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Walthers HO scale Front Runner with 45-foot over-the-road trailer

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Walthers HO scale Front Runner with 45-foot over-the-road trailer
Walthers HO scale Front Runner with 45-foot over-the-road trailer
Price: $31.98

Wm. K. Walthers Inc.
P.O. Box 3039
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Era: 1983 to present

Comments: A detailed HO scale Front Runner with a die-cast metal center sill and plastic detail parts has been re-released by Walthers. Model Railroader first reviewed the ready-to-run model in the June 1998 issue. This latest release includes a removable HO scale plastic over-the-road trailer with crisply printed graphics and rolling plastic tires.

Five different manufacturers built more than 3,000 Front Runners for Trailer Train (TTX Corp.) beginning in 1983. The 50'-6" long cars were designed to haul a single 40- to 48- foot trailer. To save car weight, Front Runners had two wheel platforms mounted to a center sill. The distinctive two-wheel trucks were another weight saving measure.
The Walthers model matches Front Runner dimensions in the 1987 Trailer Train Co. Equipment Guide. The main parts on the model, such as the hitch and the UIC trucks, are accurately placed, although details such as the train line and brake piping aren’t included. The car would make an interesting superdetailing project.

The scale 28" diameter metal wheels are prototypical and in gauge, according to National Model Railroad Association standards. The plastic operating knuckle couplers are mounted at the correct height per NMRA S-2.

The model weighs 2.5 ounces unloaded and 3.5 ounces with the trailer. Both weights are lighter than the NMRA’s recommendation of 4.5 ounces for a car of this length. However, I didn’t notice any tracking problems when I ran the car around curves and through turnouts.

The Front Runner is available with TTUX or TTOX reporting marks and multiple road numbers. Other paint schemes available on the 45-foot trailers include Southern Pacific, TOTE, and Trans America. Walthers also offers the Front Runners with JB Hunt or Schneider 48-foot trailers.

These cars will add variety to a intermodal consist.

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