IntroductionPullman 10-1-1 Sleeper Car
from Atlas Model Railroad
is a HO Passenger car part, of their Master Line
. Modeled to full length, this RTR (ready-to-run) heavy-weight passenger car includes dozens of separate optional parts.
narrates this car thusly
The 10 section - 1 drawing room - 1 compartment design of plans 3973 and 3973a were among Pullman’s many popular sleeping car configurations. Over 117 of these cars were built for various railroads, carrying some of the most colorful Pullman names, often named for various Indian chiefs. After Pullman disbanded in the late 1940s, many of these sleepers were sold to various railroads nationwide, where they continued in service into the 1960s. These models feature full, separately-applied underbody details and accurate paint, lettering and names.
A very good concise history of Pullman heavyweight (a.k.a., "battleships") cars can be found via Click here for additional images for this review
, at the end of this review.
Back in the spring of 2005 Branchline thrilled the model passenger train community when they introduced a full - or nearly so - series of injection-molded Pullman car kits. They had detail theretofore only available through brass or extensive superdetailing with aftermarket parts. Some of the body types had never been available in plastic (even if it took a decade or so to issue them - see below). Branchline released these as kits with their own models of trucks, and with couplers. These models as kits were so detailed and had so many parts (150-200) that some modelers considered them as craftsman kits. (Each truck consists of over 25 parts.) I have two or three and was put off by the number of parts although that is silly as I've assembled models with far more parts, fiddly ones, too, like individual track links on a 1/72 tank. I did not dig out my kits to count pieces so the exact numbers might vary from what I recall. I found a blog where a modeler who assembled a half-dozen or so said that each kit took him a reasonable 10 hours to complete.
In January 2011 Atlas bought Branchline. Let's head to the coach yard for an inspection of this model.
Atlas is releasing these models RTR. That will get it on your rails quicker because the kits had over 100 pieces; each flexible diaphragm ("ponger") is built up with eight pieces including vibration damping support shafts (those spear-like vertical parts - "anti-rattle bars").
These cars are packaged in a snap-together top-and-bottom form-fitted cradle. A thin sheet of plastic wrap prevents scuffing. The cradle is held inside a one-piece end-opening carton with a large plastic viewing window. A sealed package of optional detail parts and documents are included.
Remember my comment that Branchline released car bodies never released in plastic before, even if it took a decade? This is that car. Branchline announced but never issued the 10-1-1. It took Atlas to bring this car to us.
Atlas trumpets these features:
Full interior detailing
Scale operating diaphragms
Full, separately-applied underbody detail (brake piping, steam traps, brake rigging, etc.)
Scale window glass
Detailed trucks with free-rolling metal wheels
Recommend 24” Radius Minimum
The body is injection-molded styrene. The trucks appear to be Delrin and some of the underbody gear seems to be molded in acetal. Let's inspect all that detail closer.
Atlas' 10-1-1 features walls in the interior. If you look hard enough you will see stowed bunks molded onto the sides of the walls for drawing room and compartment.
Outside of the car is the roof. Air conditioning ducts are intrinsically molded on the roof. Fine rivets detail the exterior of the car and sashes surround the windows. To provide light and privacy for the bathrooms, textured and frosted glass was used in the windows, and it is reproduced for the model.
Separately-applied wire grab irons and stirrups are installed around the boarding steps and vestibule doors, and on the end sills. The doors feature latch and other detail.
Pullman Type 2410 bottom equalized trucks carry the car on metal wheels. With over 25 parts per truck they are very detailed. (Pullman identified 40 parts in their catalogue.) I provide two photos of a truck, shot with different exposures, so that you can see the variety of detail. Brake end beams are installed and they look very good. I have heard that with the original Branchline trucks, those end beams got caught on the underside components, restricting the cars to a minimum 30-inch radius curve. Atlas recommends a 24” radius minimum; it appears that they shortened the center sills. I measured the wheelbase at 10-feet 6-inches, correct for the Pullman 2410-design truck. Some railroads equipped their cars with other trucks and some of those wheelbases were longer. (Check your references if you are accurately modeling a specific railroad.) The trucks feature spring and damper detail, along with the clasp brake shoes and aforementioned end beams.
In between the trucks and the car body we have an highly detailed underside. It is based upon the Pullman plan MD-B-1752 layout. Pullman first air-conditioned a car in 1929. Several types of cooling were installed: ice; Pullman mechanical; Pullman mechanical brine; steam ejector. This model features the Pullman Mechanical Brine (PMB) air-conditioning system.
While this model is not illuminated the real thing was. Electricity was generated with a Pullman belt-driven generator system, represented on this model. Drive shafts, standby motor and speed governor are mounted on the other end between the center sills. Battery boxes, water and brine reservoirs, air reservoirs, steam traps, and the compressor box are attached. Rounding out the underside is the air brake system: 18-inch brake cylinder; triple valve; brake rods; brake levers; air and steam lines. An exceptional detail is the chain from the cylinder to the hand brake wheel.
As extensive all all of that apparatus is, what is missing is the piping connecting various systems together. That is minor to me as most would not be visible unless you topple the car over. However, visible from a low angle are the brake rods, and those have been cut short and do not reach the trucks.
Finally, Atlas includes as optional parts many end details: air brake and signal lines; steam lines; coupler yokes; cut levers; safety chains and eye bolts. Note the safety chains are link-by-link assemblies!
Atlas' Pullmans are a trove of detail.
Exterior paint is opaque and yet does not obscure the fine detail. The wheels are blackened - not exactly paint but you get the idea.
Lettering is painted on and crisp: Pullman, Chief Red Tomahawk
Atlas offers this car in eight road names plus and undecorated model. Several Pullman names are available;
"Chief Red Tomahawk" (Green)
"Blue Bird Lake" (Green)
"Rice Lake" (Green)
"Carter Lake" (Green)
"Linoma Lake" (Green)
Chicago & North Western
"Floyd River" (Green/Yellow)
"Fox River" (Green/Yellow)
"Mount Rushmore" (Green/Yellow)
Norfolk & Western
"Island Regal" (Tuscan)
"Island Rose" (Tuscan)
"Chief Black Bear" (Two-Tone Green/Yellow)
"Chief Many Horns" (Two-Tone Green/Yellow)
"Chief Standing Buffalo" (Two-Tone Green/Yellow)
Pennsylvania "La Reine" (Tuscan)
"Palouse Falls" (Two-Tone Gray)
"Prior Lake" (Two-Tone Gray)
"Balsam Fir" (Yellow/Gray/Red)
"Columbia Gorge" (Yellow/Gray/Red)
"Crown Point" (Yellow/Gray/Red)
Instructions and Documents
A small text and line drawing instruction sheet guides the assembly and mounting of the optional parts. Warranty information is also included.
So you have this impressive Pullman to run on your layout. You want it to look like it has a purpose. What is its purpose? To carry passengers.
So how do you put model passengers into this model passenger car? For the interior Branchline used a one-piece floor with molded seats. Slots were molded into the floor for walls and bulkheads. The body shell is comprised of a frame the sides and ends fit onto. Then the interior assembly slides into the body shell and the roof snaps into place.
So the roof must come off to access the interior to populate it with passengers. However, Atlas' roof fit is tight as a tick and I can not open the gap without fear of breaking something.
ConclusionAtlas' Pullman 10-1-1 Sleeper Car
is a marvelous model. Detail is to a high fidelity. It looks like Atlas has solved the problem of the trucks fouling the center sill. Wire handles and detailed trucks/underside enhance the model.
The missing piping connecting various underside systems together is not a big deal to me although the short visible brake rods are more noticeable, especially as the center sills have been shortened.
Regardless, this model should be well received by modelers of the heavyweight era. Highly recommended.
Please remember to mention to Atlas and retailers that you saw this model here - on
AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.
Thomas C. Madden. THE PULLMAN PROJECT.
D. Garrett Spear. Pullman Truck Information
. http://prr.railfan.net/passenger/GSPEAR/GSPEAR_Pullman_Trucks.htm. Sept. 30, 2002 1:28.