Shorty Passenger Cars - Penn Line - Life Like - Walthers - Rivarossi

Hello All,

There was a thread here recently about short passenger cars and one response about Life Like company's short cars appearing in a "Train Line" or "City Line" or what ever, train sets. I have lost those messages. I had written a response question, but there was a post "error" and my message disappeared (: So I will try again.

But I am very interested in shorty cars and hope the group can help. There are many questions here so bail out now if you don't want to read a very long post! If you do read it - Thanks for your time.

  1. Does anyone know about any Life Like short passenger cars now being produced, individually or in sets? Like I think I read about in a previous message.

I first became interested in these cars during the 80's when LL had their "Scene Master" line. They produced heavyweight and streamlined cars from the old Penn Line molds. Beautiful paint, and they added nice rubber diaphragms (to the heavyweights) and very well done plastic reproductions of the old Penn Line, crumbling, pot metal trucks. The heavyweights had nice frosted windows and the streamlined cars had paper "passenger" silhouettes, like the Penn Line cars. The heavyweight's were unlighted and the streamlined were lighted with brass/plastic wheel sets.

However LL did not produce the Penn Line h/w full baggage cars, nor the s/l full baggage or s/l RPO cars. The h/w cars were "Scene Master" and the s/l cars were the LL toy train line.

I have paid dearly for PL s/l and h/w full baggage cars, and s/l RPO's on eBay (:

(A note... I have stripped the paint from some LL Scene Master h/w cars and they have the _exact_ same mold marks as a wonderful rare set of undecorated Penn Line undecorated heavyweight passenger car bodies I got from eBay.)

The Penn Line heavyweight cars consisted of full baggage, combine, coach, diner, Pullman and observation. The streamlined cars consisted of full baggage, RPO, coach, dome, full dome and observation.

  1. Does anyone know what is the current disposition of the PL molds that LL used to produce these beautiful short cars? I have a modest size layout and will never have a huge layout, like 20' X 40' or more, where full size 85' cars can run without looking ridiculous. The
60' shorties, repainted, lighted and detailed look just wonderful when pulled by F's, GP-9"s and many steam engines. Indeed they fit well with the reduced scale of a 4' X 8' (and beyond) railroad.

I admire the wonderful new Walthers full scale line of 80 - 85' passenger cars, but I will never have a layout to accommodate them.

  1. There was a recent, very brief appearance of Rivarrossi 60' cars on the Walthers web site. They were beautiful, perfect and just what I was looking for. But by the time I got the money together to buy them, they were gone (!?) This was about the same time as the Rivarrossi bankruptcy. Is that the reason? Does anybody know? I really wanted the B&O set plus extra cars.

  1. Walthers has recently released a very attractive line of Trainline "City Express" passenger train sets.

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They are very attractive and sure have my interest. The cars appear to be shorter than the full scale 85' cars. But the very _only_ single problem I have with Walthers is that they never publish the length or scale of their cars. And especially the passenger cars I am interested in - looking for the shorter ones.

Are these short cars? Who makes them? Where can I find more of these cars?

  1. Finally some last notes... When Life Like was producing their formerly Penn Line passenger cars, they made two lines above and beyond all the rest. The heavyweights... the Pennsylvania cars were beautiful Tuscan red, black roofs, with gold trim and crisp lettering. Outstanding, and shows what could be done with these cars.

The streamlined cars... The B&O cars were much different from the toy grade Amtrak and Santa Fe (that are still available) cars. Again, crisp paint, blue stripe and lettering. But the dome cars... PL and LL's domes were of all clear plastic. Windows, frame ribs, all clear plastic. But the B&O cars, the domes' ribs were precisely painted silver to match the carbodies and there are different color painted details inside.

It seems that LL, with the Pennsy and B&O cars was moving into an improved version of their formerly Penn Line cars.

But just then LL moved on to the premium line of Proto trains and the

60' shorty passenger cars were sidelined.

  1. Repeats - I have looked at the Life Like web sites and cannot find any mention of passenger cars that (I think) I read about here recently included in other's train sets. And what about those Walthers "City Express" train sets??

_THANK YOU_ Group for your time!

Let me know when I can do a favor for you.

Best Regards,

Robert Arlington VA

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Amen - I hope you find a good source for decently modeled shorties.

Reply to
Steve Caple

Robert - I can offer answers to at least a couple of your questions.

Firstly, if you can get your hands on some of the recent Rivarossi/Walthers TrainLine 60' heavyweights you'll never be satisfied with any previous similar-size HO model. I recently purchased some undec TrainLine examples and they are fabulous. I believe the coaches are based on the CNW's 60' commuter cars so there's an actual prototype for these cars.

Secondly, the heavyweights offered in the TrainLine sets you posted a link to are indeed the 60' cars.


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Thanks Guys,


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