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  • About Us… Well, about me, anyway.

    My name is Joe Devlin. I established Alameda Car Works in 2007, but this isn't my first foray into model railroad manufacturing.

    In 1985 my brother Mike and I started a company called The Iron Pony. We set out to manufacture 1" scale railroad equipment. As you may know, 1" scale (one twelfth of full size) is one of the standard live steam scales. The locomotives and cars made by The Iron Pony were all designed to be ridden. My brother wisely hung on to his real job and left The Iron Pony to me. But through the years he has continued to supply shop space, manufacturing know-how, and lots and lots of enthusiastic support.

    The Iron Pony cataloged a full line of locomotives, rolling stock, and track. For locomotives we started with an EMD GP9 and eventually produced F7 A and B units, as well as a small industrial switcher. The locomotives were battery-powered and the GPs and Fs were each capable of pulling more than a ton of train.

    To run behind the locomotives, The Iron Pony manufactured both freight and passenger cars. On the freight side there was a PS-1 box car, a PFE R-40-23 reefer, an ATSF-style caboose, an all-steel gondola, and a tank car. The reefer was insulated, had working doors and hatches, and could actually be iced, just like the prototype.

    For passenger trains we offered models of Budd and Pullman streamliners. The Budd models all had fluted sides, but the Pullmans were available with smooth or fluted sides. These too were designed to be ridden by full-sized people. I also produced larger 1.6" scale versions of the Pullman cars.

    I am quite proud that there are dozens of my 1" scale diesel models still in weekly use at live steam clubs and in backyards all around the country (and in Europe).

    I sold the 1" scale business in 2000 to Rod Johnston, a Canadian modeler. It now exists as Riding Railkits. (If you're interested, take a look at the web site. You can contact Rod via the site. He no longer stocks any of the various kits, but everything is still available by special order.) The 1.6" scale Pullman cars are still being manufactured by The Passenger Car Company.

    Apparently, I haven't quite gotten this out of my blood, so now I'm running Alameda Car Works. The Sheffields were the first kits, but I've almost finished the prototype for a Kalamazoo narrow gauge handcar. And the preliminary drawings are completed for a Fairmont speeder. Both are in 1" scale, but I may get around to 1.5" scale for both of them as well. We'll see.