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Specific Item Information: Speedlines
Model Information: Life-Like first released this locomotive model in 1992.
The initial release of 1992 shares the same mechanism as other cheaply-made Life-Life models of that time. However, in 2001, they redesigned the mechanism. The new models share the same shell as the older versions, but the mechanism was totally renewed with a modern split frame design.
DCC Information: None of the two versions is DCC anything.
Road Name History:
The WM became a property of the Chessie System holding company in 1973, although it continued independent operations until May 1975 after which time many of its lines were abandoned in favor of parallel Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines. In 1983 it was fully merged into the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which later was also merged with the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad into the Chessie System, which is now renamed as CSX Transportation.
It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.
The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.
In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.
Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.
Item created by: Alain LM on 2018-01-12 14:20:54. Last edited by Alain LM on 2018-01-12 14:22:01
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