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Athearn - 17353 - Bus, Flxible Coach - Consolidated Bus Lines

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N Scale - Athearn - 17353 - Bus, Flxible Coach - Consolidated Bus Lines Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby
Image Courtesy of Athearn Trains
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Stock Number17353
Original Retail Price$19.98
Body StyleAthearn Vehicle Bus Flxible Transit
Image Provider's WebsiteLink
Prototype VehicleBus, Flxible Coach (Details)
Road or Company NameConsolidated Bus Lines (Details)
Reporting MarksCharleston
Paint Color(s)Grey, Blue & White
Print Color(s)Blue and White
Additional Markings/SloganServing West Virginia's Billion Dollar Coal Fields
Release Date2010-01-01
Item CategoryVehicles
Model TypeBus
Model SubtypeFlxible
Model VarietyHighway Coach
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Years Produced1932 - 1996

Prototype History:
The Flxible Co. (pronounced "flexible") was an American manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars, funeral cars, ambulances, intercity coaches and transit buses, based in the U.S. state of Ohio. It was founded in 1913 and closed in 1996. The company's production transitioned from highway coaches and other products to transit buses over the period 1953–1970, and during the years that followed, Flxible was one of the largest transit-bus manufacturers in North America.
Flxible buses were produced from 1932 to 1966:
  • "Airway" intercity coach (1932–1936)
  • "Clipper" intercity coach (1937–1942, 1944–1950)
  • "Airporter" intercity coach (1946–1950)
  • "C-1" intercity coach (1950)
  • "VisiCoach" intercity coach (1950–1958)
  • FL "Fageoliner" transit bus (1953–1954)
  • FT "Flxible Twin" transit bus (1953–1959)
  • VL-100 "VistaLiner" two-level intercity coach (1954–1959)
  • "StarLiner" intercity coach (1957–1967)
  • "Hi-Level" intercity coach (1959–1962)
  • "New Look" transit bus (1960–1978)
  • "FlxLiner" intercity coach (1963–1969)
  • "Flxette" light duty transit bus (1964–1976)
  • 870 "Advanced Design Bus" transit bus (1978–1982)
  • METRO "Advanced Design Bus" (1983–1996); METRO "A" (1983–1987), METRO "B" (1988–1991), METRO "C" (1992), METRO "D" (1993–1994) and METRO "E" (1995–1996)
From Wikipedia
Road Name History: Consolidated Bus Lines, with offices in Bluefield, served southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southwestern Virginia during the middle part of the 20th century. Consolidated provided an essential service to the busy coalfields, and later became part of a national bus line. Its 1,200-mile system extended from Huntington to Roanoke, Virginia, and provided service to cities and towns such as Charleston, Logan, Welch (its busiest hub), Mullens, Princeton, Williamson, East Rainelle, Beckley, and Pineville; as well as Grundy and Richlands, Virginia, and Pikeville, Kentucky. By 1953, Consolidated Bus Lines employed 337 individuals and operated about 100 buses. In 1952 alone, these buses traveled 5,873,468 miles and carried 7,881,663 passengers. The company was founded by James Elliott ‘‘Jack’’ Craft, a native of Breathitt County, Kentucky. Largely uneducated, Craft migrated to the coalfields of West Virginia to find work in the mines. After working long enough to repay the coal company his transportation expenses, he worked at different locations throughout the southern coalfields. It was in McDowell County that he fell in love with the great invention of that time, the automobile. Capitalizing on that interest, he started by driving coal company executives on their rounds and in 1921 established a Welch taxi service with a single Model-T Ford. After this proved profitable, he expanded into providing bus service to various coalfield towns. As his business grew Craft acquired other small bus lines, establishing Consolidated in January 1934. On August 1, 1956, Craft sold his business to Virginia Stage Lines, a Trailways affiliate. Bus service was discontinued in most of southern West Virginia by the early 1970s.
Brand/Importer Information:
Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.

Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.

The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.

Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.

Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.

Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.
Item created by: CNW400 on 2019-02-24 15:36:11. Last edited by Lethe on 2020-06-01 00:00:00

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