Walthers Super Chief - add on car inquiry

Hi Folks,
I was wondering if these new [HO Scale] REA reefer cars from Walthers [could] be attached to the 'Super Chief' passenger train. They're REA
reefers. I thought it would be easier to provide you with the Walthers website item number.
932-26248
932-26249
1) If these cars would be appropriate additions to this specific passenger train, would they run behind the engine directly? 2) I'm curious. Who actually owned the 932-26249 or was it a lease item by many different railroads? I have never been too clear on the REA logo.
Many Thanks! Matt
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While the REA cars were put on a lot of passenger trains, usually the top rated trains of any particular railroad didn't handle the cars for appearance reasons as well as the need to maintain the schedule rigidly for the big named trains.
-- Bob May Losing weight is easy! If you ever want to lose weight, eat and drink less. Works evevery time it is tried!
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On 12/7/03 1:54 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@news-1.nethere.net, "Bob

Ditto. You'd be a LOT more likely to see them on the "Fast Mail".
--

Brian Ehni


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Matt & Kathleen Brennan wrote:

No, not on the SuperChief or El Capitan. Probably not even on the Chief or San Francisco Chief. These would go on the Grand Canyon, California Limited, Fast Mail and Express, Texas Chief, Scout, etc.
In many ways the SuperChief can be a very boring train to model.
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--snip--

This is true if all you do is, more or less, take the models out of the box and put them on the tracks. The Super Chief was a beautiful train, especially in it's hay day. I don't feel you can capture the realistic appearance with any models I know of that you can buy today. Plastic cars such a Walthers are painted with a silver/aluminum paint. The paint is very fine grained but it still looks like paint and not natural metal, so at least to me, in most lighting conditions it doesn't have the right look. Brass cars aren't any better because even though they are pretty good in giving the natural metal look the color is pretty far off so they don't look right in most lighting conditions either. Appearance of the prototype varies greatly with conditions plus there is subjective interpretation. A person's experience visualizing the prototype probably gives them the best tools for what looks right on their models. To produce a more realistic appearance in these models requires an understanding of how light, reflectivity and color are affected when scaled and a fair amount of work to achieve it.
Jim Bright
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Thanks everyone!
I will need to reconsider the temptation to purchase a pair of these cars. I don't see myself adding any other passenger train beyond the Super Chief. It's too expensive to do so on our budget.
As for the REA [Railway Express Agency]:
1) was this [is this] an actual business who had their own line of cars and buildings along the railways? [sort of a railroad version of UPS, perhaps?]
2) and/or did they [do they] lease their cars to railroads
I ask because the Walthers offerings include a pair of cars carrying the logo Railway Express Agency AND a pair of cars with the Santa Fe logo. Yet, the Santa Fe cars are categorized as REA cars.
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Until someone else has the time to type out a more exacting history, I'll give you a couple quick and short answers!

Yes. It was an amalgamation of several private and railroad owned express companies. It went belly up in the early '70's. But, through the '50's it was the life blood of American small package delivery. UPS did them in with better rates and better service. AND the railroads were no longer interested in lcl shipments.

All of the above. They owned cars and also leased space on cars. The REA logo was a plus for railroads. At any large terminal there would have been and REA building. In small towns the railroad's station agent functioned at the REA agent. My little home town of 1800 had enough business in the '50's to have a locally based REA truck. Additional trucks came in daily from Quincy - 40 miles west - and Springfield - 40 miles East. REA brought the daily newspapers from far off (400 miles) Chicago. As well as the Sears goodies.
CTucker NY
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Christian wrote:

Yeah, those classy shiny green trucks with the red diamond logo - looked like Christmas comin' down the road.
Now it's just brown.
--
Steve Caple

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Fabulous. Thank you! I am now anxious to develop this REA theme within our model railroad planning. Since I'll acquire an REA building as part of the 'Super Chief' purchase, I can begin a design that will incorporate the REA into operations along the rails.
They certainly offer some colorful cars and some wonderful modeling opportunities at passenger stations - as sidings.
Any chance someone could direct me to a link that would show an REA truck in their colorful paint scheme. I can try my hand at painting an undecorated truck model.
Again, my sincere thanks for the reply!
Matt Brennan
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This probably isn't exactly what you want!
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-r/rea-trk-bgd.jpg
There is a model company named IMEX that has a lot of REA equipment. Here is a sample,
http://www.imex-model.com/images/imx870187.jpg
Here is their homepage, http://www.imex-model.com/Default.htm Many (most?) of their REA trucks are fantacy.
Classic Metal Works has this, http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/221-30149
Jordon has a 1930's truck. http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/360-214
Walthers has a mid thirties, http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/778-96114
That will keep you busy!
CTucker NY
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Christian wrote:

Absolutely! Thanks. We'll pick one out and try our hand at painting an undecorated toy truck to look like one of these examples.
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these
beyond the

Matt,
Keep in mind that REA cars were not used exclusively in passenger trains. They could also be seen in scheduled and "special" freights.
In fact, during my long ago youth when the New Haven still existed, you would occasionally see trains made up almost entirely of REA cars, especially during the Christmas season.
From our house in Groton, CT you could see the NH tracks running along the Thames River on the New London side. We could watch as REA cars were set out, or passed through heading North to Providence and Boston, or South to New Haven and New York. -- Len Head Rust Scraper KL&B Eastern Lines RR Museum
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Excellent. That opens up a whole new avenue of options. I really like the looks of those new, Walthers, REA cars. You have now given us reason to add them to our wish list.
Many Thanks! Matt
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wrote:

Heres an example of an ATSF fruit express behind a 2900 class 4-8-4. There are several REA cars in the consist
ATSF EXTRA SPECIAL EAST
DEPT AMARILLO 0717 15 CARS OCT 17 1952 ENG 2916 REX 131 GRAPES NY NY SR 3 PC REX 1849 SAME REX 1685 SAME REX 6571 GRAPES NY SR NO SALT REX 6305 SAME GN 2010 GRAPES NY SR 3 PC ACL 3002 GRAPES NY SR NO SALT REX 1399 GRAPES CLEVELAND SR NO SALT REX 6575 GRAPES KS CITY SR 2 PC REX 6299 GRAPES NY SR 2 PC PRR 2792 SAME ATSF 1890 BAGGAGE ATSF 1794 BAGGAGE ATSF 4289 DH KS CITY STD NAVAJO DH CHICAGO
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That'll work quite nice. We're slowly assembling an ATSF fruit train. I will add some Walthers REA cars to that list.
Many Thanks! Matt
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jhbright wrote:

Ok, I didn't say in all ways, let me be more specific. Operationally very boring. One consist from Chicago to LA. Taking on water and fuel is about it. If ones main interest is to create a perfect miniature in appearance than yes almost anything can be a challenge and interesting to model.
But on the topic of operations. I find it very interesting how the Santa Fe switched passenger train's front end cars. The road crew would get off the locomotive and take a break or lunch. A switching crew would hook onto the road locomotives just like they were any other car and switch away. The switching locomotive was often an RS-4/5.
I have yet to figure out how to do this in models. Need a mechanism with that allows the loco to coast when unpowered. I keep meaning to get one of the Hobby Town Centripetal clutches and try that (Project item #67 out of 2348).
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Our reasons for adding a passenger train:
1) It seemed like a nice option to create some priority conflicts along the rails causing more use of main line sidings and stricter time tables for the less important freight traffic. 2) A passenger train adds an aesthetic variation to our heavily weighted freight car emphasis.
I was hoping to add some legitimate switching to the 'Super Chief' via some REA cars along the route and some REA buildings at stations for this purpose. However, that is no longer an option under consideration given the assistance others have given us with regards to the history of this train. I could add a second dining car, a second baggage car, and other passenger cars allowing for lots of nice switching options from station to station. However, the cost is a little high per car at this time. That'll be the long term goal.
I'll still do the REA buildings with road trucks, but they'll be serviced by other freight trains and not the Super Chief.
Thanks Everyone - for the clarity on the history of the REA and the 'Super Chief'.
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