Irv Athearn started The Athearn Company along with his love for accumulating and building model trains in the year of 1938. He initially launched by building a big O scale setup at his parents residence of which in the end he marketed for a large ten thousand dollars. For this period that was in fact a whole lot of cash that also supplied him all the foresight and vision to produce the Athearn Company which would definitely be come his income for many a year to come.
By 1946 Irv had turned his hobby into a full on assembly and production team still working in the limited space of his mothers house. It was time to expand. He relocated to California 1948 with the release of the HO scale type model trains. Then followed the reefer kit providing customers with the fantastic convenience of pre built models, his keen business sense helped him realize this was what was in demand from his client base. Soon to follow was the very famous Ready To Roll model train kits which due to their high production quality and cheap pricing structure became the most popular amongst enthusiasts at the time.
Irv Athearn always manufactured model train products that were of the best quality and which provided the most value to his clients. Irv was able to stay at the top of his game once he had come up with prototypes for the very first locomotives to ever be built that had flywheels on the shaft. In 1991 Irv Athearn sadly passed away. Athearn Model Trains continued to grow after his death and eventually was bought out by Horizon Hobby Incorporated who are continuing to carry on the high standards which Irv Althearn worked so diligently to create during his lifetime.
Heavyweight Passenger, Streamlined Passenger, Warbonnet and Iron Horse are all train model types that the Athearn Company is very famous for releasing. Locomotives,Rolling Stock, Vehicles and Accessories all fall under the HO scale and wave been well produced by the Athearn Company. The very current model is the Genesis which now comes with Tsunami sound as well as DCC controllers from Sound Traxx. Some of the most sought after kits are the HO Ready To Roll type which because of their brilliant paint schemes, numbering decals,detailed air hoses, MU hoses and coupler lifting bars became popular amongst enthusiasts.
Very rarely do we get to earn a living from something we are passionate about like Irv Athearns did. With his mindset and company he set and produced a product of respected and high quality. These standards were set and still hold true in today’s model train industry. R.I.P Irv Athearn.