir, control valve, and brake wheel. The brake cylinder is molded, as are the ladder rungs, stirrup steps, and crossover platforms.

On top, the model has a separate press-fit roof with molded hatch covers. The factory-applied plastic running board casting has molded corner grab irons. Inside, shaped steel weights are secured with screws to the outer hopper bays.

Below the sills, the model is equipped with pin-mounted roller-bearing trucks. The hopper bays have molded shaker brackets and basic outlet gates. Details like the operating handle and locking assembly were omitted.

Our sample is neatly painted red and white. All of the lettering is crisp and legible under magnification. The placement of the graphics matches a prototype image of car 60078 that I found online. The model’s dimensions closely follow prototype drawings published in the April 1990 issue of Mainline Modeler.

The Atlas covered hopper weighs 1.1 ounces, which is correct per National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1. The 36” plastic wheelsets are correctly gauged. The truck-mounted Accumate knuckle couplers are .010” low on both ends.

If you model the late 1970s to the present day, you’ll want to check out the Atlas N scale Thrall 4750 covered hopper. The Trainman series car would look right at home spotted at a grain elevator or in a freight train.

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