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Quick Look: Atlas O Pullman troop sleeper

Read this review from the October 2017 Model Railroader
Atlas O Pullman troop sleeper
Atlas O Pullman troop sleeper

Price: $104.95

Atlas O
378 Florence Ave.
Hillside, NJ 07205

Era: 1943 to 1945 (as decorated)

Comments: Atlas mobilizes O scale model railroads for war with its latest release, a 40-foot Pullman troop sleeper based on ex-Weaver tooling.

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, the nation’s railroads were stressed to their limits moving the men, materiel, and commodities needed for the war effort, on top of their usual business. To get troops from the American heartland to the ports where they would set off for the front required more passenger cars than were available.

The Defense Plant Corp., a wartime subsidiary of the federal Recon­struc­tion Finance Corp., contracted with Pullman to construct troop sleepers to meet this need. To save time, the company based them on its existing 40-foot boxcar design. The first 1,200 cars, numbered 7000 to 8199, were delivered in 1943 and had side doors with step wells. Atlas O’s version models one of these. The second batch, 1,000 cars numbered 9000-9999, had simple step rungs beneath the side doors.

Six screws hold the die-cast metal underframe to the one-piece plastic body. The prototype had 10 triple-deck bunks to sleep 29 soldiers and a Pullman porter. Rather than 10 triple bunks, the Atlas O model has five double bunks (the upper ones wouldn’t be visible through the windows anyway) and five bench seats.

All four wheelsets pick up power for the light-emitting-diode interior lighting. I placed the car on our test track and applied voltage. The lights came on at 2.5V and reached full brightness at 5V.

The model rides on the correct Allied Full Cushion trucks. The turned metal wheelsets were in gauge, and the metal knuckle couplers were mounted at the correct height.

Atlas also offers matching troop kitchen and troop hospital cars, as well as rebuilt express boxcars painted for private railroads. The cars feature full underbody brake detail, wire grab irons, and rubber diaphragms. All the dimensions I checked matched those in prototype drawings published in the December 1943 and December 2001 issues of Model Railroader.

A string of these troop cars will make up the highest-priority train your O scale railroad will ever see.

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