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. Creating their own manufacturing factory with the implementation of plant networks they could have possibly avoided this situation. 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. It would be fantastic to see these two major The next step, according to TCR, is release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, followed by Record of Decision….
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…
As floodwaters recede and sunny skies prevail, railroad activity in Houston and along the Southeast Texas coast is resuming. Class I railroads have restarted service across most of the network affected by Hurricane Harvey in late August, and Amtrak plans to restart its Sunset Limited by Wednesday. Harvey halted rail traffic when it hit near Corpus Christi on Aug. 25 and barreled up the coast. The storm dumped a U.S. record 52 inches of rain in some areas, causing an estimated $75 billion in damages. Railroads sustained flooded yards and washed-out track and bridges, forcing stoppages and delays. Traffic on Union Pacific, BNSF, Kansas City Southern, Amtrak and Houston METRORail was idle the first four or five days after the storm. But by last Thursday, all but 50 miles of Union Pacific track in Houston had been restored, according to an update on the company’s website. Elsewhere, all BNSF subdivisions…
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F is for Fantastic
Logging is king on the Chester & Beckett Railway in the 1930s and 1940s. The model railroad is a stunning fictitious depiction in F (1:20.3) and Fn30 narrow gauge of the former railroad operated by the Boston & Albany that ran west from Chester, MA, to Beckett. The layout measures 18’ x 21’ x 18’ and features a granite quarry, common in the Berkshires during the day. Structures, most of them scratch-built, represent the period modeled, and scenes are nestled in rugged wilderness. The 15-year-old layout, which won Best of Show at this year’s Amherst Railway Society Railroad and Hobby Show, is featured in a short photo essay.
On the Road
The hardest working couple in model railroading spend half of each month traveling to train shows where they set up shop on a dozen or more eight-foot tables. By the time they finish stocking cases, filling bins and plugging in the cash register, their plot of concrete in whatever convention center, community hall or fairgrounds they call home for the weekend looks like a brick and mortar store. Meet Deb and Dave Zucker of Deshler, NE.
NMRA region conventions this summer are trying new things and bringing in some of model railroading’s top talent to generate interest…
The Denver Zephyr that ran between Chicago and the Mile-High City was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy’s top passenger train…
Texas and California are fighting for high-speed rail despite pressure from administrators and lawsuits. THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS!
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: Adding a little clutter to right of ways adds realism without overdoing it on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
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The 51st Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in January packed more than 18,000 in the “Big E” in Springfield, MA, and new HO- and N-scale locomotives grabbed plenty of attention.
PIKO SmartControl light DCC System
Model railroaders seeking an affordable, easy-to-use DCC system for smaller layouts should consider the PIKO SmartControl light Basic Set. The set is designed for use with HO, N and TT layouts and has advanced features not seen in other entry-level DCC systems.
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