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Model Train Blog

Chicago & North Western Bicentennial Hopper!

April 12, 2016

The Bicentennial era of railroading is cool.  Period. It is a curious fact that so many railroads adopted the practice of refashioning equipment in elaborate--dare I say, garish (?)--paint schemes.  I wasn't alive in 1976.  But from the distant place of today, it is hard not to feel railroads laying claim to being "American." And, railroads have a unique reason to celebrate America's bicentennial.  Railroads are an industry that stands apart from others in the annals of American history.  They connected resources, places and people. And so, of course we were more than enthusiastic when the Chicago & North Western Historical Society (CNWHS) approached us about developing the bicentennial car! The CNWHS was looking for an exceptionally accurate replica for their...

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Reddy Kilowatt

March 27, 2016

There are some brands that are not themselves railroad-owned, but they are as relevant to the modeling community as the most popular railroads. For example, as a manufacturer, we can expect demand for Cargill and ADM paint schemes to be as strong as Santa Fe and Conrail. One brand that would have been a household name from the 1920 through 1970s is Reddy Kilowatt. Into the1930s, the overwhelming majority of rural areas were without electrical power. This new "electrical" technology represented a paradigm shift of significant proportions, and utility companies recognized that electricity was a tough sell for rural dwellers. Many of these individuals had never seen the benefits of electric power, and at the time, it couldn’t be taken...

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