In-Box Review
HO scale
Evans 52'6 Gondola
Trainman® Evans 52' Gondola GE Railcar Services
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

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Evans 52'6" Gondolas were a common site in the US in the last decades of the Twentieth Century and Atlas Model Railroad created this HO scale model of the railcar. It is a popular subject that has been released in nine runs since 2005, with dozens of new paint schemes or road numbers. This model, item 50 002 428, is painted as General Electric Rail Services (reporting marks DLRX) 41284.

    The Southern Iron and Equipment Company (SIECO) of Atlanta, Georgia, began manufacturing gondolas in the mid-1970s. The Evans Company took control of SIECO in the early 1980s, producing the gondola under their own specifications. The gondola is still in use in North America today. This Atlas N scale gondola will find as many uses on your model railroad as the prototype did on the great rail lines of America. - Atlas

Evans Transportation Co. was acquired after a bankruptcy by Chicago-based leasing company Itel Corp.. At the time Evans controlled about 25,000 rail cars, having built rail cars until the mid-1980s. In 1987 Itel Corp. completed the deal of 20,000 rail cars and four maintenance facilities. Then at the end of 1991, Itel sold its rail assets to General Electric Capital Corp.*

Prototype Trivia
: Gondola
AAR Class: GBS: Specialty Open top car, having fixed sides, fixed or drop ends and solid bottom.
AAR Type: E534
Detail Info: Equipped Gondola, Inside Length: 52-61ft, Capacity: Less than 3,000 cu ft *Light Density Service
Plate: B
Max Gross Weight: 286000
Load Limit: 221900
Dry Capacity: 2264
Ext L/W/H: 56' 9" / 10' 7" / 8' 5"
Int L/W/H: 52' 6" / 9' 7" / 4' 5"**

the model and details
The injection-molded model is well molded without flash, sink marks, visible mold seam lines or ejection marks. Molding is crisp, as I have come to expect from Atlas. Atlas trumpets the features as:
    • Prototypically accurate dimensions
    • Accurate paint schemes
    • 100-ton roller bearing trucks
I find it odd they do not mention the metal wheels.

Unlike Atlas' N scale Evans 52' gon, the ladders are not separate parts. They look good although the molded stirrups are a bit thick. The air brake and other underside detail is molded on, too.

The wheel sets in the 100-ton roller-bearing trucks are machined metal and shiny, although it looks like there was an attempt to blacken them.

This HO gon weighs 3.6 ounces, quite light per NMRA RP 20.1 Car Weights. It measures 53' 9" from end sill to sill (52' 6" is the interior length). The couplers add another 4 feet. It rolled through my Atlas code 83 turnouts with no problem.

paint and markings
Atlas' painting and printing is awesome. This model's good ol' basic black paint does not obscure detail and has no drips nor runs.

Data printing is excellent. The white paint over black is solid. All data is legible. You can easily read Pull Here; 2 INCH HF COMP SHOES; IL 52-6, etc.

A photo of the well used actual DLRX 41284 can be seen via Click here for additional images for this review, below.

In the last run in November, 2018, Atlas released this gondola for six railroads, plus an undecorated model.
    Amtrak (Faded)(Orange/Black)
    GE Railcar Services (Black/White)
    Union Pacific (CNW) (Brown/White)
    Canadian National (Brown/White/Yellow)
    Herzog (Brown/White/Yellow)
    Maine Central (Green/Yellow/Black)
Each road name has four road numbers. Was this gondola released in your favorite railroad livery? Find out via ARCHIVE Trainman® Evans 52’ Gondola, below, in the SUMMARY box.

Like its N scale brother, Atlas' HO Evans 52'6 Gondola is a good looking model. While the blackened wheels...ah, aren't, they are metal and roll very well. Paint and printing is remarkable. Molding is crisp and although the ladders are molded on, one must expect that with a model of the Trainman range - separately applied end and side ladders are a feature of Atlas' Master Line range.

This model is very close the prototype.

This model rolled through my Atlas code 83 turnouts with no problem. It looks very good and this gondola should make a good addition to your freight car fleet.


Please remember to mention to Atlas and retailers that you saw this model here - on RailRoad Modeling.

* Robert Kearns. Itel Agrees To Buy Evans` Rail-car Fleet. Chicago Tribune. August 13, 1987.

* Charles Storch. Itel To Lease All Its Rail Fleet To Ge Capital. Chicago Tribune. January 01, 1992.

** Railroad Picture Archives.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Blackened metal wheels that roll very well. Paint and printing is remarkable. Molding is crisp.
Lows: Light by 1.1 ounces per NMRA. The blackened wheels are not very black.
Verdict: This model looks very good and should make a good addition to your freight car fleet.
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: 20 005 428
  Related Link: ARCHIVE Trainman® Evans 52’ Gondola
  PUBLISHED: Feb 24, 2020
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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