Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Atlas N scale American Car & Foundry 5,701-cubic-foot-capacity four-bay covered hopper

Read this review from Model Railroader magazine
Atlas N scale American Car Foundry 5701 cubic foo capacity four bay covered hopper
Price: $24.95

Atlas Model Railroad Co.
378 Florence Ave.
Hillside, NJ 07205

1972 to present

Road names: Grain – Archer Daniels Midland and Chicago Freight Car Leasing. Plastics – Amoco, Dow Chemical, Goodrich, and Louisiana-Pacific. Three numbers per scheme.

Comments: Atlas has released this ready-to-run N scale covered hopper in new liveries. The American Car & Foundry 5,701-cubic-foot-capacity car features etched-metal running boards, longitudinally mounted air reservoirs, and pin-mounted 100-ton trucks. Atlas offers the car detailed for plastics or grain service. The differences are the hatch covers (round for plastics, trough for grain) and outlets (pneumatic for plastics, gravity for grain).

American Car & Foundry built the full-size hoppers between 1972 and 1984. Over the course of the production run, more than 15,000 cars were built. Examples of these cars can still be found in service throughout North America today.

The N scale car, like its HO scale counterparts that I reviewed in the March and July 2008 issues of Model Railroader, features a one-piece injection-molded plastic body with a separate roof, one-piece end frame and ladder castings with molded grab irons, and separately applied corner grab irons on the roof. The outlets and vibrator brackets are separate castings.

Our sample is a grain hopper decorated for Archer Daniels Midland with the company’s current leaf logo. The gray paint is evenly applied, though there were lint fibers stuck in the paint on our sample, one on each side. The three-color logo is in register, and the small lettering is legible under magnification.

The car weighs 1.1 ounces, which is 0.1 ounce too light per National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1. The truck-mounted Accumate knuckle couplers are at the correct height, and the 36" plastic wheelsets are properly gauged. The model’s dimensions follow prototype drawings in Simmons-Boardman’s 1980 Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia.

Atlas has done an excellent job re-creating this car in N scale. The ACF 5701 covered hopper would look right at home on any layout set between 1972 and the present day.

Join the discussion

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


How to personalize your model railroad.

Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Model Railroader magazine. Please view our privacy policy