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Kris Model Trains/KMT

Kris Model Trains box logo

History

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 by hand.

Kris 'O' gauge Box Cars
Kris Model Trains Akron, Canton & Youngstown #3404 boxcar Kris Model Trains #6100 REA Express refrigerator car Kris Model Trains Soo Line #42888 box car Kris Model Trains Union Pacific #4586 reefer Kris Model Trains #71470 Great Northern blue boxcar Kris Model Trains #6204 Wickes Lumber & Building Supplies boxcar Kris Model Trains #8524 The Alaska Railroad boxcar Kris Model Trains Union Pacific #392885 Ship & Travel the Automated Rail Way box car Kris Model Trains #12935 Spokane Portland & Seattle Railway boxcar Kris Model Trains #25517 Pittsburgh & Lake Erie boxcar Kris Model Trains #1645 Tennessee Alabama & Georgia TAG Route Kris Model Trains #13760 Kentucky Fried Chicken boxcar Kris Model Trains Evergreen Freight Car Corporation #2190 box car Kris Model Trains #48659 CB&Q Burlington Route boxcar Kris Model Trains #800912 New Hope and Ivyland Railroad Kris Model Trains #754-4444 Amphenol ASD Line Cadre Division box car Kris Model Trains #26999 Gulf Mobile & Ohio DF box car Kris Model Trains #844 Budweiser Reefer Kris Model Trains #274002 Penn Central box car Kris Model Trains Strasburg RR box car Kris Model Trains #269 Vermont Railway box car Kris Model Trains Toy Train Operating Society Convention Buckeye Division 1977 Columbus, Ohio box car Kris Model Trains Christmas box bar Kris Model Trains #70854 Pennsylvania RR boxcar Kris Model Trains #1220 P&WV Pittsburgh And West Virginia boxcar Kris Model Trains #90676 Erie Lackawanna Kris Model Trains #5066 Reading Lines RDG box car Kris Model Trains #90684 Erie Lackawanna XF boxcar Kris Model Trains #27034 Delaware & Hudson Bridge Line Box Car Kris Model Trains #124770 AT&SF Santa Fe All The Way Kris Model Trains Old Dutch Cleanser box car Kris Model Trains #370088 B&O Time Saver Service box car Kris Model Trains Toy Train Operating Society 1981 San Diego National Convention box car Kris Model Trains #528-1145 Choo-Choo Barn box bar Kris Model Trains #65166 Chicago E.J. & E. RY Outer Belt boxcar Kris Model Trains #49812 D & R G W Rio Grande boxcar

Kris box cars were the same full 'O' scale models of 40-foot 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 Reefers
Kris Model Trains #78676 Pacific Fruit Growers Express Reefer Kris Model Trains #76263 Burlington Refrigerator Express Everywhere West Reefer Kris Model Trains 1970 Rheingold Beer Mr. Met Calendar Reefer Kris Model Trains #70714 Great Northern Refrigerator car Kris Model Trains Glen Uhl Train Shop Refrigerator car Kris Model Trains Grand Trunk Western GT #516143 refrigerator car

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
Kris Model Trains 'S' gauge REA Express Reefer Kris Model Trains 'S' gauge #180764 Santa Fe 3 bay hopper

In late 1969, Hobby Surplus shipped 3000 original 'S' gauge Gilbert American Flyer car shells to Kris Model Trains where they were re-painted 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. And Kriswalus sold these repainted Gilbert 'S' gauge cars 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 $4.95 each, or $25 for 5 different road names.

Kris 'O' gauge Gondolas
Kris Model Trains #18022 Bessemer & Lake Erie orange gondola Kris Model Trains #265144 Reading gondola Kris Model Trains #1602 Southern gondola Kris Model Trains #2551 Chessie System B & O black gondola Kris Model Trains #101 Weyerhaeuser Timber green gondola Kris Model Trains #5221 Kaiser Bauxite Company Ltd. gondola

Kris Model Trains 1970's Boy Ccout Boxcar 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.

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
Kris Model Trains #9369 yellow Union Pacific stock car Kris Model Trains Atlantic Coast Line stock car Kris Model Trains #10370 gray Union Pacific stock car Kris Model Trains #10370 yellow Union Pacific stock car Kris Model Trains A&P stock car Kris Model Trains #23530 DL&W Lackawanna RR stock car Kris Model Trains Rock Island stock car Kris Model Trains #75411 Southern Railway stock car

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.

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