Now arriving on Track 2, the Santa Fe 1954 El-Capitan train from WK Walthers…
By the early 1950s, travelers in a hurry and on a budget made Santa Fe’s El Capitan one of its most popular – and crowded – streamliners. As the speedy and economical running mate of the Super Chief, the train was a favorite with families and business travelers, regularly handling 14 or more cars daily with no let-up in sight. Second and third sections were needed during peak summer and holiday travel times, and riders were still being turned away.
To meet demand and upgrade service, new Budd-built 46-seat coaches were assigned to El Capitan as soon as they arrived in the fall of 1953. In March of 1954, a new level of luxury began as the first of the “Big Dome” lounge cars joined the popular train, a hint of more improvements to come. El Capitan would handle the lion’s share of coach passengers with this updated consist until July of 1956, when the all-new Hi-Level cars took over.
[We have received the 46 seat coach, and the 73′ Budd baggage in both regular and deluxe (people and lights) editions. – while they last.]
Priced from $79.95
At the other end of the spectrum…
Lionel is extremely excited to offer for the first time, The Polar Express™ in HO scale. Patterned after the iconic The Polar Express™ Train from the heart-warming story by Chris Van Allsburg’s about the power of belief.
The Polar Express™ locomotive – a 2-8-4 Berkshire – is equipped with the LionChief® remote system and Lionel RailSounds®. In addition, this locomotive allows you to choose between three operation modes giving you the flexibility to run your locomotive by LionChief remote, by transformer or by your DCC system. The Polar Express™ locomotive and tender also has directional headlight and back-up light.
Priced at $249 for the locomotive and $149 for a three car set.
The Rivet Counter line from Scaletrains has released the n-scale version of Union Pacific’s ‘Big Blow”…
The Union Pacific GTEL 8500 Horsepower “Big Blow” Turbine is our first N Scale locomotive. Like it’s HO counterpart, the N scale Super Turbine is designed to push the limits of detail with features like:
• Road number specific details
• Factory-applied grab irons, coupler cut levers, windshield wipers, etc.
• Photo-etched metal grilles and walkways
• Intricate frame rail detail including traction motor cables
• Two different fuel tenders
Priced at $349
In the Publications Department…two new books on Southern Pacific motive power….
Southern Pacific Power in Color, Vol. 1 by Ed Mackinson from Morning Sun Books.
During the last quarter-century of its existence, the Southern Pacific had a very large and diverse diesel roster. Volume One explores the many types of yard power and passenger hood units that graced the railroad’s “Golden Empire” in the years 1971 through 1996.
Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Vol. 22 by Joseph Strapac from Shade Tree Publications…Expensive streamlined passenger cab locomotives were an essential part of the SP locomotive fleet, necessary to present a positive public image. The Southern Pacific bought streamlined passenger diesel locomotives from Alco and Electro-Motive between 1937 and 1955, enough to dieselize its entire roster of inter-city passenger trains. We have studied these cab-style units in our Volumes 3, 9 and 20.
The few remaining locals and commuter trains still in SP’s timetable in the 1950s were dieselized with freight locomotives incidentally equipped with steam generators and air signal lines and electrical modifications to make them suitable for powering passenger trains. They were painted in “freight unit” colors and worked freight trains as often as their passenger schedules permitted and were expected to be maintained with the same spare parts and tools as their “pure freight” counterparts.
In the 1950s, Southern Pacific regularly utilized only twelve GP9s, twenty SD7s and sixteen Train Master diesel units in local passenger or Commute service. Steam generator-equipped SD9 units were also used on occasion in passenger service, as well as the occasional Alco. New SDP45 and GP40P-2 passenger locomotives arrived between 1967 and 1974.