Company Profile - The Proto Power West/A-LINE Story
As a railroad enthusiast (both prototype and model) and a stickler for precision model railroad equipment, I have always had an interest in new and exciting products. Although many mass produced HO scale diesel locomotives seem to run adequately out of the box, I have always known many modelers, myself included, that were searching for a better quality power mechanism. The chassis would have to offer better low speed performance, less amperage draw, increased pulling power and smooth and quiet operation. In 1979 I was introduced to a new model railroad product that genuinely caught my attention. The Proto Power West chassis seemed to fit the bill and I became an avid customer, and worked part time for the California based company. During this time, I developed new techniques to improve on the PPW chassis by fine tuning it even further and I often shared my ideas with the owner of the company. Eventually he sold me the company which is now based in Oceanside, California. I immediately began production of the chassis line incorporating all of the changes and ideas that I had developed and tested on my personal fleet over the years. They were a big success and as more and more modelers learned of my Proto Power West products, orders began to pour in from all over the country. Over the years the chassis received a number of excellent reviews in several model railroad publications which proclaimed the high level of quality of Proto Power West products . To this day, I firmly believe that we have the most complete line of, and finest quality HO scale power chassis available in the model railroad market.
In the late 80's, I became more involved in the development of new products and was literally bombarded with ideas from fellow modelers and Proto Power West dealers when they learned of my intent to diversify the company. Although the Proto Power West chassis had become extremely successful, mass production of the product was (and still is) impossible due to the labor intensive assembly and fine tuning procedure needed to manufacture them. Rather than lower the product's standards to accommodate higher production levels, I decided to separate the Proto Power West products from the new line of products to permit easier and more effective product distribution. This is how the A-LINE division of Proto Power West was formed.
The first major A-LINE product that I set out to develop started with a visit to a favorite railfanning location in Southern California. On this particular day, I saw for the first time a set of the new Thrall double stack container cars on a westbound hotshot. I was fascinated by the sleek, symmetrical appearance of the cars as the train silently sailed down the main line. Upon returning to the shop, I immediately began researching the possibility of modeling these cars in HO scale.
After a great deal of research (with the assistance of Thrall and American President Lines), several pilot models and many dollars invested in tooling and production, the HO scale A-LINE Thrall double stack container cars were released in late 1985. While most model companies take years to produce accurate reproductions of prototypical models, often long after the prototype has disappeared from service, we are proud of the fact that we were able to produce a quality, contemporary model railroad product, from start to finish, so quickly that even it's prototype counterpart is still considered state-of-the-art! From the origins of double stack service in 1985 we saw the potential that this type of equipment had to revolutionize rail transportation across the country and around the world. More importantly though, we also recognized the potential for this equipment in the model railroad marketplace and we were the first model railroad manufacturer to release HO scale intermodal double stack equipment. This is why we can honestly say that A-LINE is the true leader in innovative intermodal modeling equipment.
The success of the A-LINE products released to date has reinforced our commitment to the continued development of contemporary models, we are very excited to have entered the expanding vehicle market. A-LINE vehicles "Come Alive with Detail". A-LINE is dedicated to creating equipment that is not only prototypically accurate but designed and produced with the same dedication to detail and quality that has made the Proto Power West chassis the success that it is today.
PPW-ALINE was founded by Joe DElia, Jr. over 40 years ago. A modeler, railfan and innovator. He was one of the founders of RPM (Railroad Prototype Modelers), 1/87 Vehicle Club and one of the original board members of the Union Pacific Historical Society. Because of his commitment to the hobby many great products have been the result, and many modelers have and continue to get alot of enjoyment from them.
Thanks to all our customers that have supported us over the years.
Joe DElia, Jr.