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Athearn HO Scale Model Railroads & Trains

Athearn was founded in 1938 when Irv Athearn built an elaborate O gauge model railroad layout in his mother’s basement. He received impressive responses while selling the layout, and this inspired him to go into the model railroad business. He began selling model train items out of his mother’s house and named the business Athearn Trains in Miniature in 1943.

In 1948, Athearn moved the business to a facility in Hawthorne, California. Irv Athearn continued to operate the business until his death in 1991. Athearn was sold to new owners in 1994, and was purchased by current owners Horizon Hobby in 2004. Horizon Hobby also purchased Model Die Casting, originators of the Roundhouse brand, as well as McHenry Couplers. All trains are now sold under the Athearn name.

In the '40s, Athearn’s first products were metal HO and O scale model railroad kits. Athearn currently sells HO and N scale model trains under the following brands: Genesis HO, Athearn Ready to Roll HO, Athearn N scale, Athearn Precision Die Cast, Roundhouse, and McHenry HO and N scale couplers. These lines offer models at a wide range of quality and prices.


Quick Facts

  • Beginning in 1958, and continuing through the early '60s, Athearn licensed HO model trains for resale by Lionel. These trains were sold as the Lionel HO line
  • Athearn produced most of the model trains sold by Cox from 1971 to 1977
  • Athearn also supplied Atlas with freight cars to be sold with Atlas engines in the late '70s

Recommended Items at Auction

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(2pc) Athearn Alco Custom Paint/detail D&h Diesel
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
(2pc) Athearn Alco Custom Paint/detail D&h Diesel
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
(10) Athearn Long Blue Box Train Cars/ Kits
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
(10) Athearn Long Blue Box Train Cars/ Kits
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Athearn HO Scale Diesel Locomotive
Apr 30, 5:00 PM EDT
Athearn HO Scale Diesel Locomotive
by Railroad Super Galaxy
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
Athearn CNW HO Scale CD Flat Car
Apr 30, 5:00 PM EDT
Athearn CNW HO Scale CD Flat Car
by Railroad Super Galaxy
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
Athearn SF HO Scale Long Flat Car
Apr 30, 5:00 PM EDT
Athearn SF HO Scale Long Flat Car
by Railroad Super Galaxy
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
An Athearn Train by Minatare, Original Box
Apr 22, 2:00 PM AEST
An Athearn Train by Minatare, Original Box
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD80
AUD200 Bids
Athearn Ho Gauge Engines/ Shells
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
Athearn Ho Gauge Engines/ Shells
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
(9) Athearn Ho Gauge Streamlined Passenger Cars
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
(9) Athearn Ho Gauge Streamlined Passenger Cars
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Athearn HO Scale Model Railroads & Trains


EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

Railroad Super Galaxy

Railroad Super Galaxy

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers