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N Scale - Walthers - NSE WAL 17-02 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, Pullman 72' Baggage - American Freedom Train - 41

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N Scale - Walthers - NSE WAL 17-02 - Passenger Car, Lightweight, Pullman 72 Image Courtesy of Lowell Smith Signatures


Brand Walthers
Stock Number NSE WAL 17-02
Original Retail Price $139.00
Commissioned By Lowell Smith
Manufacturer Walthers
Production Type Special Run
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 American Freedom Train (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 41
Paint Color(s) White, Red and Blue
Paint Scheme Freedom Train
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
Series Name American Freedom Train
Series Release/Issue Number 25
Release Date 2017-10-01
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: AFT Release #16 - car #25 Showcase Car
This car had large showcase windows on either side through which the car's three large exhibits could be seen day or night. The first was a model of the B&O "Arabian" steam locomotive, then came the Friendship Fire Engine from George Washington's fire company, and finally the 1904 Oldsmobile Runabout "The Old Scout" that won the first transcontinental auto race. Originally NYC baggage car #9137 or 9152. Scrapped in 1995.

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 American Freedom Train (AFT) was a 26-car train led by one of three enormous steam engines restored just for the occasion. Over a 21 month period from April 1, 1975 to December 31, 1976 more than 7 million Americans visited the train during its tour of all 48 contiguous states. Tens of millions more stood trackside to see it go by. It was by far the greatest event on rails since the end of the steam era, and the uniquely magnificent vehicle that brought America's Bicentennial celebration to the people.

The first steam locomotive to pull the train was former Reading Company T-1 class 4-8-4 #2101. The second was former Southern Pacific GS-4 #4449, a large 4-8-4 steam locomotive that is still operating in special excursion service today. The third was former Texas & Pacific 2-10-4 #610, which pulled the train in Texas.

The train itself notably consisted of 10 display cars, converted from New York Central and Penn Central baggage cars. They carried more than 500 treasures of Americana (full roster on The Story of America's Freedom Trains).

Read more on Wikipedia
Read more on The Story of America's Freedom Trains.

Brand/Importer Information:
Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., was founded in Milwaukee in 1932 -- but really, it started years earlier, when seven-year-old Bill Walthers got his first taste of the hobby with a small, wind-up toy train for Christmas. He continued with the hobby and eventually had an attic layout comprised primarily of his own scratch-built creations. After he wrote a series of articles on building train control and signaling systems, he got so many letters from other modelers that he began manufacturing them. The first ad (in the May issue of The Model Maker) offered a 24-page, 15c catalog that listed rail, couplers, and electrical supplies. Sales were over $500.00 for the first year, and the fledgling company was off to a strong start.

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.

In December 2017, Lowell Smith announced the ‘purchase of tooling’ of the Walthers line of N Scale passenger cars (sleeper, coach and baggage cars), and in June 2018, Atlas announced that it will purchase all N scale locomotive and rolling stock tooling owned by Walthers, including the Walthers N tooling as well as former Life-Like tooling. This divestment puts an end to Walthers involvement as a manufacturer of N scale rolling-stock, though it will continue its range of N scale structures.

Commissioner Information: Desiring to bring a creative and artistic approach to model railroad cars, Lowell Smith Signature Series was born in 1994. The first special run car commemorated the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Golden Spike - "Wedding of the Rails". Since 1994, Lowell Smith Signature Series has continued to produce over one hundred and thirty-five unique cars or train locomotives to date.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon.
Following Lowell's passion of model trains, The Hobby Smith was built to be the community center for model railroaders - operators and collectors alike. Located in the Hollywood District of Portland, The Hobby Smith was the place to learn and to enjoy the camaraderie of others with the same passion.

Item created by: Alain LM on 2018-07-14 06:22:37. Last edited by scottakoltz on 2020-06-05 15:16:05

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