In the 19th Century American railroads purchased passenger cars from several manufactures such as Jackson and Sharp, Barney & Smith, and Pullman. Coach length gradually grew from little more than stage coach size in the 1830's to 80 foot cars by the end of the Century. At first, passenger cars were left in a varnish covered natural wood finish, thus the term, varnish when referring to passenger cars. Later on in the Century dark green and maroon became more common.
Roundhouse released this model a few years ago and it is currently out of stock at Horizon Hobbies but it may be found on ebay.
The car repesents a wooden 50' car of the 1870's. It comes RTR and is painted in black, maroon, orange and lettered in white for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. A similar painted full size car is on display at the B&O Railroad Musieum in Baltimore.
This RTR (ready-to-run) version was first released as a kit in the late 1970's. Having built the earlier version the improvements on this current version are dramatic. The chassis, body, and roof are made of plastic. A weight is provided sadwiched between the body and chassis. The free rolling trucks are plastic with metal wheels on hard plastic axles. Blackened wire is used for all the hand grabs.
The car weighs around 4 3/8 oz and tracked well around an Atlas 15” radius curve and #4 turnouts. A short 3-4 car string of these would look very good pulled behind a small steam locomotive.
Accumate type knuckle couplers are provided in frame mounted coupler boxes. Truss rods are simulated with nylon type materiel. Under body detail is simplified but all the main details are included, only is the brake rigging left off.
The windows are very well done and appear flush in the window frame. A green skylight is installed in the clerestory.
The trucks are a bit unusual for a vintage 1870's passenger car. A wood beam passenger type truck would be more in keeping with the era; the model trucks look like express trucks from a 1920 express refrigerator car.
Other than the strange trucks, this car is very well done; it is free rolling, adequately detailed and can run on small radius curves. I would recommend this car.
Highs: Paint and detailing are very neatly done.
Weighted and very free rolling.Lows: Trucks are out of time frame for an 1870's passenger car.Verdict: Other than the strange trucks, this car is very well done; it is free rolling, adequately detailed and can run on small radius curves. I would recommend this car.
Our Thanks to Roundhouse Trains! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.