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Model Information: Walthers introduced this model in the 1990s. It is made in China.
Road Name History:
Wisconsin Central Ltd. (WC) started in US in the mid-1980s using most of the original Wisconsin Central Railway's rights of way and some former Milwaukee Road rights of way after the Soo Line Railroad acquired the Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Minnesota holdings of the bankrupt Milwaukee Road and divested its older railway trackage in Wisconsin. In 1993 the Wisconsin Central also acquired the Green Bay and Western Railroad and the Fox River Valley Railroad.
At the time of its sale to Canadian National, Wisconsin Central operated over 2,850 miles (4,590 km) of track in the Great Lakes region. The railroad extended from Chicago into and through Wisconsin to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota, to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, and north (through the Algoma Central Railway) to Hearst, Ontario.
A condition of Soo Line’s acquisition of Milwaukee Road was that they had to sell a number of lines in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They established Lake States Transportation to separate these lines from the rest of Soo Line. In 1987, Lake States was sold to a group of investors and Wisconsin Central was born. Much of the track had belonged to the original Wisconsin Central, a Soo subsidiary which had been merged into Soo in 1960. In 1993, WC acquired Fox River Valley Railroad and Green Bay & Western. In 1995, they founded a Canadian subsidiary and acquired the Algoma Central. Then in 1997, they picked up another 200 miles of former C&NW line running north from Green Bay from Union Pacific. At this point, the 2,850 mile WC (between GM&O and Erie Lackawanna in relative size) linked: Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Minneapolis/St.Paul, Duluth/Superior, then down Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Sault Ste. Marie where they connected to Algoma Central north to Hearst, Ontario. WC’s parent company also went on a buying spree of railroads in other countries including New Zealand, Britain, and Australia. Wisconsin Central was sold to Canadian National in 2001. It operates as a paper railroad under CN’s flag today.
From Wikipedia and Bluford Shops
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: RoadRailer on 2017-02-08 10:12:28. Last edited by gdm on 2018-06-27 16:09:00
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