Re: New Walthers freight cars

Tony Thompson

Ben Hom wrote:

Superficially similar, but definitely not the same:
- The T-M cars were designed around the basic dimensions of PRR Class X29, with 8 ft 7 in IH cars.
- Three roofs were offered: the X29 lap-seam roof, and two steel sheathed roof with lower profile seam caps
- Ends offered were a 3/3/3 Dreadnaught end, a single-sheathed end, and the X29 flat end.
- The common underframe featured a shallow fishbelly.
- The door options on the boxcars were the X29 3-panel door, a wooden door, and a strange corrugated door.  All featured large "claws" and had overscale door guides.

As I posted before, the current models being discussed are definitely new tooling, which means someone sadly greenlit this investment.

    This is all correct. But T.M. went further than Ben summarizes. They also made an outside wood roof, which they put on stock cars and some reefers; they made two single-sheathed ends, one plain (as on reefers) and the other braced like the 1924 ARA design; and they offered a whole smorgasbord of sides: not only the X29-ish steel, but a steel plug door; steel and wood sides with 6-foot hinged reefer doors; a wood box car; and of course a stock car side. As Ben says, all were rather low height, as required by the interchangeability of all the parts.
       And the result of having all these interchangeable parts, is that it was easy for them to offer combos that never were, and of course they did so. They lettered all these models with a kind of admirable abandon, clearly with no interest whatever in prototype. I mean, when many of the models are nutty, why hold back?
       Richard Hendrickson attempted in the early stages of the T.M. design process to encourage them to make better detailed and more accurate parts, which of course was counter to their plan of making MANY, MANY different cars with a modest range of dies, and he soon abandoned the effort in disgust. I shudder to think what he would say if he were here to see these Walthers travesties . . . but I can tell you that one thing he would NOT be is surprised.

Tony Thompson

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