The Iron Pony

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The Iron Pony manufactured 1 inch scale model railroad equipment. It was founded by brothers Mike and Joe Devlin. It was subsequently sold to Rob Johnston in 2000, who renamed it Riding Railkits Inc.


From Alameda Car Works,

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 inch scale railroad equipment. As you may know, 1 inch 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 inch scale versions of the Pullman cars.

I am quite proud that there are dozens of my 1 inch 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 inch scale business in 2000 to Rod Johnston, a Canadian modeler. It now exists as Riding Railkits Inc. The 1.6 inch scale Pullman cars are still being manufactured by The Passenger Car Company.



An Introduction to 1 inch Scale Railroading