New HO-scale passenger car models based on 1970s and 1980s prototypes are available from Mabar Trains. Operated by the former Spanish National Railway Network, Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Espanoles (RENFE), the new Mabar releases offer metal wheels, separately modeler applied details including pipes, couplers, steps, lamp supports, and more. One set of trucks per car is equipped with electrical pickups to allow for easy illumination of model interiors. Cars retail for approximately $55 each and include baggage and passenger car bodystyles. Additional information and more Mabar releases of Spanish prototypes may be found by visiting: www.mabar.es.
In time for holiday giving or simply a great chance to add to one’s collection at a very attractive price, Pentrex has a new Holiday Catalog 2013 now online (www.pentrex.com). Selections with original retails of up to $39.95 are specially priced for a limited time at $9.95 and $19.95. A total of 42 programs on DVD are being offered for $9.95 each. Titles in the under $10 set include: “Union Pacific 6900s – The Centennials,” “Baltimore & Ohio Odyssey Volume 1,” “Burlington Northern E-Units,” “Colorado Narrow Gauge in the 1950s,” and many more. Visit Pentrex online to view and order these specially priced DVD releases.
New from Tahoe Model Works are HO-scale Barber S-2 50-ton Trucks. Tahoe’s trucks use built-in snubbing devices to provide a smoother ride and great performance. The snubbing device is a spring-loaded wedge-shaped friction shoe, located inside pockets cast into the sideframe’s bolster ends. The Barber S-2 50-ton prototype was introduced to North American railroading in 1939. Tahoe’s research for its design was based on a Milwaukee Road rib-side box car residing at Portola, California’s Western Pacific Railroad Museuem. Tahoe’s truck feature one-piece black acetal plastic castings with separate brake show detail, and non-magnetic, insulated RP-25 contour wheels made by InterMountain Railway co. These and other truck releases from Tahoe Model Works are offered with regular (#TMW-113) and semi-scale (#TMW-213) wheel sets. A pair of Barber S-2 50-ton Trucks retails for $8.35.
Concept Models has two new HO-scale specialty flat car kits. A 1912-1920 era helium tank car used by the United States Army for reconnaissance air service features a trio of torpedo tanks mounted to a flat car. Also new from Concept Models is a Delaware & Hudson (D&H) gas transport car kit. The prototype for this new kit dates to 1912 and this car was built in the railroad’s shops. The car was used to haul illuminating gas derived from coking operations in the steel industry. The gas product was used for passenger cars and stations by the railroad.
Both described Concept Models’ kits retail for $34.99 and consist of resin castings and assembly hardware. Hand grabs, ladders, and related metal details are not provided. The kit is designed to provide a basis for modelers to exercise skills in taking this offering to one’s own desired detail level. Instructions are photo illustrated and written by an experience technical writer. Concept Models produces a variety of models and more information may be found at: www.con-sys.com.
Bar Mills introduces a new limited production super-kit with a giant 12 by 24 inch footprint, Popovich Pipe & Fixtures. This new release, available direct from Bar Mills, includes detailed casting, laser-cut wooden and resin components, appropriate graphics, plus instruction booklet. Popovich Pipe & Fixtures, retailing for $265 plus $10 shipping, is only available in HO-scale and will be a limited offering from Bar Mills. For more information or to order online, visit: www.barmillsmodels.com.
Pentrex’s new “Southern California Rail Journal 2012” is a visual journey of rail action in the heavily trafficked region in the southern section of California. Events are presented in chronological order from January through December of 2012. Highlights include views of Union Pacific’s Heritage diesels, plus a pair of Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary P42 in action. From Amtrak Surfliner action on the coast up to Cajon Pass, there is plenty to take in watching Pentrex’s latest installment in its series documenting southern California. The video features a running time of over two hours and may be played with or without narration. Pentrex has been producing its “Southern California Rail Journal” series annually since 2008. Past editions are still available from Pentrex’s catalog. www.pentrex.com.
Lionel collectors will be interested to know, Menard’s is offering an exclusive collection of O-scale Lionel-made flat cars with unique loads. Prices start at $19.99 and seven different releases are among the limited edition 2013 collection. The loads represent materials and vehicles relating to Menard’s. All cars in the series are sequentially numbered and this is a one-time production run. Menard’s is also carrying several O-scale buildings and accessories, in addition to train sets this holiday season.
Since 2004, Menard’s home improvement stores have been selling various types of authentic collectibles. Menard’s operates nearly 300 stores in 14 states, including: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. If you don’t have a Menard’s home improvement store nearby, you may order online at: www.menards.com. Enter “Menards Collectibles” in your search to locate these and other train items.
Over the course of the next year, Con-Cor plans to release a series of new HO- and N-scale containers. In the immediate future, Con-Cor will issue three groups consisting of two N-scale and one HO-scale release.
For N-scalers, Con-Cor is producing a 40-foot Hi-Cube Intermodel Container with rivet side design. Available in twin packs retailing for $18.98, this new offering will include the following: CARU, China Shipping, CMA-CGM, Evergreen, Matson, and Yang-Ming. The other coming N-scale release will also be available in HO-scale and will be a 53-foot Hi-Cube Intermodal Container with rivet side pattern. Con-Cor’s N-scale versions will retail for $18.98, while HO-scale examples will list for $27.98. In both scales, Con-Cor’s 53-foot containers will be sold in twin packs. The release will include: Axsun, Bison, Canadian National, Canadian Tire, CSX (new scheme), and JB Hunt.
Con-Cor products are available from your favorite hobby seller or you may order direction from the company via its website: www.con-cor.com or by phone: 888-255-7826.
Still time to create your own HO- or N-scale holiday-themed train and you can do it with MicroScale's new Polar Northern Railroad. Featuring North Pole Express lettering and a herald that includes a polar bear two sets are offered to help the custom modeler create a steam engine, caboose, and passenger cars all carrying MicroScale's Polar Northern Railroad name. www.microscale.com.
Final tooling for Accurail's new HO-scale Pullman-Standard 4750 covered hopper model was on display at Trainfest in Milwaukee. The model's first road names will begin arriving in the first part of 2014. The model will be offered in kit form with an $18.98 retail. www.accurail.com.
The first release of Wheels of Time’s PC-90 Piggy-packer in HO-scale will deliver in January, 2014. Planned for June, 2014 arrive will be a second set of HO-scale Piggy-packers. Eleven new road names will be presented and will include: Burlington Northern, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Chicago & North Western, Cotton Belt, CP Rail (Action Red), CSX, Demo Red, FWD Wagner, Norfolk & Western, Pennsylvania Truck Lines, and Western Pacific.
Wheels of Time’s FWD Wagner model is based on the company that leases units to railroads for use in intermodal facilities. The Pennsylvania Truck Lines was a contractor to Conrail, Penn Central, and originally Pennsylvania Railroad. All models, with exception of the Demo Red and CP Rail examples, all models are presented in bright safety yellow with railroad heralds on the unit’s sides. Pre-orders are due January 17, 2014 for Wheels of Time’s announced June, 2014 delivery of this $78.99 fully assembled model. The model will include magnets on the underside of the container holding arm and the packer’s arm may be raised or lowered and will remain in various positions. Watch for updates and information at Wheels of Time's website: www.wheelsotime.com.
Those curious about Bowser's coming HO-scale Alco diesel releases will be interested in this latest image from the floor of Milwaukee's Trainfest show. The model recently received a cab contour revision and excellent Hi-Ad trucks. Watch for updates on this coming model in Model Railroad News. For road names and details, you may visti: www.bowser-trains.com.
Adding to its Ready 2 Rail series of HO-scale entry level train offerings, MTH Trains has a pre-production example of its coming EMD GP38-2. The model appears to be a later Phase I production example of EMD's big selling 2,000 horsepower Geep that helped usher in the diesel builders' "Dash 2" series in the early 1970s. A new MTH HO Trains catalog will be online in the next week with details on features, road names, and pricing for this new HO-scale model that is expected during the first half of 2014.
Athearn announces Santa Fe's Topeka Cab Geep for Genesis HO-scale line.
A surprise announcement from Trainfest, Athearn will offer this Santa Fe prototype in HO-scale for expected 2014 delivery.
In 1972, Santa Fe began rebuilding its GP7 and GP9 fleet with “chopped” short hoods for improved visibility and a host of internal improvements and upgrades. These units sported the unofficial designation of GP7u and GP9u by railfans - the “u” indicating “upgraded.” Hundreds served all over the vast Santa Fe system in a variety of roles.
The new model will present three versions: Phase I GP7u with 86-inch tall compartment doors; Phase II GP7u with 86- and 82-inch compartment doors; Phase II GP9u.
Models are early test shots and presented for representative purposes only.
Two new Southern/Norfolk Southern prototype diesels will be joining Athearn’s HO-scale Genesis series with the release of GP39X and GP49 models. Both prototypes are first time plastic offerings in HO-scale.
Southern Railway purchased six examples of EMD’s testbed GP39X locomotive in late 1980. Southern’s GP39X featured a 12-cylinder 645F3 prime mover that produced 2,600 horsepower. The model resembles an early phase GP50, but included only two 48-inch “Q-Fans” for radiator cooling at the end of its long hood. Following Southern Railway practice, its GP39X fleet (#4600-4605) came equipped with high short hoods (81-inch length), and cab controls were set for long hood forward operations.
In 1982, these testbed GP39X models returned to EMD’s LaGrange, Illinois plant and received internal mechanical modifications and upgrades. Returning to service, the six diesels were then GP49s featuring a 2,800 horsepower rating. The units operated for Norfolk Southern into the early 2000s. Athearn’s new Genesis GP49 model will replicate the appearance in Norfolk Southern service from 1986 to 1995. Models shown are pre-production examples and subject to revisions.
The latest detailing is being added to Athearn’s HO-scale Genesis SD70ACe models. Planned for 2014 delivery are new Canadian National, Electro-Motive Demonstrator, and Union Pacific SD70ACe models with new current production and road specific details. Models shown are pre-production examples and subject to revisions.
Menard’s is expanding its model railroad offerings for the 2013 holiday season with a new HO-scale train set. Made exclusively for Menard’s by Bachmann, the Mountain Master set is equipped with 155 pieces, including an 0-6-0 steam engine, tank car, coal hopper, caboose, plus a specially decorated limited edition 50-foot box car featuring Menard’s logo and company colors. The set has an oval of Bachmann’s popular E-Z Track and sells for $119.99.
Also available at Menard’s is an exclusive O-scale Lionel train set powered by a die-cast metal 0-8-0 locomotive with puffing smoke, headlight, and whistle. Among the freight cars is an exclusive limited edition Menard’s box car, plus flat cars with unique loads. The set’s locomotive and caboose feature Chicago & North Western lettering. The set provides power pack and 40 by 60 inch oval of Lionel’s patented FasTrack track system. This O-scale set retails for $299.99. Model trains are located in the holiday toy section of Menard’s stores. If you don’t have a Menard’s home improvement store nearby, you may order online at: www.menards.com. Enter “Menards Collectibles” in your search to locate these and other train items.
MDT (Merchants Despatch Transportation) Company began building wooden refrigerator cars in 1878 at New York Central & Hudson River Railroad’s shop in Rochester, New York. MDT continued reefer production at its own East Rochester, New York facility starting in 1898. Production at MDT’s own shops would continue for six decades with the last steel reefer examples entering service in 1959. While the majority of output from MDT’s shops was for cars utilized in its own service, reefers were also constructed for Boston & Maine, Lackawanna, Michigan Central, New York Central, Northern Pacific, Rutland, and others.
Cincinnati’s Division 7, MCR (Mid-Continent Region) NMRA now offers two versions of these classic MDT reefers. The group’s wood reefer car example is based on MDT’s 1927 production of 500 cars numbered 22000 to 22499. These wood reefers were repainted in 1936 as part of a shop visit and continued in service until the early 1950s. The other MDT reefer kit release is based on a steel refrigerator car prototype. Built in 1937, MDT’s 6000 to 6499 were found in service into the late 1950s.
Both kits are decorated in the same classic white MDT scheme featuring red and blue stripes near the car’s frame with brown ends and roof. Four car numbers are offered by Cincinnati’s Division 7 NMRA with a pair in the 22000 series and a pair in the 6000 series. The MDT Wood Refrigerator Car kits are produced using Accurail’s 4800-series 40-foot wooden reefer with fishbelly steel underframes, while the MDT Steel Refrigerator Car kit is Accurail’s 8300-series 40-foot all-steel reefer model. Both examples feature swing doors with three hinges. Kits are provided with AccuMate knuckle couplers and AAR Bettendorf-style trucks.
The kits retail for $18 each or one can buy all four for $70. Shipping is $6 for a single kit and $9 for purchases of two to four kits. Ohio residents must include 6.75% sales tax on the total kit price with orders. Orders outside the U.S. may contact Cincinnati’s Division 7 NMRA for shipping information. To purchase, you may mail a check or money order to: Division 7, MCR, NMRA, P.O. Box 62501, Cincinnati, OH 45262. You may view more information at: www.cincy-div7.org.
InterMountain Railway Co. announces its third variation of rebuilt Geep to its HO-scale product line with Santa Fe’s signature “Topeka Cab” diesels. The first Geep announced was Illinois Central/Illinois Central Gulf’s Paducah GP10. The second announcement for this series of diesel models was Seaboard Coast Line’s GP16. All three examples represent railroad rebuilding programs begun in the 1970s to gain new life from early production EMD GP7 and GP9 motive power.
InterMountain’s Santa Fe “Topeka Cab” Geep will be offered in standard DC and DCC equipped with SoundTraxx Tsunami sound. A source at InterMountain reports tooling is being cut on all three diesels and plans are to show early pre-production samples in the early part of 2014. Specifics on road numbers and details for InterMountain’s Santa Fe “Topeka Cab” release will be made official and presented in the near future. Prototype image from Paired Rail Collection presented for illustrations purposes only.
A modern Volvo EC480D Tracked Excavator, part of the MotorArt Collection, is now available from 3000TOYS.com. The model features metal construction with only a few plastic parts, detailed operator’s cab, moveable boom, stick, and bucket with working cylinders and ram. The excavator’s arm rotates on a 360-degree chassis. The model’s metal tracks include smooth movement and the fully assembled model includes accurate paint and authentic Volvo graphics. The new Volvo Tracked Excavator (#300032) retails for $149.95 and is built to 1/50th scale, near 1/48th or O-scale. To order, you may visit: www.3000TOYS.com.
Wheels of Time will re-introduce its award winning N-scale C49 Motor Coach models with a collection of all new paint schemes for early 2014 delivery. The model reproduces accurately the classic C49 bus that featured an art deco streamline appearance. Following WWII, these C49 Motor Coaches helped modernize urban transportation in North America. The buses were introduced in the 1950s and continued to serve into the late 1970s.
Wheels of Time’s model features one- and two-door suburban city versions of the C49 Motor Coach, depending on the style utilized by each transit company. Models will have changeable route destination signs, plus interior seating and steering wheel. The finished model will include a polished body shell to replicate a glossy metal appearance. Wheels of Time has researched the prototype and selected 15 transit properties to feature for this new offering, which will retail for $25.95 each. Multiple numbers will be offered for each transit company and the release will include: Boston MTA (Mass Transit Authority), Chicago Motor Coach Co., Cleveland Transit System, Greyhound, Houston Transit Company, Kansas City Public Service, Long Beach Motor Bus Co., Montreal Transportation Commission, Niagara Frontier Transit, Public Service Coordinate Transport (New Jersey), Railroad Maintenance of Way, Rose City Transit (Portland), San Francisco Municipal Railway, Unified School District, and Yonkers Transit Corporation. More information may be found at Wheels of Time’s website: www.wheelsotime.com.
SoundTraxx now offers a board format designed for use in InterMountain Railway Co. HO-scale diesel models. The new SoundTraxx Tsunami Digital Sound Decoders are plug-and-play units made for easy install as a drop-in replacement for the factory supplied light circuit board. SoundTraxx’s Tsunami TSU-IM1000 measures 76 mm x 19 mm x 9.5 mm and includes voltage-regulated outputs to control LEDs and possess a speaker wiring harness. First in a planned series, SoundTraxx’s Tsunami TSU-IM1000 is available for use in the following HO-scale InterMountain releases: F-units - EMD 567 (#828070), SD40-2s - EMD 645 Turbo (#828071), and ES44ACs/ES44DCs - GE GEVO-12 (#828074). Similar to other Tsunami units, the new TSU-M1000 is equipped with a 16-bit digital sound processor, built-in effects, 1-watt amplifier, Hyperdrive motor control, plus four outputs for Hyperlight lighting effects. The unit is compatible with NMRA DCC standards and is able to produce over 14 sound effects, including: short and long horn (16 variations), exhaust (eight throttle notches), engine start up, engine shutdown, bell, radiator fans, compressor, dynamic brakes, brake squeal, and couple clank. SoundTraxx’s Tsunami-IM1000 retails for $99.95 and is available from retailers now. Additional information may be found online at SoundTraxx’s website: www.soundtraxx.com.
Two new O-scale structure kits mark the first new releases in a year from Downtown Deco. Featuring the same basic wall castings with differing cornices, Downtown Deco’s new releases are: Metals Bank (#DD50) and Sisters of Mercy Thrift Store (#DD51) retailing for $119.95 each. Each kit builds out to create a 7 by 12 inch footprint. Downtown Deco has designed each kit with fire escapes placed on opposite sides, allowing the two structures to be easily placed side-by-side on one’s layout. The kits possess detailed hydrocal castings, laser cut doors and windows, distressed appearing sidewalks, plus include easy to understand assembly and painting instructions. The kits are available at hobby sellers and direct from Downtown Deco. For more information or to order direct online, visit: www.downtowndeco.com.
Monroe Models now offers an HO-scale wood caboose kit based on the original standard design used by Duluth Missabe & Iron Range (DM&IR). The road built its wood caboose fleet between 1909 and 1921 and examples remained in service into the 1960s. The original appearance was revised with a modernization shopping that began appearing in the 1940s. This later or modern look included the addition of a generator fitted to the rear of the caboose body with a side access door, vent, plus exhaust stack. A steel side frame was also added to DM&IR’s wood cabooses. Beyond bringing up the rear of DM&IR ore trains, examples were sold to other roads including Chicago Great Western and Lake Superior & Ishpeming.
Available only direct from Monroe Models, this 30-foot Caboose model kit (#2214; MSRP: $44.95) includes laser cut components made of bass wood and fiber board, plus plastic and cast metal parts. Parts are engineering for easy tab and slot construction with peel-and-stick trim, windows, and doors. Monroe Models supplied a jig for constructing grab irons and hand rails. Custom made metal castings are designed to replicate the prototype’s smoke jack, latrine vent, marker lamps, plus generator vent and exhaust stack for modernized versions. Instructions provided include photos and diagramed directions, plus a history of the caboose with helpful prototype images is also provided. The kit is less trucks, couplers, decals, and paint. For more information and to order online, visit: www..com.
Illinois Terminal’s electric era workhorse was its Class B freight motor, which served the road for some four decades. Model Railroad Warehouse now has its LTD Series HO-scale body kit for Illinois Terminal (IT) Class B motors and is accepting reservations for similar O- and S-scale kits for future release. Model Railroad Warehouse’s offering consists of a double-etched brass body designed for construction utilizing hand tools and the hobbyist’s selection of CA cement or solder. The body kit is designed for installation on power trucks currently available with a mounting plate for use with early Bachmann 44- and 70-ton diesel trucks.
IT’s Class B motors were found with two major variations (anti-climber or riveted steel plate), plus the road modified various members of the fleet resulting in a variety of appearances. Model Railroad Warehouse’s LTD Series kit allows an array of variations, including both original end sill designs, plus rectangular or arched motorman windows, and peaked or straight drip spouts. The kit’s body includes etched brass walkway and roof mats. A cast resin roof is sold separately.
Step-by-step photo instructions are posted on Model Railroad Warehouse’s website (www.mrrwarehouse.com) to assist in construction this release. This brass kit is tooled and produced in the U.S. by Model Railroad Warehouse and is now offered with an introductory price of $159.95 for the body kit (#772.7-72) and $14.95 for the resin roof (#772.2-72-10). Grand River Car offers custom built examples; you’ll find info on ordering at Model Railroad Warehouse’s website www.mrrwarehouse.com.
The 2013 Fine Scale Model Railroader Expo is coming November 7-9, 2013. The expo is being held at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield/Berkshires, MA.
For the first time, the expo has a special edition HO-scale box car model avaialble. This is the first HO-scale model created to commemorate the annual Fine Scale Model Railroader Expo. The limited edition kit was manufactured by Accurail and utilizes the company’s popular 40-foot sliding door box car. The car is decorated in a deep green hue and includes a two color Fine Scale Model Railroad Exposition herald, plus “The Route of the Craftsman” slogan and FSMRE reporting marks and carries car number 2013. The model sells for $27.95 and is available from the expo’s website: www.modelrailroadexpo.com.
H.W. Myers & Son was built in Bennington, Vermont in 1921 as a business supply center and feed mill. The structure was located near the town’s freight yard. By the early 1960s, an artist/craftsman named David Gill opened Bennington Potters at this location. Bennington Potters remains a showcase of the art of craft pottery today.
For its kit release, South River Modelworks has backdated to structure to its late 1930s and 1940s appearance. Bennington Potters is set up in a separate building with possible retailing in the Myers building. The feed mill is depicted as it appeared shortly before becoming a pottery. The old, weathered sign has been replicated, the spur is in place, and the coal facility has been replicated. The coal facility includes a pit for unloading and two portable conveyors for loading customer vehicles. Both sides of the Myers building are equally detailed. Castings provided represent bulk goods for loading docks on both sides of the building. The masonry building for making pottery has a stack for its kiln, dust collection for clay mixing and outdoor covered story for bags of dry clay.
South River Modelworks has designed its building with a flat side. The rail spur may be placed on either of the long sides of the building. The kit release provides everything illustrated with the exception of figures and vehicles. The kit retails for $300, plus shipping and handling. Visit South River Modelworks ( www.southrivermodelworks.com) for availability. South River Modelworks reports a mid-October delivery for this limited release offering.
BPH Enterprises has four new O-scale additions for its SceniKing Roll Outs backdrop system. These new releases bring the company’s collection to 21 for 1/48th scale modelers. The new offerings retain SceniKing’s 72 inch long and 16-1/2 inch tall standards. Back Road (#K118) is designed to connect with a variety of past company offerings. Into Town (#K119) and Out of Town (#K120) depict urban scenes the connect to each other and will create a 12 foot town, which may connect to SceniKing’s forest or farmlands offerings. Field’s Start (#K121) transitions on the left side and right of a variety of SceniKing scenes.
SceniKing Roll Outs are actual scale and feature architecture back-dated to enable support for model railroading from the 1950s to contemporary times. Each Roll Out release retails for $49.95 and may be found at authorized SceniKing dealers or purchased direct from BPH Enterprises: ( www.sceniking.com).
Lionel offers a specially packaged gift box of 14 ornaments featuring the company’s classic 1948 advertising. The set includes varying blue and orange star pattern top and bottom bands with matching ribbons. The decoupage ornaments are 3-inches in diameter and come packed in an attractive hexagon shaped box with lid for storage. The Lionel Catalog Archives set (#9-21012) sells for $24.99 and is available now from Lionel (www.lionel.com). Also available is a Lionel Logo set (#9-21014) selling for $9.99 and featuring a trio of classic Lionel logos. Also available from Lionel is a variety of computer mouse pads, shirts and hats, puzzles, a 2014 calendar, plus additional ornaments. Visit: www.lionelstore.com.