KANSAS CITY, MO – The Model Railroad Industry Division of the Hobby Manufacturers Association took time at the August NMRA convention to honor three who have made an impact on model railroading and recognize the retirement of an industry leader. Two HMA members were inducted into the Model Railroad Hall of Fame, another was bestowed the Bobbye Hall Distinguished Service award, and new officers were inducted into the MRID. And next week’s transfer of leadership at the most recognized family-run business in model railroading earned a fist bump. Phil Walthers and Stacey Walthers Naffah shared a few light moments leading up to next Tuesday’s transition at Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., which has served model railroaders since 1932. Walthers Naffah will succeed Walthers, who is retiring after 34 years as president of one of the industry’s largest distributors and direct sellers of model trains, accessories and related items. The father-daughter team…
This story has been updated since its original publication date A factory in China that manufactures model trains has closed, leaving some U.S. model railroad companies seeking a new supplier and facing delays. InterMountain Railway Co., Atlas Model Railroad Co., Bowser and Fox Valley Models announced this week that some new locomotives and rolling stock will be delayed or canceled because of the unexpected closing of one of the industry’s top manufacturers. None of the companies said what products will be delayed.
Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc., and Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. have reached an agreement under which Atlas will purchase all N-scale locomotive and rolling stock tooling owned by Walthers, including the Walthers and Life-Like lines. Atlas will incorporate the tooling into its Atlas Master, Atlas Classic, and Trainman N scale lines, the company said in a statement today. Walthers will continue to offer N-scale items in its Cornerstone, SceneMaster, and Walthers Controls brands, including new items as well as items currently in those lines. “We feel that this tooling has found a great home with Atlas,” Wm. K. Walthers President Phil Walthers said. “They have a strong N-scale offering and these tools will help them bring some exceptional products back to the market.” Tom Haedrich, Executive Chairman at Atlas said the tooling fits right in with the company’s existing N-scale lines. “We are committed to producing them with the latest…
Model railroaders can brush up on their skills and learn about prototype rails at the Rocky Mountain Train Show March 3-4 in Denver. More than 30 clinics, headlined by Union Pacific’s steam operations update, are scheduled over both days of the show, which will cover nearly 130,000 square feet at the Denver Mart. Manufacturers, dealers, layouts and representatives from museums and historical societies will also be on hand. UP’s widely popular session forced show officials to move the presentation to a larger room in the Forum area. Last year, a standing room only crowd of more than 100 heard Ed Dickens Jr., senior manager of UP’s Heritage Operations, update the restoration of Big Boy No. 4014 and offer insight on Northern-class steam locomotive No. 844. Dickens will do it again at 11 a.m. on Saturday. “We’ve had to expand to a bigger room for the UP presentation,” said show co-chair…
The Texas Bullet Train made a big push forward before Christmas when federal regulators outlined a preferred route between North Texas and Houston, including identifying passenger station locations. The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) analysis, completed after nearly four years of work, provides a path for the high-speed train’s planning, design and pre-construction phases with the intent to ensure the safety and environmental well-being of all along the 240-mile route, according to Texas Central Railway, which is building the investor-owned high-speed passenger line. The report does not grant any approvals to build the line, but transportation officials say construction could start as early as 2019. Officials have accelerated that timeline from 2021, the date pinpointed in 2014 when the line began heating up. The next step, according to TCR, is release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, followed by Record of Decision. In the meantime, the FRA is hosting public hearings…
KANSAS CITY, MO — Kansas City Southern’s 17th annual Holiday Express train kicks off its charitable run Nov. 24 in Victoria, TX. The train will stop in 22 communities in six states on 26 dates running through Dec. 19. At each stop, visitors can board the train, visit with Santa and his elves, and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train. The event is free. The Holiday Express has raised well over $1 million to purchase gift cards, which are donated to the Salvation Army at each stop. The gift cards are then used to buy warm clothing and other necessities for children in need in the local community. KCS is working with the Salvation Army this year to specially assist communities along the route most impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including Victoria, El Campo, Kendleton and Beaumont. The KCS Charitable Fund will make a supplemental donation…
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The fourth generation of leadership took charge at Wm. K. Walthers Inc., in September when Phil Walthers handed off to daughter Stacey Walthers Naffah. Managing the company into model railroading’s future prompted Naffah to take the helm. Like her grandfather, Naffah is operating a hobby business at a time when technology competes for the world’s leisure time. She believes the answer may be to get the next generation of model railroaders involved by meeting them on their own turf.
One Final Ride
Thousands waving American flags and snapping photos on their cellphones lined rights-of-way from Spring to College Station, TX, on a cold gray day to bid farewell to the nation’s 41st president as he took one last ride on the rails. A 13-car Union Pacific train that had been 10 years in planning and headed by his namesake locomotive carried the body of George H.W. Bush to his final resting place, next to his wife of 73 years, Barbara, on Dec. 6 at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
State of the Hobby: Readers rate the state of model railroading good based on value, selection and quality…
Steam returns to the Alamo City with the restoration of the Texas Transportation Museum’s 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0…
Project layout: Scenery and technology bring to life the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific HO-scale shelf layout.
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: Learn more behind the making of Main Street in Downtown Norwood on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
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Locomotives and rolling stock once again dominated new offerings announced by manufacturers at the NMRA National Train Show. Among them were ScaleTrains.com’s new SD40-T2 Tunnel Motor locomotives that feature see-through radiator grilles.
Walthers Layout Control System Switch Machine
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