HILLSIDE, NJ — Atlas Model Railroad Co., Inc. announced today that it has purchased the HO-scale vehicle tooling along with designs for certain previously unannounced products from River Point Station Fine Scale Models. The deal follows Atlas’ purchase of RPS’s N-scale line two years ago. HO vehicle molds acquired include the Ford Expedition EL and F-250 and F-350 pickups, plus others, Atlas said in a statement. In all, tooling was acquired for 23 models. “Previously, in December of 2020, River Point Station announced that they would be streamlining their product line and would cease producing N-scale vehicles and we did not want to see a void left in the market, so we acquired the N-scale tooling,” Atlas CEO Paul Graf said. “After a successful launch of N-scale models utilizing this tooling, we are happy to announce that we have acquired RPS’ HO-scale vehicle tooling as well and look forward to…
Amtrak entered a new era of passenger rail in October after ridership increased in FY2022 following two years of significantly lower boardings resulting from the pandemic. Ridership grew 89 percent in the fiscal year ending in September, while the nation’s passenger railroad restored and expanded service plus launched major infrastructure projects across its network. During the year, Amtrak hired a record number of employees and put the building blocks in place to modernize infrastructure, major stations and trains. “We worked hard to restore service and grow ridership in the face of lingering impacts from the pandemic, all while modernizing our assets to make train travel a better experience for customers,” Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said. Amtrak ridership increased in FY2022 because demand for service surged in the second half following last winter’s Omicron wave, with overall ridership reaching about 85 percent of pre-covid levels. Northeast Corridor, state-supported and long distance…
By TIM BLACKWELL/Cowcatcher Magazine America is returning to the rails in earnest. U.S. passenger rail ridership is making a significant recovery from covid-19, which put the brakes on public transit and Amtrak in spring 2020. Boardings on national, regional and local networks from coast to coast are closing in on pre-pandemic levels, despite gaps in service and equipment, according to the latest available data. Public rail ridership through September had returned to 60 percent of pre-covid boardings, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and Amtrak trips were up 52 percent through 10 months of its fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. APTA’s latest quarterly data shows that rail ridership in June surged 36.4 percent compared to the same period in 2021. Boosted by a $70 billion federal infusion last year, public transit is earning back riders on all transit modes. APTA reported in early October that ridership on…
Rapido Trains hosted a dealer open house earlier this month and announced several new products, including models of Amtrak’s NPCU “Cabbage” diesels in HO. In the mid-1990s, Amtrak began a rebuild program to convert retired F40PH locomotives into non-powered control units (NPCUs) by removing the prime movers. The NPCUs allow “push-pull” service, and engineers control the train from the cab similar to the way commuter trains operate. Many are still in service today. See more on Rapido’s models, as well as other new products in the marketplace. Visit Product News.
Denver-based OmniTRAX said this week that it has entered into a contract to purchase the assets of the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad (SLRG) out of bankruptcy. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this year, were not disclosed. SLRG has operated its 155-mile short line serving the San Luis Valley the past three years in bankruptcy while trying to find a buyer. U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Surface Transportation Board must approve the sale. According to published reports, SLRG was seeking a minimum bid of $5.75 million and has about $4 million in debt. OmniTRAX, a transportation affiliate of The Broe Group, reportedly began negotiating with SLRG in September. “As a Colorado company, we know how important the SLRG has been to the San Luis Valley and Colorado’s economy,” said OmniTRAX CEO Dean Piacente. “The Broe Group companies have grown with Colorado for 50 years and…
Current Issue: Jan/Feb 2023
Due to printer issues, the January/February issue is running behind. We expect it to be at stores by Jan. 11.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
The Illinois Chapter of the Mudhens Modular HO Narrow Gauge Society’s layout makes a seamless transition from the mountains and hills of Pennsylvania to the Colorado plains. Through an eye-catching blend of scenery, modules transition from North Carolina’s East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad and Pennsylvania’s Tuscarora Valley and on to the Denver & Rio Grande Western. Highly detailed trees and foliage swallow the terrain; tree leaves seem to jump off the layout in this superb interpretation of portable narrow gauge model railroading.
2023 State of Model Railroading
Modelers say times are still good in the hobby but they may spend a little less this year because of the economy. The Cowcatcher’s 2023 State of Model Railroading survey polled readers last fall to get their insights on everything from the quality of models to sustaining the future of the hobby. They had a lot to say.
Railroading in the 1940s
The railroad industry in the late 1940s hummed as steam transitioned to diesel. Interesting, some things don’t change much. Pat Hiatte reflects on a time when railroads were high-balling across the U.S.
Milwaukee’s Trainfest came back strong in November after being sidelined by the pandemic for two years. More than 20,500 attended one of the nation’s top shows. …
InterMountain Railway Co. and ScaleTrains announced recently that each will produce EMD’s short-lived SDL39, due later this year. …
The sun has set on Fort Worth’s Tower 55, which for decades was the guardian of maybe the busiest railroad junction in the country. …
THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS AND THE BUSINESS PULSE OF THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY!
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Product News & Review
InterMountain HO ADM Corn Syrup Car
The Cowcatcher reviews InterMountain Railway Co.’s newly released HO-scale Trinity Industries 19,600-gallon corn syrup car. The tank car is one of several in the company’s second release.
Railroad in Focus
Whitehurst & Pine Ridge Railroad
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