What Kind of Engine is this?

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Just wondering if someone could tell me what I have? No markings on the shell or chassis. Runs by rubber bands. Looks like a minature Athearn motor without the counter weights on the shaft. Mounts in chassis like a Athearn, but only has 2 prongs, instead of 4. it's 3 1/2" long. Thanks


Registered Member
Staff member
My best guess it's an earlier Athearn rubber band drive however a bit more modern than this one
So exactly, what is a Athearn Hustler? Is it rare? If you turn it around, it has the 2 flat screws as seen in the previous pic. There is a roller on each end that keeps tension on the 2 bands. However it has the spring steel for connections, no wires. I also have some smaller HO cars. Could these have come with it? So what's up with the smaller HO cars?


Railroad Photographer
The Athearn Hustler is a small diesel made by Athearn. Four wheels powered by rubber band drive. They were made starting a long time ago (I had one as a teenager some 50 years ago, and for quite some time. Yours appears to be a more recent one, don't have a clue how new as I lost interest in them a long time ago. Lionel also made one but it was gear driven, and I think another firm may have as well. I have two rubber band Hustlers I picked up a while ago out of curiosity.

The smaller cars in your photo are just that -smaller cars, two ore cars that were small as the ore they carried was heavy, and a short flat car. Not all rail cars were 50 footers!
So with the size being small, would this be considered a switcher engine? In real life, what would it had been used for? And by the way, THANKS for the info!


The Hustler

To be honest with you, I don't think there was a specific prototype for the hustler. it is just a small industrial switcher that Athearn came out with. There are other similar prototypes, but I don't think anything EXACT.

The hustler was meant to be an industrial switcher. it would be found switching small industries, or large ones too. They would have been owned by the industry, not a railroad. So, if you have any industries, you could letter the hustler for that, or a "leasing" company. If a large railroad had small loco,s like that, it more than likely would have been used as a SHOP switcher, or a loco used to switch loco's at the engine facilities.

Hope this helps


Master Mechanic
When I lived in Mobile, Al. There were a couple of the members that had these. With that old Hi-F rubber band drive, they ran very fast!:) So for S&G's they painted them up as NASCAR units, complete with a drivers number, sponsor decals etc. They looked pretty good!;)

Sometimes during the shows we had at Belair Mall there, one would be put on the outside track and one on the inside, with identical cattle cars behind the engines, painted just like the locos.;) The throttles would be cracked wide open and we would cheer them on!!;):D

Yep! We had our own Stock Car Races!!!!:p:D:rolleyes:

Sorry, just hadda do it!:rolleyes:


Running the MC & Buffalo

Couple of some real life small hustlers. They were used in a local lumber industry which has since closed !!!!:D

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