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N Scale - RailSmith - 9001909 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, Pullman 72' Baggage - Great Northern - 278

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N Scale - RailSmith - 9001909 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, Pullman 72 Image Courtesy of Lowell Smith


Brand RailSmith
Stock Number 9001909
Secondary Stock Number 55091
Original Retail Price $44.00
Manufacturer RailSmith
Production Type Regular Production
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Walthers Passenger Car Pullman Standard 72' Baggage
Prototype Passenger Car, Lightweight, Pullman 72' Baggage (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 278
Additional Markings/Slogan Storage Mail
Paint Color(s) Gren and Yellow
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 2020-02-01
Item Category Passenger Cars
Model Type Lightweight/Streamlined
Model Subtype Pullman Smoothside
Model Variety 72 Foot Baggage
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: This GN car 278 and sister car 277 were two of 3 cars the GN purchased from the Chicago Great Western. Cars like this were used on every GN passenger train on a ‘as needed’ basis. And you ‘need’! It just so happens that when Walthers choose which baggage car to model, they choose this CGW! This is a prototype car.

Model Information: First released by Walthers in 2009. This tooling was acquired by RailSmith in 2019.
Walthers Pullman-Standard cars feature as many as four body styles; smooth or fluted sides, with or without skirting as appropriate for each roadname:
  • Prototype Specific Details: - With or without Skirts as appropriate
  • Working diaphragms
  • Blackened Metal Wheelsets on correct GSC 41-N style Trucks
  • Come with decals permitting multiple car number and names
  • Drop-In Lighting Kit will also be available, item #933-1099

Prototype History:
When lightweight cars came to the Pullman fleet in the early 1940s, their smooth sides lent themselves to classy, colorful paint schemes. Baggage cars operated on everything from premier trains to mail runs from coast to coast, normally mixing with the head-end cars of connecting lines.
These versatile cars ride on GSC 41-N trucks with metal wheelsets.
Corrugated stainless-steel sides, later added to match the look (and acknowledge the competition) of Budd's stainless-steel designs, created a variety of cars that ran on premier passenger trains.

Road Name History:
The Great Northern was born in 1881 with the consolidation of several railroads of the northern plains under the leadership of James J. Hill. By 1893, the mainline from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River to Seattle was complete.

The GN had two distinctly different characters. The eastern half was a largely flat, grain producing region serving cities like Fargo, the Twin Cities, Grand Forks, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and even Winnipeg in Canada. The east end also included the iron ore rich regions of Minnesota. Half of North Dakota was blanketed by GN branchlines (21 in all) serving every imaginable grain elevator.

The western half is the mountainous portion that most people identify with Great Northern. This included crossing the northern Rockies and the even more difficult Cascade ranges. Cities on the western half included Billings, Butte, Helena, Havre, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In 1931, a connection to the Western Pacific was completed from Bieber north to Bend, Oregon. This line was disconnected from the rest of the Great Northern. They used trackage rights on the Oregon Trunk and SP&S to bridge the gap. The Cascade Tunnel, the longest on the continent at 7.8 miles, wasn’t completed until 1931. Construction included a massive sluiceway and hydro-electric power station to feed the electrified line through the tunnel and several miles of railroad on either side. This replaced the original Cascade Tunnel which was a third as long but 500 feet higher up the mountain. That replaced the original route that was another 700 feet higher, had 4% grades and 50 miles of snowsheds. All told, Great Northern had about 8,300 route miles.

The steam era was especially unkind to the Great Northern. They seemed to go out of their way to make their locomotives ugly. Belpaire fire boxes were the norm (made famous by the Pennsylvania, made hideous on the GN.) Headlights were often mounted just above center giving them a spinster look. Cab fronts were often at odd angles. The tender coal bunkers were often taller than the engines. But it wasn’t just aesthetics. GN had a knack for buying the wrong engines for the job. 150 Prarie type 2-6-2’s were so unstable at speed that they were busted down to branchline duty almost straight away and none survived after about 1930. Their first 4-8-2 Mountains built for passenger and fast freight were such a disaster, they were rebuilt into 2-10-2’s. Many railroads had built Mountains out of Mikes but no one had ever started with a Mountain and had to build something else from it. The first 2-6-6-2’s were so under-powered, the boilers were used to make Mikados instead. They did manage to build the largest, fastest, and most powerful Mikados in the country however. Their articulated fleet included 2-6-6-2, 2-6-8-0 (later rebuilt into Mikes), 2-8-8-0, 2-8-8-2 types as well as a pair of Challengers originally delivered to SP&S. Many engines were dressed up with green boilers and boxcar red cab roofs.

For the first generation of diesels, GN bought like many large railroads did: a sampling from everyone. Cab and hood units from EMD and Alco and switchers from EMD, Alco, and Baldwin populated the roster. GN’s first generation geeps and SD’s were delivered with the long hood as the front. This included their GP20’s which had high short hoods and the long hood as the front. Aside from an early black scheme for switchers, the GN fleet was delivered in Omaha Orange and green with yellow piping.

Beginning with the arrival of GP30s in 1962, the paint scheme was simplified by dropping the bottom orange band and the yellow piping. For the second generation, General Electric replaced Alco as a supplier of new road engines.

In 1962, some GN freight cars began to appear in Glacier Green which ran along side the vermilion paint adopted in 1956. In 1967, they went for a major shift. Sky Blue, white, and dark gray were joined by a new version of the Rocky the goat logo. There was talk that this would become the paint scheme for Burlington Northern. The GN name and logo was painted on a steel panel bolted the the hand railings of hood units, making it easier to remove after the merger. For whatever reason, they went with green, black and white, a version of which was simultaneously being tested on the Burlington Route. In 1970, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland & Seattle, and Burlington Route merged to form Burlington Northern.

Brand/Importer Information:
RailSmith is a brand launched by Lowell Smith in 2019. Lowell acquired the toolings from Walthers.

With each release, RailSmith will bring passenger cars from across the spectrum of North America’s railroads, with the goal of building entire trains over a period-of-time. It is our plan to release cars that might be for a specific train, but you can use these cars as you see fit, as did the railroads.

Production plans are grand, but we believe they are also achievable. We do not have the capabilities to release an entire train at once, but being able to focus on one release (two-or-three cars at a time), we can build a train over time.

Item created by: gdm on 2020-01-27 13:57:42

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