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WalthersProto HO scale 70-foot heavyweight RPO-baggage car

Read this review from the May 2019 issue of Model Railroader
WalthersProto HO scale 70-foot heavyweight RPO-baggage car
Price: $84.98
Wm. K. Walthers Inc.
5601 W. Florist Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53218
Era: 1914 to 1971

Road names: Clerestory roof: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; Great Northern; Milwaukee Road; New York Central; and Soo Line. Round roof: Illinois Central, Denver & Rio Grande Western, Southern Pacific, and Union Pacific.

Comments: A 70-foot heavyweight Railway Post Office-baggage car has been added to the WalthersProto line. The model has factory-installed and painted wire grab irons, modeler-installed catcher arms, and decals.

The Walthers model is based on a Missouri Pacific (MP) prototype built by American Car & Foundry in December 1914. The model’s design follows past Walthers offerings, with sides, ends, and roof pieces featuring tabs that lock into a plastic core.

I removed the roof following the instructions. Inside is a plastic core with a separate floor, all molded in tan.

The RPO section is accurately laid out and includes letter boxes, bag racks, and a sorting table. The baggage section is empty.

Our sample is decorated for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. The railroad rostered similar baggage and mail cars, numbered 2024 through 2036 and 2048, built by Pullman. The Santa Fe cars had wider baggage doors and different side construction.

I compared our sample to prototype drawings in the summer 1985 issue of The Eagle, published by the Missouri Pacific Historical Society. Overall, the model’s dimensions closely follow prototype drawings, except for the wheel centers, which are 5'-6" instead of 5'-3".

The 36" metal wheels, mounted on plastic axles, are correctly gauged. The Proto-Max metal couplers are .015" too low. The car weighs 6 ounces, which is correct per National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1.

At nearly 10" long, the heavyweight RPO-baggage car will look its best on broad curves. The car includes modeler-installed extended drawbars for operating on 22" radius curves.

Walthers did a great job on the 70-foot heavyweight RPO-baggage car. The well-proportioned HO scale model will look good on passenger trains from the 1910s through 1970s.

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