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Quick Look: Walthers HO scale Santa Fe 24-duplex-roomette sleeper

Read this review from Model Railroader magazine
Walthers HO scale Sante Fe 24-duplex-roomette sleeper
Walthers HO scale Santa Fe 24-duplex-roomette sleeper

Price: $79.98

Wm. K. Walthers Inc.
P.O. Box 3039

Milwaukee, WI 53201

Era: 1954 to 1963

Road name: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry.

Comments: This lightweight sleeping car is the most recent addition to Walthers’ HO scale Santa Fe San Francisco Chief. The model represents a rare 24-duplex-roomette sleeper  with a vertically staggered window pattern. It comes assembled and ready-to-run with interior details.The prototype was part of a 12-car order for lightweight sleepers that Pullman delivered to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe in 1947. They were the only all duplex-roomette cars operated in North America.

These cars all carried Indian-prefix names and were initially assigned to the Grand Canyon, Ranger, and an overnight local operating between Chicago and Kansas City. In 1954 the Grand Canyon’s duplex cars were reassigned to the new San Francisco Chief. Between 1963 and 1964, all 12 were rebuilt as luxurious 11-double-bedroom sleepers for the Super Chief. They were all sold to Amtrak in 1971.

This model follows Walthers usual  passenger car construction methods, with plenty of good-looking details. The basic underbody details are there, but the plumbing is omitted.

Our sample closely matches the floor plan and dimensions published in the book Sleeping Cars of the Santa Fe, published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society.

The car weighs 7 ounces, which matches the National Model Railroad Association’s Recommended Practice 20.1. It rides on Walthers General Steel Castings type 41-N-11 4-wheel trucks with NMRA RP-25 contour metal wheels that are mounted in gauge. Proto-Max magnetic couplers are mounted at the proper height in swinging coupler boxes so the car   can operate around a minimum curve radius of 24".

The carbody has lightly tinted windows and a smooth plated-metal finish that simulates stainless steel. All of the handrails and grab irons come factory installed. The Santa Fe road name is clearly printed on the letterboards, and a sheet of decals provides a choice of all the proper car names.

Overall, this beautiful model is  another well done addition to the Walthers’ Santa Fe lightweight passenger car fleet.

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