Fred Klein, 2001, 2002, November 2003
These cars are from the 1947, 1951 or 1955 Great Northern Empire Builder, with the manufacturer’s liberties as noted below. Drawings, plans and photos of the 1947 EB were published in Model Railroader, December 1991 page 108.
Baggage – RPO (older body style), 85’. This represents the AC&F RPO built for GN in 1950-51 as series 37-42. This is the same car modeled by Kato in their smooth-side series. At first I did not recognize this model as the GN car because the model’s double windows are so different from the prototype. It has a 60’ RPO compartment. See photo on page 100 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3.
Charlie Vlk notes “…RPO is actually another ConCor Great Northern prototype RPO. I happened to be at ConCor in Bensenville the day he was shipping out the mold bases and drawings for the car. Jim Conway insisted that the car he had already (the GN RPO/Mail Storage combine) was a "combine" and thus different than the RPO/Mail Storage car he tooled in Chicago. While the mail apartment is longer in the newer car, they both have the same accommodations. I heard there was a problem with the side inserts for the later [older?] car, thus it has not been produced for about 10-15 years.”
Older style Con-cor baggage-RPO decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder. Note the very different windows from the GN prototype.
Great Northern Baggage-RPO built by AC&F during 1950-51. Photo from page 100 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3.
Southern Pacific RPO SP 5032. This car is very similar to the model, was built by PS in 1964 and was painted dark gray. Photo was found by Tom Galbraith and is from the Los Angeles River website http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ranch/1916/mailtrain.html
Baggage-RPO (newer body style), 84’. Built for Great Northern by Pullman Standard in 1947 for the Empire Builder. See drawing on page 114 of Model Railroader, December 1991. These cars were replaced on the EB in 1951 (see Kato smoothside cars). This was a common plan for older heavyweight RPO cars with clerestory roofs, and many were rebuilt with smooth roofs when the fleet was converted and repainted with Empire Builder colors after the war.
Newer style Con-cor RPO decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder.
Great Northern Baggage-RPO like those moved from the Empire Builder to other trains in 1951. Photo from page 147 of Strauss’ Great Northern Pictorial volume 4. Some cars of this design, such as this example, were rebuilt from heavyweight cars.
Baggage, 84’. This is a close match to Great Northern’s baggage cars, which they rebuilt from heavyweight passenger cars from 1947 through the early 50’s. See picture in GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment by David Hickhox on page 15. Though the Great Northern ordered RPO cars new from AC&F and PS during 1947-1951, baggage cars were rebuilt from old heavyweight cars. Thus GN had a variety of lengths, trucks, doors, door spacing, and roofs.
Con-cor baggage-REA car decorated for Great Northern.
Great Northern baggage car. This car was rebuilt from a heavyweight passenger car in the early 1950s. This explains the 85’ length, 6-wheel trucks and riveted side plates. The doors on these cars are relatively close together.
Coach, 84’. Built for Great Northern as the 60-seat short-haul (day) coach by Pullman in 1947 for the 1947 Empire Builder, car series 1110-1114; and by AC&F in 1951 for the 1951 Empire Builder, car series 1209-1214. See pictures on pages 60 and 101 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3 by John Strauss (for both the long- and short-haul coaches), and page 7 of GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment.
Con-cor short-haul coach car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder.
Short-haul 60-seat coach used on the Empire Builder. The long windows, one window for two rows, are a giveaway that the rows are close together and the seats don’t recline as much as the 48-seat long-haul coaches. Photo from http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1145305
Con-cor short-haul coach car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder, opposite side.
Corrugated Dome, 84’. These were the 46-reserved-seat /24-dome-seat coaches built by Budd for Great Northern’s 1955 Empire Builder (16 cars in the 1320-1335 series). The car has a Budd corrugated roof but has “slab panel” sides instead of corrugated sides. See pages 7 and 27 of GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment by David Hickhox and page 137 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3. This car is also the Budd 46-seat dome-coach built for the Burlington in 1956 to run on the Denver Zephyr. The two prototype CB&Q cars had full corrugation on the lower side (photos on page 171 of The Passenger Car Library vol. 1 – CB&Q and page 39 of Dorin’s The Domeliners). Budd built ten of these dome coaches with slab sides in 1954 for Northern Pacific’s North Coast Limited. The model matches the dome coaches, but not the dome 4-roomette /4-bedroom /4-single room sleepers built for the NP.
Con-cor dome car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder.
46-seat dome coach built by Budd for Great Northern’s 1955 Empire Builder. Photo from GN Historical Archives http://www.gn-npjointarchive.org/GNRHSNewby/GNRHS.Newby.Bk4img125.jpg.
Opposite side of Con-cor dome car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder.
Burlington’s Budd 46-seat coach from 1956. Photo from page 39 of Dorin’s The Domeliners.
Diner, 84’. The model is almost the 36-seat Great Northern Lake-series diner built by Pullman for the 1947 and by AC&F for the 1951 Empire Builders. Both sides of the model are a mirror image (reversed left-to-right) of the prototype. See pictures on page 61 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3 by John Strauss, and pages 10 and 24 of GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment by David Hickhox.
The diner joins the sleeper in the mirror-image world of Con-cor. Charlie Vlk notes “The fact that two of those cars came out mirror image is no big surprise. The drawings sent to the moldmaker were horrible: cartoons, rougher than "diagram book" pages used by railroad mechanical departments. The diner and Pullman came out mirror image; the Dome-Observation and RPO came out okay; all were crude even when compared to the early Sekisui Japan tooling. The later full baggage (tooled in Tucson by ConCor in-house) was actually quite nice.”
Con-cor diner car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder. Note the car is the mirror image of the prototype.
Great Northern’s diner “Lake Wenachee” built by ACF for the 1951 Empire Builder. Photo from http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=954010.
Con-cor diner car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder, opposite side. The car is the mirror image of the prototype.
Great Northern’s diner “Lake of the Isles” showing the opposite side. Photo from http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=994985
Sleeper, 84’. The staggered windows show the 8 duplex roomettes at the door end of the car. Like the diner, the model is an exact mirror image of the 8-duplex roomette /4-section /4-bedroom sleepers built by Pullman in 1947 for Great Northern’s 1947 Empire Builder. Pullman built 10 of these “Pass” 1160-1169 series cars, which were reassigned to the Western Star in 1951. See pictures on page 61 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3 and pages 60 & 63 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 4. (The model omits the four small upper-berth windows over the two longer windows at the right end of the prototype [side with the door on the left]. In the 1960’s, some of these small windows may have been blocked).
In 1950, Pullman built similar 7-duplex roomette /4-section /3-bedroom /1-compartment sleepers for Great Northern’s 1951 Empire Builder. Again, the model is reversed left-to-right. Pullman built 16 of these 1951 “River” 1260-1274 series cars. See pictures on page 104 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3 and page 9 of GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment. The 1950 car omits a square window near the door on one side, because the porter now rates his own roomette instead of the closet he had in the 1947 car, hence there is one less revenue roomette. The Con-cor model car has this window, and thus it represents the mirror image of 1947 “Pass” series car, but is also close enough to the 1951 car for me. Be sure not to get confused by GN’s later reuse of series names for the “River” observation cars of 1947 or the “Pass” 6/5/2 sleepers of 1951. Isn’t prototype modeling fun, even when it makes you cross-eyed?
The model is an approximation to Northern Pacific’s 8-duplex /6-roomette /4-double bedroom sleepers built by PS in 1954 for the North Coast Limited (that is if one accepts having the door at the opposite end, and 2 more windows in the prototype than the model).
Con-cor model of GN’s 4-3-7-1 sleeper Tobacco River. It is a mirror image of the prototype photo below, and also of the 1947 GN “Pass” series.
GN’s 4-3-7-1 sleeper Tobacco River sleeper built for the 1951 Empire Builder. Photo from page 104 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3. Note: this is the prototype photo that is paired with the model scan ABOVE, NOT the one below.
Con-cor model of GN’s 4-3-7-1 sleeper Sun River. Except for the absence of the upper berth windows, it is a mirror image of the prototype photo below. The porter’s window next to the door was omitted from the very similar 1951 “River” series sleeper.
GN’s 4-4-7 sleeper Logan Pass built for the 1947 Empire Builder. From page 60 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 4. This photo shows the car after 1951 when it was downgraded to the Western Star and the “Empire Builder” lettering removed.
Observation lounge, 84’. Built for the Great Northern by Pullman Standard in 1951 for the Empire Builder as the “Mountain” series observation cars. See photos on page 105 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3 and page 32 of GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment. These cars were moved to other GN trains such as the Western Star in 1955, and replaced by the “Coulee” series 6-4-1-observation cars.
Con-cor buffet-lounge-observation car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder as “Appekunny Mountain”. This is how the car appeared between 1951 and 1955.
Great Northern “Appekunny Mountain” buffet-lounge-observation car, part of series 1290-1295 built by AC&F for the 1951 Empire Builder. After these cars were replaced on the EB in 1955, it was assigned to the Western Star and the lettering changed from Empire Builder to Great Northern. Photo from page 105 of Great Northern Pictorial volume 3.
Con-cor buffet-lounge-observation car decorated for Great Northern’s Empire Builder as “Cathedral Mountain”.
A model train made largely with prototypical Con-cor smoothside cars is the 1951 Great Northern Empire Builder.
Commuter coach. Con cor recently re-ran this model. The prototype is the Pullman Standard bi-level coach operated by C&NW, RI and RTA near Chicago. The model is similar to those of the Southern Pacific used on the San Francisco peninsula. Pullman built ten 96-seat bi-level coaches for CNW in 1958 that closely match the Con-cor model. These 1958 bi-level coaches were initially for the Peninsula and Green Bay 400, which also had a matching parlor and buffet lounge car. Pullman then built 167 coaches for CNW from 1960 until 1970 (28 168-seat and 139 161-seat). The vent above the door in the model better matches the shorter vent in the 1960-70 car than the longer vent in the 1958 car, but I think the model could be used in either a short-haul commuter train or the Green Bay 400. The Con-cor model has 8 pairs of windows, and is not the 161-seat PS gallery car of 1955-57, which had 12 sets of windows. (The 1955-57 car is available from Wheels of Time; see below).
Charlie Vlk reports these were manufactured at the same time as the corrugated commuter cars. Rapido also manufactured smoothside commuter cars also that closely match the Con-cor cars. The SP received 31 smoothside bi-level commuter coaches from Pullman during 1955-7, and 15 more in 1969.
Gallery car made by Rapido (not Con-cor) decorated for the Southern Pacific.
Con-cor bi-level commuter coach decorated for the CNW. Photo courtesy of the Rio Grande Hobbies web site.
PS bi-level coach of 1958 built for CNW’s Peninsula and Green Bay 400. Note the width of the vent above the door. Photo from page 151 of Randall and Anderson’s The Official Pullman Standard Library, volume 9, Chicago and North Western.
PS gallery car made by PS for the Southern Pacific in 1968. This car has 10 pairs of windows per side, the end windows being about half-width. Neither the Con-cor nor the Wheels-of-time models exactly match this car, but the Con-cor car has silver doors and is more similar to this SP prototype. Photo from page 160 of Dorin’s Commuter Railroads.
Commuter coach with cab. Between 1960 and 1970, PS built 65 155-seat coaches with control cabs for CNW, to use with the above coaches for Chicago commuter service. The cab controlled the locomotive at the opposite end for push-pull operation so the train would not have to be turned. From 1960 until their sale to the RTA in 1978, these 231 coaches were a common sight in Chicago suburbs.
Con-cor bi-level commuter coach with cab decorated for the CNW. Photo courtesy of the Rio Grande Hobbies web site.
PS bi-level coach with cab built for CNW’s Chicago commuter service from 1960-70. Note the width of the vent above the door. Photo from page 171 of Randall and Anderson’s The Official Pullman Standard Library, volume 9, Chicago and North Western.
Kato lists the prototype car types in their instruction sheet for these cars, which gives a head start in determining the prototype railroads. Some of the Lark information is from the Southern Pacific Historical Society’s Trainline issue 60, kindly supplied by Bruce Conklin.
Charlie Vlk confirms the UP origin of the Kato cars: “The thread on the Kato smoothside cars may be a little misleading..... the Kato cars were, except as noted for the observation, modeled after the UP St. Louis / ACF cars. Yes, other roads had near duplicates, but the UP Streamliner book was used to do the cars.”
RPO, 85’. American Car & Foundry. Built for the Great Northern by AC&F in 1950-51 (see photo on page 6 of GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment). The model is very similar to AC&F RPOs built for the Union Pacific as the 5900-02 series in 1949 (photo on page 6 of UP color guide to freight and passenger equipment). It is also close to the two cars delivered by PS to the Chicago & North Western in 1950: the model has 5 windows and the UP and C&NW prototypes have 4.
Kato RPO from AC&F (1949-51) decorated for Great Northern.
Great Northern’s RPO-storage mail car built by AC&F in 1950-51. Photo from rainfan.net ABPR archive http://abpr.railfan.net/abprphoto.cgi?april98/04-27-98/gn38.jpg.
Union Pacific RPO from the series 5900-02. The car came from ACF in Sept 1949. Photo from page 423 of The Union Pacific Streamliners.
Baggage, 71’. American Car & Foundry. Built for the Union Pacific in 1957 for postal storage and baggage in series 5664-5678 and 5711-5745. See photo on page 66 of UP color guide to freight and passenger equipment volume 2. Similar AC&F and PS cars were built for C&NW and SP for use on the “City” trains. The car is similar to baggage cars on many other roads.
Kato 71’ baggage car decorated for the Union Pacific.
Union Pacific ACF baggage car of 1957. Photo from page 416 of The Union Pacific Streamliners.
Coach, 85’. Pullman Standard 44-seat coach. Built for the Union Pacific and C&NW in 1950 as series 5400-5449 for use on the “City” trains, and again by ACF as series 5450-5487 in 1953. The ACF cars were almost the same as the PS cars, except the small window on one side at the door end (fourth window from the left in first model photo below) was a little smaller in the ACF car than the PS car. See page 434 and 437 of The Union Pacific Streamliners for plans and photos. Also see photos on page 72 of UP color guide to freight and passenger equipment volume 2.
The car is similar to the Pullman 48-seat coaches built for the Great Northern for the 1947 Empire Builder. The car is not identical because the GN car has 1 extra window on each side for the 4 extra seats. The car bears some resemblance to the 22-roomette sleeping cars built by PS for Southern Pacific’s Lark in 1949 and Cascade in 1950. This is a long-haul coach with long leg rests and rows spaced farther apart than the 60-seat short-haul coaches. Each pair of seats has its own window.
Kato PS 44-seat coach decorated for the Union Pacific.
Kato PS 44-seat coach decorated for the Union Pacific, opposite side.
Diner, 85’. 48-seat diner built by AC&F for the Union Pacific’s City trains in 1949 as series 4800-4816, and for cooperating roads like C&NW. Similar (but not exact) to the Pullman diners built for the Norfolk and Western in 1949 and to the smoothside Budd diners built for the Northern Pacific in 1957-58 (see Dubin’s Some Classic Trains page 331). Similar to five PS diners ordered by SP for use on the Overland and City of San Francisco in 1949.
Kato’s ACF diner decorated for Union Pacific.
Chicago & North Western’s diner for running in UP’s City Trains. Built by American Car and Foundry in 1949. Photo from page 65 of Schafer’s Classic American Streamliners.
Kato’s ACF diner decorated for Union Pacific, opposite side.
Dome, 85’. Pullman dome coach. Pullman built 6 cars for the Union Pacific in 1958 for City of St. Louis service. It is nearly identical to the 10 dome coaches built for UP by AC&F in 1955.
Kato’s smoothside Pullman Standard dome-coach decorated for Union Pacific.
Union Pacific AC&F dome-coach of 1955, photo on page 179 of Randall’s From Zephyr to Amtrak.
Kato’s smoothside PS dome-coach decorated for Union Pacific, opposite side.
Sleeper, 85’. 6-section /6-roomette /4-bedroom sleeper made by Pullman. Built for the Union Pacific (delivered 1942-1946) as the “American” series (42 for UP, 11 for SP and 7 for C&NW). See photos on pages 468 and 471 of The Union Pacific Streamliners. A car painted for the Overland appears on page 338 of More Classic Trains. Also built for the Santa Fe as gray sided or painted-on simulated corrugated-side cars in 1942. Pullman also built 13 6/6/4 sleepers for SP’s Golden State in 1942. Two of these 6/6/4 cars were used in each SP Lark consist during the war.
6/6/4 sleepers were also built for the Erie, Missouri Pacific (4 built by PS in 1942 for the Colorado Eagle) and Illinois Central (12 from PS in 1942 for the Panama Limited).
Kato 6/6/4 Pullman sleeper of 1942. It is decorated for Santa Fe in the as-delivered 2-tone gray scheme used on cars that continued to the east.
Kato 6/6/4 Pullman sleeper of 1942. It is decorated for Union Pacific’s “American Flyer” and shows the opposite side.
Observation, 85’. 2-double bedroom /1-drawing room /1-compartment /observation buffet-lounge made by Pullman. In 1941, two PS cars were built for Southern Pacific’s Lark. In 1942, both cars were wrecked (sabotaged, see below) and replaced with nearly identical cars (as modeled by Kato).
The model is not the PS 4-bedroom-observation car built for the Union Pacific in 1941. It is also not the PS observation-lounge car of 1937 acquired by the UP, but is superficially similar to both UP cars except for window placement. It is approximately similar to Great Northern’s PS-built 6-roomette /4-double room /1-compartment /lounge-observations of 1947, but the model has 2 more windows per side. It is also similar to the Pullman 4-bedroom /1-compartment /observation made for the Northern Pacific in 1948. The model observation lounge at the rear has 4 windows per side, but the NP car has 3 longer windows per side.
Larry Shankles (an N-scaler since 1976) adds this useful and considerable information: “This is a model of a Pullman 2 Bedroom, 1 Compartment, 1 Drawing Room, Buffet, 27-seat Lounge, Round End Observation Car, floor plan 4082. Pullman built a total of seven of these cars. This car is well modeled and can be used to model other railroads, if you are not a purist. The following is a list of these cars and their secondhand owners, if any.
“Lot 6567 ordered 10/1938 and delivered 7/1939:
NYC Genessee River, 10650-Genessee River in 1948, B&O 7510-Genessee River in 1956.
NYC Maumee River, 10651-Maumee River in 1948, B&O 7511-Maumee River in 1956.
NYC Wabash River, 10652-Wabash River in 1948, B&O 7512-Wabash River in 1956, Wrecked 3/1967.
PULLMAN American Milemaster, SP 400 in 1941, SP 9500 in 1949. EMD ET800 in 1965.
“Lot 6608 ordered 9/1939 and delivered 6/1940:
PULLMAN Muskingum River, SP 401 in 1942, SP 9501 in 1949. Wrecked 5/10/1959.
“Lot 6644 ordered 8/1940 and delivered 4/1941:
SP 400, Wrecked 9/19/1941
SP 401, Wrecked 12/5/1942.
“The fourth car, built under lot 6567 for pool service, was displayed at the 1939 World's Fair at New York City. Pullman held a nationwide contest to name the car. The winning name, chosen from 780,000 entries, was American Milemaster. The American Milemaster was assigned to the Union Pacific during the summer vacation season in 1940, and was painted in UP colors (it replaced the ailing George M. Pullman, the aluminum progenitor of all lightweight cars). This was the car's only relationship with the Union Pacific. The American Milemaster became the second SP #400 in 9/1941. The Muskingum River was an experimental all stainless steel car. This car ran in bare stainless steel until it was assigned to the SP in 12/1942, becoming the second #401. The last lot, 6644, was built for use on the Southern Pacific's "Lark". These two cars were some of the shortest lived cars ever. All seven cars were painted in Pullman's two-tone gray scheme for most of their lives. The three cars assigned to the New York Central, replaced the "Island" series observation cars on the "20th Century Limited", during World War II, due to government restrictions. The "River" cars accommodated more passengers than the "Island" cars. These three cars were assigned to other New York Central trains after the war.
“The above makes a serious commentary on SP operations. There were eight RE observation cars wrecked between 1941 and 1967. And three were on the SP. It would appear that they had a major problem with preventing rear-end collisions.”
John Perkowski notes that the observation car also matches the Pullman Standard American Milemaster “Here's the best of my sources: Ryan, Dennis and Shine, Joseph. Southern Pacific Passenger Trains: Volume 1, Night Trains of the Coast Route. La Mirada, CA: Four Ways West Publications, 1986. If you go to page 32, there is a sidebar on American Milemaster. Has a decent plan and a left rear (aisle side) oblique photo.
- The window pattern matches.
- The marker light pattern matches
- The antenna and vent pattern matches
- The window conformance on the room side matches.
John Perkowski continues “On page 55 there is a post-rebuild (squaring off) photo of the right side. If you look down the side, there are upper berth windows for a single compartment 2/3 down the car ... exactly where they should be. Kratville (UP Streamliners) also has a pic of the left side, oblique rear of the car before she got her name. Dubin, sadly, has no pictures. I truly believe Kato's car is American Milemaster.”
Tim Totten also identified the car as Pullman Standard American Milemaster: “The Kato smoothside obs is based on Pullman plan 4082, configuration as you described. First batch was 3 (was gonna be 4) cars for NYC: Genesee River, Maumee River, and Wabash River; the fourth, originally to be named Mohawk River, was diverted to be the centerpiece of Pullman's exhibit at the '39 World's Fair. In a contest held at the Fair, this car was named American Milemaster. Then there was another one, Muskingum River, which was, unusually, stainless-steel and smooth-sided (almost all stainless Pullman products were fluted either above and below the windowband, or below the windows only). Then came SP 400 and 401. When the Arizona Limited was derailed by German saboteurs, American Milemaster was part of the relief train; it and Muskingum River were reassigned to SP as (2nd) 400 and 401 after (1st) 400.”
Kato’s Pullman Standard 2/1/1 observation decorated for Great Northern’s “Port of Vancouver”. GN’s “Port of” cars were the former Empire Builder observations of 1947-1951 renamed and reassigned to the International. Prototype photos of this car reveal the general similarity but different window arrangement. See GN color guide to freight and passenger equipment page 31 and Great Northern Pictorial volume 4 page 102-103.
Lark observation built by PS in 1941 and wrecked in 1942. Photo from page of 339 of Dubin’s More Classic Trains.
Kato’s PS 2/1/1 observation decorated for the Empire Builder, opposite side to the above. The Empire Builder’s “Coulee” observation cars served on the 1955-1967 version of the train.
A model train made largely with prototypical Kato smoothside cars is the Union Pacific 1958 City of Saint Louis.
Baggage – RPO (old body style). Congratulations to Tom Galbraith, who did his research and found the prototype for this car. Monon rebuilt this heavyweight Army surplus hospital car in 1947, apparently one of a kind. Six Army surplus cars were rebuilt for the Monon Hoosier streamliner. The presence of a vestibule door at the end is a giveaway that this is a rebuilt car. It should be on 6-wheel trucks. Also see a more distant picture of this car in a photograph of the Hoosier on page 172 of Dubin’s More Classic Trains.
Here are some comments about this model before Tom and Larry identified it: Russel Straw reports “The baggage RPO in the series is probably a rebuilt heavyweight car. There is so much rivet detail on the sides. I steal the sides and make heavyweight cars out of them.” Jerry LaBoda reports “Rivarossi baggage-mail car and the prototype. The model is close to some cars built for the Central of Georgia by A.C.F. in 1945 [two cars built], which had horizontal and vertical rivet rows like on the model. The differences are that the model does not have the letterboard panel (like that found on heavyweight cars) and the double rivet batten in the beltrail area). It should be noted that the Nickel Plate Road also acquired similar cars, baggage-express, just as the C. of GA did, so there are prototypes... the models just aren't as complete as they should be.” AC&F built five baggage cars for the Nickel Plate in 1945. Charlie Vlk reports “The Rivarossi combine RPO drives me nuts too. I don't think it is NKP.... the closest I've been able to come is KCS but no cigar yet. It is too weird to be a make believe design.”
Old style Rivarossi baggage-RPO decorated for Great Northern. Even the roof vents and rivets are correctly modeled.
Old style Rivarossi baggage-RPO decorated for Great Northern, opposite side. Rivarossi must have modeled this car from a single view like the one below because they only put roof vents on one side. The prototype has 2 rows of vents.
Monon baggage-RPO, a rebuilt Army surplus hospital car of 1947, painted in the Hoosier streamliner colors. Photo from page 52 of Robert Wayner's Trains We Remember.
Sleeper. The model is the 10-roomette /6-double-bedroom sleeper of the Pennsylvania RR. Pullman Standard built thirty-five of these cars for the Pennsylvania RR in 1949 as the “Rapids” series, and three in 1950 in the “River” series shared with the L&N. The model car also matches the sixteen 10/6 sleepers built for the PRR by AC&F in 1950 for the same “Rapids” series. It seems the model matches the even window spacing of the first PS or the AC&F cars better than the later 1950 PS cars. The windows with irregular spacings are those visible on the right end of the prototype Catawissa Rapids cars shown below. These are the windows of the six bedrooms. The 1950 AC&F bedrooms had lengthwise beds, the first 1949 17 PS cars had crosswise beds, and the later 1949 PS cars had a mixture of both. The photo of Catawissa Rapids is one of the later PS cars with irregular window spacing, but the model has the uniformly spaced windows of identical rooms, probably with lengthwise beds, of the early 1949 cars. See photos on pages 94 (AC&F) and 95 (PS) of Dubin’s Some Classic Trains.
Jerry Britton (SPF Member, PRRT&HS) clarifies this confusing situation: “The first batches of cars were built by Pullman to plans 4129 (PRR class PS106A) and 410 (PRR class PS106). The window arrangements were the same (paired spacing), but the bed arrangement was different. Then there were 11 cars built by AC&F in 1950 to Pullman plan 9008. These had the consistent window spacing, and is the car the Rivarossi model is based on. It was not the more prevalent car on the Pennsy! All of these cars were painted in MP "Eagle" livery for use in interchange service. They were given names of "EAGLE ____".
Jerry Britton continues “Oddly, the car names Rivarossi chose to put on the plan 9008 car were actually names belonging to the many 4129 and 4140 cars...so none are accurate out of the box!!! There was also a Budd 10-6 built to plan 9503 for interchange service; notably the "Scioto Rapids" and "Sturgeon Rapids". This was PRR class PS106B. The "Silver Rapids" was built by Budd to plan 9520. This was also PRR class
PS106B. The PRR had 61 10-6's in all.”
The 10/6 model also matches the Norfolk and Western “County” series and the RF&P “King” sleepers built by PS in 1949 for the New York to Richmond and Norfolk trains.
Both the 10/6 sleeper and bedroom-observation cars modeled by Rivarossi were used on Pennsylvania’s 1949 edition of the Broadway Limited. An article with photographs and center fold-out drawings of these and other Broadway cars is in the 10/94 issue of Model Railroader.
Russel Straw reports “I have used them to make ATSF Palm sleepers by adding corrugations to the sides.” AC&F built thirteen 10-roomette /6-double-bedroom Palm series sleepers for the Santa Fe in 1951, but I do not have a prototype photo to verify the model’s accuracy.
Rivarossi smooth-side 10/6 sleeper decorated for Pennsylvania “Catawissa Rapids”. This corresponds to the early 1949 PS cars with even spacing of the bedroom windows on the right side. Catawissa rapids was really one of the later 1949 PS cars.
Pennsylvania 10/6 PS sleeper “Catawissa Rapids” of 1949. Photo from page 95 of Some Classic Trains. The irregular spacing of the bedroom windows on the right indicates this is one of the later 1949 PS cars.
Rivarossi smooth-side 10/6 sleeper (opposite side) decorated for Pennsylvania “Huron Rapids”.
Pennsylvania 10/6 AC&F sleeper “Huron Rapids” of 1950. Photo from page 94 of Some Classic Trains.
Observation. Pullman Standard 2-master room /1-double bedroom observation-buffet lounge. Two were built for the Pennsylvania RR in 1949 as the “View” series and used on the 1949 Broadway Limited.
Rivarossi smooth-side sleeper observation lounge decorated for PRR “Mountain View”.
Pennsylvania’s “Tower View” sleeper observation lounge built by Pullman in 1949. Photo from Some Classic Trains page 93.
Rivarossi smooth-side sleeper observation lounge decorated for PRR “Mountain View”, opposite side.
A model train made largely with prototypical Rivarossi smoothside cars is the Pennsylvania 1949 Broadway Limited.
Bi-level commuter coach. This Wheels of Time coach (12 sets of windows per side) is different from the Con cor bi-level coach (8 sets of windows per side; see above). Chicago and Northwestern ordered 16 161-seat bi-level gallery coaches from Pullman in 1955 and 16 more in 1956. The Wheels of Time website states: “The Chicago & North Western bought 32 - 1956 Pullman-Standard bi-level commuter coaches to modernize their aging fleet of cars. This model reflects the time prior to rebuilding and implementation for push-pull operations in 1961 with a revised paint scheme from the original. [Thus there is no control cab version of this car]. These cars rode on 41 NV trucks (which differs from the 1960s bi-level sets) and were equipped with Waukesha 7-1/2 KW Enginator for electrical power. Heating came from the steam-generator equipped locomotives such as GP7s. The CNW originally marketed these new trainsets as "Superbanite."”
The Wheels of time website adds some information about the nearly identical SP commuter coaches: “The Southern Pacific ordered 21 - 1957 American Car & Foundry bilevel commute cars for use in their San Francisco suburban operations. These 145-seat coaches were the mainstay of their commute fleet until retirement in 1985-1986. They had under-the-floor diesel generator set for electric power and ran behind steam-generator equipped Train Masters, Geeps, SDP45s.”
The Wheels of Time PS 1956 bi-level commuter coach decorated for CNW. Photo from the Wheels of Time website.
The Chicago and Northwestern 161-seat bi-level gallery coach of 1955-56 built by Pullman. The photo shows the opposite side of the car with the lavatory windows. Photo from page 148 of Randall and Anderson’s The Official Pullman Standard Library, volume 9, Chicago and North Western.
Model trains made largely with prototypical Wheels of Time gallery cars are the Southern Pacific 1956 San Francisco peninsula commuter train or the Chicago and Northwestern Chicago 1960 commuter train.
For a list of the books referred to, see part 1.