Kris Model Trains were manufactured and sold by Andy Kriswalus of Endicott, New York from
1968 to 1982. Kris made boxcars, gondolas, refrigerator cars, stock cars, track, and railroad logoed coasters.
He also made and sold reproduction Bild-A-Loco motors.
Andy Kriswalus, who had worked at IBM and was an avid collector of Lionel trains,
purchased much of the tooling from Kusan/KMT in 1967 when the company went out of business.
Shortly thereafter, he began producing a line of 'O' gauge rolling stock under the Kris Model Trains name.
Kris Model Trains, also called KMT, only produced the box, stock, gondolas and refrigerator cars from the Kusan dies,
in a very wide assortment of road names and liveries, most emphasizing and representing mid-eastern and central
US lines that ran in the local vicinity. On many of these cars Kris mounted die-cast trucks
made from the Kusan tooling. Lionel trucks were also utilized on the freight cars. All cars were assembled
Kris Model Trains 'O' gauge Rail Line 40' Box Cars
Kris Model Trains 'O' gauge Private Owner 40' Box Cars
Kris Model Trains 'O' gauge Special Run 40' Box Cars
Kris Model Trains 'O' gauge Toy Train Operators Society 40' Box Cars
Kris box cars were the same full 'O' scale models of 40' prototype box cars that
Kusan, and AMT before them, had produced from the very same molds. These cars were
slightly longer and higher than a Lionel post-war #6464-series box car. At some point, a switch was made
from die-cast car frames to stamped steel, as a cost cutting measure, and to keep up with such changes
in manufacturing processes being made elsewhere within the model train industry. In addition to the high
impact styrene box cars, stock cars, gondolas and reefers made in 'O' Scale from the Kusan Model Trains dies, Andy
Kriswalus made replacement frames for Lionel standard gauge and 'O' gauge locos.
Kris 'O' gauge Refrigerator Cars
The refrigerator cars made by Kris came with a coin slot in the roof, and were
sometimes referred to as bank cars instead of as reefers.
Kris Model Trains 'S' gauge freight cars
In late 1969, Hobby Surplus shipped 3000 Lionel/MPC S gauge Gilbert
American Flyer car shells, molded with the original American Flyer dies, to
Kris Model Trains where they were professionally spray painted by Andy Kriswalus with
many new road names, similar to the patterns of the Kris 'O' gauge line. Reefers, Boxcars and Triple Bay Hoppers were
included in this lot. An ad appeared 3 or 4 times in the S Gauge Herald from winter of 1970 through the spring of
1971 offering these repainted Gilbert S gauge cars from Kris Model Tains of Endicott, NY in the new railroad designs
of ACY, Burlington Northern, N&W, Erie, B&O, Southern, PFE, Penn Central, Jersey Central, Hershey, UP,
CN Evergreen, Great Northern, Lackawana, Reading, Illinois Central, NYC, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, L&N, and
Milwaukee Road for $5.00 each, or $25 for 5 different road names, with Pikemaster trucks and couplers. Or $6.00 each with
American Flyer knuckle couplers. Bodies only with brake wheels could be purchased for $4.00 each.
Kris 'O' gauge Gondolas
Kris was known for producing short runs of custom decorated cars for train clubs and businesses.
He even created a boxcar for the Boy Scouts of America. Cars were made for companies that had nothing to do with
railroading, but that wanted a toy boxcar to give out to employees.
In the mid 1970's, custom decorated Kris KMT box cars in quantity could be obtained for as little as $12 each, with
a minimum order of 40 cars. Major manufacturers such as Lionel, would not take orders for such small quantities.
Andy Kriswalus obtained 300 sets of 'O' gauge extruded aluminum passenger car kits from
Williams Trains, assembled and re-decorated them as Ringling Brothers circus cars.
The cars included a Pullman and an observation.
Although Kris Model Trains never issued locomotives, it is widely believed that Andy Kriswalus
was evaluating the potential and experimenting with some original designs. In the fall of 1975 KMT moved their
production facilities to a new location. KMT also made lots of tubular track. Their track is distinguished
by the letters KMT stamped on the ties.
Kriswalus also was a very large wholesale distributor for Lionel products.
Kris 'O' gauge Stock Cars
At some point, the original AMT and Kusan tooling that was in Kriswalus' possession
was sold to K-Line and Williams Electric Trains,
who continued to use it to produce parts of their budget toy train lines. Williams F-7's and K-Line
Alco FA shells were
made from original AMT and Kusan tooling. Some K-Line freight cars were made using the Kusan K-series molds.
K-Line shadow rail track also originated from Kusan O42 track tooling.
Andy Kriswalus passed away in September 1990.