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Model Information: In the 1990s, Walthers decided that they should develop their own toolings in China to manufacture their own rolling stock. In the past they had imported N Scale rolling stock from European manufacturers such as Roco with their own paint schemes and packaging, but China was new. Many other manufacturers were able to vastly reduce their costs by working with Sanda Kan, Kader and other Hong Kong based manufacturers to produce good quality plastic rolling stock and locomotives and them importing them to the United States.
This is an example of one of the handful of toolings Walthers developed to be produced in China and imported with Walthers branding. It is not particularly special. These cars are similar in terms of mold detail to the stuff being put out by Roco, Atlas, Rivarassi, Mehano, Lima etc since the late 1960s. The printing is 1990s grade which is to say a lot better than 1967. They feature the ubiquitous truck-mounted Rapido couplers with low-profile plastic wheels. Either because it wasn't very popular or Walthers was able to keep exclusive rights to the tooling, this model was never imported by Life-Like Model Power or anyone else.
Prototype Description: Even with Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Company's passenger car designs and patents spun off to a separate company called Pullman Technology in 1982 (which was eventually sold to Canadian based Bombardier in 1987) and Pullman Standard's remaining railcar manufacturing plants and freight car designs and patents sold to Trinity Industries in 1984, American manufactured Pullman freight and passenger cars were (and to this point in time still are) well known in North America.
When it came to hauling dry bulk goods such as agricultural commodities, cement, clay, dry chemicals, salt, or sand. many railroads and private owners selected the Pullman Standard PS-2 series covered hopper.
Utilized to transport dense and heavy granular products like cement, clay, potash, and sand, due to North American axle weight load limits, two (and later) three bay models were often chosen.
When it came to hauling much lighter commodities such as barley, corn, grain, malt, oats, soybeans, sugar, and wheat, these kinds of products would most commonly be transported in three or four bay covered hoppers.
Unlike two bay models, large four bay cars lend themselves to rapid load and discharge operations.
While there are a wide range of products covered by the PS-2 designation, it was Pullman's 4427 cubic foot capacity covered hopper that stood out as being the first of the larger capacity models to be manufactured in greater numbers.
Introduced as the PS-2CD (center discharge) in late 1963, the early production "low hip" design 4427 cubic foot capacity cars had low body sides, which concealed most of the hopper bay area.
The manufacturing of "high hip" design raised side 4427 models commenced in November 1966.
Visibly apparent are a few different body style variations.
With the latter style being the most popular choice, the top of the covered hoppers could be fitted with large trough style openings, or, a series of round ones.
With the latter position being most common, brake wheels could be positioned high up on the body end, or, low mounted.
Contemporary unit train operation is a common sight in North America.
Plying North America railways are unit trains consisting of long strings of agricultural commodity laden covered hopper cars, which are seen transporting barley, corn, flour, grain, malt, oats, soybeans, sugar, and wheat from the corn and wheat belt regions of the United States to various markets, mills, and ports.
Road Name History:
Burlington Northern operated between 1970 and 1996.
Its historical lineage begins in the earliest days of railroading with the chartering in 1848 of the Chicago and Aurora Railroad, a direct ancestor line of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which lends Burlington to the names of various merger-produced successors.
Burlington Northern purchased the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway on December 31, 1996 to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (later renamed BNSF Railway), which was owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation.*
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Within five years, Walthers had grown so much that larger quarters were needed. Space was found on Erie Street, where everything -- from milled wood parts to metal castings to decals -- was made in-house. 1937 also saw a new line in HO Scale, featured in its own catalog. Bill brought operating layouts to the 1939 World's Fair, which gave the hobby a big boost. Soon, though, the growing possibility of war overshadowed these successes, and supplies were becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.
During the war, model manufacturers were ordered to stop production in order to conserve critical metal supplies. Walthers produced what it could from nonessential materials. A series of ads in 1943 saw Bill literally scraping the bottom of a barrel! The postwar boom meant rapid growth for the hobby; however, small homes and new families left no room for O scale layouts, and many modelers moved to HO Scale.
The next twenty years brought great change. In 1958, Bill retired and his son Bruce took over. Just as full-size railroads were being hard-hit by new technology, so too were model railroads. Leisure time was spent in front of the TV set, not the train set. In 1960, Walthers became a full-line distributor of other manufacturers' products while continuing expansion of the Walthers lines. By the start of the 1970's, business was booming again, and Bruce's son Phil joined the company.
Expansion and diversification continue under Phil's tenure. The establishment of the Walthers Importing Division added several international lines. The manufacturing plant was modernized. Code 83 track was introduced in 1985, giving layouts more realistic proportions. In 1990, the Cornerstone Series buildings were unveiled. Combining a freight car with a related industry, the Cornerstone Series makes it possible for modelers to duplicate authentic operations, enhancing layout realism. The Train Line Deluxe Sets and locomotives debuted in 1994. These sets feature the detailing of serious models and an affordable price -- allowing newcomers to get started, and then build-on to their first set, rather than replacing it.
In 2005, Walthers purchased Life-Like from Lifoam Industries. With this purchase Walthers acquired the Proto Lines that have become the backbone of their locomotive and rolling stock segments.
Today, Walthers continues to expand, improve and develop a wide range of products. Their latest selection can be found throughout Walthers.com and their printed catalogs, along with items from over 300 other manufacturers.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-10-20 14:49:42. Last edited by gdm on 2017-10-18 13:28:10
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