A Snippet of My C-636 Story

From a very young age I have always loved trains, and I had my first HO train set when I was about 7. I jumped into N Scale in the late 60’s with Postage Stamp, Bachmann, and ConCor. Living in Portland, Oregon I decided that the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway would be the one to model. With no engines available, I painted and decaled my own in those days. The biggest road diesels the SP&S had were the Century 636’s that ConCor made a model of back in the 1970’s. That model, if you recall, was crude and used the motor mechanism of the day, which was even more crude. Many many years have passed. You are aware of the SP&S products I have been able to produce as ‘Special Runs’, and we are all blessed that there are enough of us out there to do more. BUT, there are not enough of us out there to support a model train manufacturer to produce this great C-636 engine. Starting way back in the late 1980’s I recall talking to model train companies about this engine, and I’m sure you might have done that too. More recently, with companies like Fox Valley on the scene, I have hoped there would be a chance, but we still get turned away.

When Atlas finally produced the C-630 several years back, we thought that for sure the 636 would follow. The chart below shows exactly why no one wants to invest to produce this engine. With only 63 units produced and only five railroad names on that chart that you are really aware of, it truly is bleak. Once again I spoke with Paul at Atlas, Matt at Fox Valley, and Lee at Bowser. (Bowser recently released this in HO but will not do it in N Scale.) All of them again say ‘no’.

from wikipedia

If I want this engine, it clearly should happen on the great chassis that Atlas produces. I have looked at the differences between the C-630 and the C-636. And while there are certainly differences, the overall detail is completely there. So I have jumped out-on-a-limb to commission Atlas to paint their C-630 in the SP&S Broad Stripe scheme, and they have agreed to a smaller run quantity then usual. Without that, I would not have done this.

There are two details that I can add to make this ‘look closer’. First, the large round roof fan will be added photo etch part. Second, will be the fuel tank. While I cannot change it completely, I will create a closer-looking tank to the prototype. As of now, I cannot change the trucks, nor the air tanks under the walkway of one side. But, I believe that the finished model will be very satisfactory, and I am betting that you will agree!

Orders are now being taken. Click here to get yours! Delivery is expected third quarter of 2017.

Lowell Smith

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon. Read more

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AFT is a real dream come true for me. Thanks for all your hard work!

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To say the least this is a HUGE development for N-scale and I, along with a number of others, are indebted to you for making these cars possible. Thanks so very much!!!


You know I’m always looking forward to the next release and its arrival with great anticipation. I treasure my Lowell Smith Signature collection.


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Rick S.

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Rad J.

Lowell, I am very pleased with the N Scale Ferdinand Magellan Presidential car. As a retired US Secret Service agent I have conducted security advances for the president and his family traveling by train. I have done a lot of research on the Ferdinand Magellan and the model has excellent detail. It will be an…

M. Magliaro

I received my #99 business card in the mail today. It looks superb. Thank you for another wonderful job. You are really filling a niche.


Ferdinand Magellan is great! This really fits your mission of offering significant cars that otherwise wouldn’t be produced.


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