On this page we try to capture the many active projects that are in the test-the-waters stage, initial design stage, initial development stage, or full-on production stage but not yet available for purchase. In general, announcements will stay on this page for up to one year. Click on the "Web Site" link to the left of the announcement to visit the web page.
Des Plaines Hobbies announced that they will have pre-built and decorated Thrall 2743 gondolas available around the end of the year. They will be available in 5 road names, each with 3 road numbers. Each will have protoypically-correct, laser-sharp lettering, separately-applied grab irons, ladders, etched brake platform, and 100-ton roller bearing trucks. The cars will come weighted and be equipped with American Flyer-compatible knuckle couplers and wheels. Couplers and trucks can be easily converted to scale ones. Price to be announced.
Smoky Mountain Model Works is going to produce an AAR 70-ton flat car, owned by at least 16 roads (ATSF, B&O, CNJ, C&O, D&H, DT&I, Erie, EL, IHB, NH, NYC, PC, Pere Marquette, Wabash, and WM). Update: Jim expects this kit to be around $80. Update #2: the project has been delayed due to other projects. It is now scheduled to be completed in late-September 2017, with shipping of the kits beginning in mid-October. So, there is still time to order yours.
River Raisin Models announces Railway Express Agency express reefers in brass. These cars appeared in passenger trains throughout the country. River Raisin Models has commissioned a small run of these unique express reefers built by American Car and Foundry in 1947 and 1948 for the Railway Express Agency and Atlantic Coast Line Railway. The REA reefers were numbered 6100 - 6599. The ACL reefers were numbered 3000 - 3049. River Raisin will be offering these cars in four paint schemes (see prototype photos - note the misspelling of the word refrigerator on the car in the third photo!). Each scheme will be made with multiple car numbers for those who order more than one of a paint scheme. As part of this run, they are also going to import separately-available GSCC Commonwealth BX Swing Bolster Equalized Timken Roller Bearing 4-wheel Trucks. Contact River Raisin to place your order. Cars are $389 each, and requiring a $100 deposit (after production the price goes up to $429 each). The price of the trucks is still to be determined. These models have a scheduled delivery date of Spring 2018.
River Raisin is announcing the Early Berkshires project. These models are being built by Boo Rim Precision in Korea. They will have 63" drivers, Swiss Maxon motors, DCC wiring harness, and will be beautifully finished. They are in production now, and a few are still available. A deposit of $400 is required per model ordered, and the pre-order price is $2,299 per model. Additional information and order forms can be found on the River Raisin web site (follow link on the left). Several prototype photos are included here. Photos by C.T. Felstead, Allan Youell, Al Phelps, and they are courtesy of the Bob Hundman Collection, Arnold Menke Collection, and the William A. Raia Collection. Photo #1 is the AT&SF, #2 is the Boston & Albany, #3 is Boston & Maine, and #4 is the SP engine. Photo #5 and #6 are of the pre-production models that River Raisin has received (Photo #5 courtesy of Bill Lane).
Dave Allen, owner of Concept Models, shares this teaser photo of the buckeye trucks he is planning on producing for us in S-scale. No information about when it will be available and how much it will cost. The master will be 3D-printed and the parts will be made out of resin. Their testing shows that the material is plenty durable.
These trucks were built starting in 1910 and were used under heavy-load flat cars and gondolas, wrecking cranes, and locomotive tenders.
Jim King, of Smoky Mountain Model Works, is continuing to work on designing the Blunt (first) and the Blomberg (later) sideframes. The sideframes are intended to be used with the Stanton Drive.
Mike Calvert of Gilmaur, via Colin Stewart, is now taking reservations for the etched-brass kit of Southern Pacific and Union Pacific F-50-4 flat cars. The cars will come with laser-cut wooden decks. These cars were built from 1910 through 1918 and lasted well into the 1950s. Photos of the project car will become available once a successful test build has been produced. If you are interested in this project, please contact Colin Stewart (click on e-mail link on the left).
Colin Stewart has said that he is taking expressions of interest in a possible etched brass 60-foot modern centerbeam car. These are the cars used to transport lumber and building supplies.
Mike Calvert of Gilmaur has such a car in his O-scale range which they are sizing to S-scale. If the test build goes well, they will do a production run.
If you are interested in this project, please contact Colin Stewart (click on e-mail link on the left). Photos will be forthcoming.
Mike Calvert, owner of Gilmaur, along with Colin Stewart in 2016 announced that, after they complete the SW1500 project, their next project will be the Alco S4. A prototype model has been completed and the casting masters need to be started. The latest estimate is that the project will be available in Fall of 2017.
Jim King, owner of Smoky Mountain Model Works, indicated that he might be able to produce the GE 25-ton end-cab and 45-ton center-cab with side rods industrial switchers. Both would use the HO-scale Stanton drive trucks with S-scale 33" and 36" diameter wheels just like SMMW's previous 44-tonner and 70-tonner. These trucks are super-smooth. At this point in time, Jim is only looking for an approximate count for either engine. Click on the e-mail link to notify him.
Jim King, owner of Smoky Mountain Model Works, indicated that he might be able to produce a 3-dome tank car in S-scale. He developed the ones for Tangent (HO-scale, see "web site" link). If there is enough interest in this project, he will contact Tangent to see if he is allowed to pursue this project. Due to the complexity of the project, he expects the per-kit price to be around $125, not including trucks and couplers. Please contact Jim if you are interested in this project - please only contact Jim if you are really going to purchase one or more of these kits, if produced.
Des Plaines Hobbies is producing a PRR H30 covered hopper. The sub-contracting work is being done by P-B-L. There have been a few setbacks and corrections in this project, but it is progressing. The photo is courtesy of Bill Lane and was taken of the pre-production model shown at the January 2016 Amherst train show. The latest news is that the underframe of the car is being reworked.
These cars were made between 1935 and 1946. Jim Kindraka wrote an article about the PRR H30 and N&W HC-1, and HC-2 in two issues of the 1989 Dispatch, which you can read or download from River Raisin's web site. Note that the N&W HC-1 was a direct copy of the PRR H30 (see here).
William Flatt announced that he plans to release an etched brass kit later in 2016 for the Niagara St. Catherines & Toronto steeple cab (prototype web site; photo copied from that web site). It will include trucks and track poles. The kit will be able to model car #8, #15, or #19.
Merle Rice, of Model Railroad Warehouse, has indicated he will produce the London & Port Stanley steel interurban in S-scale if there is sufficient interest. A reference web site on these cars can be found here. More information about the L&PS can be found here. Photo copied from http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/. Click the e-mail link on the left to send a message to Merle to indicate your interest.
Dan Navarre, owner of River Raisin, will be able to produce a brass, scale B&O Q4 Mikado if at least 50 units can be reserved. Ed Sauers is spearheading this potential project, so the e-mail address on the left will link you to him. Please tell Ed if you are interested in one or more of these models. If this project is going to happen, it will not be until after the current Bershire models have been produced.
Bill Wade, of B.T.S., announced that the PRR 2-8-0 project is still very much an active one. However, the project has had a number of serious setbacks which are delaying its completion. So far the master for the tender is complete (including the Lines West coal bunker version), and several of the engine's smaller parts are finished.
Bill Wade, of B.T.S., pre-announced that they will be producing Fox trucks, Thielsen archbar trucks, and an Express/Milk car truck. The trucks will be made from castings made via 3D-printed masters. The New York, Ontario and Western Railway freight car, for which the express/milk trucks were designed, will be a laser-cut kit and is expected later in 2015. Thielsen trucks were first introduced in 1867 and White's freight car book says that by the mid-1880 they were under cars owned by the ATSF, MC, NYC, CB&Q, and at least 12 other (unnamed) roads.
Earl Tuson, of Standard Railway Castings Company, announced that he will be building a family of P:64 wheels for rolling stock. The first under development is the steam locomotive driver tire (see photo). Unable to find a suitable manufacturer for his intended product line, Earl has purchased the equipment necessary to start producing these items for the P:64 modeler. The stainless steel wheelsets for freight and passenger cars to follow will stand apart from other existing product lines with features such as detailed wheel faces and backs, and properly contoured axles. Although not yet listed on his web site, Earl mentioned that he will soon have further details and pricing on his web site.
Ron Sebastian, of Des Plaines Hobbies/S Scale America, mentioned that the B&O I-5 project is continuing.
At the 2014 NASG Convention, Des Plaines Hobbies showed a pre-production version of their upcoming SD45. Currently the project is undergoing some test shots, and when they pan out, the model will be released. Photo courtesy of Rich Gajnak. The latest news is that the project is still moving forward.
KND Enterprises, Inc. announced that they will be producing S-scale Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee RR express cars 215 through 239. This express motor has center freight doors on the sides and is of wood construction. William Flat announced that he carries the third-rail assemblies and the Brill or Baldwin trucks for these.
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