The World of HO Scale - 1984 A Walthers Catalog & Reference Manual, available in the fall of 1983, did not include specifics
on the new freight cars coming to the Walthers HO-scale product line. The catalog did boast, "the line will include 35 different
body styles, including boxcars, wood and steel reefers, stock cars, hoppers, gons, flat cars, and maintenance of way equipment."
If you wanted a sneak preview, a few pages beyond the Walthers announcement in the 1984 catalog was the final appearance
of Train Miniature of Illinois. The four pages devoted to Train Miniature's freight car kits in '84, included the notice:
All Train Miniature Kits will be discontinued when sold out.
Freight car kits from Walthers at this time included the company-owned Silver
Streak and Ulrich lines. Reviewing the
Silver Streak and Ulrich offerings, one sees the change that the former Train Miniature toolings brought to the Walthers line.
The Silver Streak and Ulrich kits were constructed of metal and wood flat stock components. They required a fair amount
of craftsman-skill to put them together. Given the age of their designs, even assembled properly, the Silver Streak and Ulrich
models were not a rivet-counter's delight. The Train Miniature
kits, with their plastic parts and simplier construction, were an advancement to the Walthers line. These level of quality
and easy of assembly of the new kits put Walthers in similar league with Athearn and Roundhouse in the hobby industry.
The World of HO Scale - 1985 A Walthers Catalog & Reference Manual, which would have been first available in the fall of
'84, marks the introduction of the former Train Miniature kits
in the Walthers product line. All were offered in kit form only and all retailed for $4.95 each.
Two freight cars (36' 50-Ton Hoppers and 40' Stock Cars) offered in five variations make up this original group. The hoppers
would sold two ways:
36' 50-ton Hopper with Offset Sides
and 36' 50-ton Ribbed Side variations. The Stock Cars
came three ways: 40' Stock Car with Wood Ends, 40'
Stock with Slatted Open Ends, and 40' Stock Car with
Corrugated Steel Ends.
The former Train Miniature toolings were not the only Walthers HO-scale freight car kits found in the 1985 catalog. Walthers
offered a plastic flat-stock 50' Insulated Box Car
kit. The "Tongue-In-Cheek" Modeling line, which included the Jail
Box Car; Impact Test Car; and the Oscar
and Piker, still held two pages in the annual catalog. These items are considered by this site's survey to be of the prior
era of production offerings and are not included in detailed coverage here.
Below you'll find two Walthers magazines advertisements from the time announcing the new freight cars for 1984. You may click
on either ad to open a larger version for better viewing.
The World of HO Scale - 1986 A Walthers Catalog and Reference Manual, published in the fall of 1985, saw an expansion of
five new freight cars, plus a group of kits sold under the Maintenance of Way banner. This group has its orign in the defunct
Train Miniature line. All the new 1985 additions were offered in kit form only. The freight car kits all retailed for $4.95
each. Retail prices on the Maintenance of Way collection of kits varied from $4.95, up to $6.50 each.
The 1985 new Walthers freight car kits included, the 40'
Steel Reefer; 40' Single Sheathed Box Car with Double
Sheathed Wood Ends and 40' Single Sheathed Box Car
with Braced Ends; 40' Double Sheathed Box Car offered
with Wood Ends, 40' Double Sheathed Box Car with ARA
Steel Ends, and a 40' Double Sheathed Box Car with
Dreadnaught Steel Ends; X-29 Steel Box Car; and
a 40' Plug Door Box Car.
Back for their second year in the Walthers catalog was the 36' 50-ton Hoppers and the 40' Stock Cars. The flat stock 50'
Insulated Box Car survives, along with Walthers "Tongue-In-Cheek" collection. A 40'
General Service Gondola flat stock plastic kit is present in the 1986 catalog. This gondola kit was introduced in the
1984 catalog. Though flat stock in design, this model notes being injection-molded plastic, which makes it an odd hybrid
of sorts. It is using the older flat stock design, but is made of more modern plastic. One might speculate that the Silver
Streak/Ulrich design was being considered for further future production with a switch from metal to plastic components. The
ex-Train Miniature toolings set the standard going forward for late '80s and beyond Walthers construction design. Walthers
also catalogs an Athearn 40' Box Car kit lettered for P&LE service, sold as a Walthers exclusive offering.
The World of HO Scale - 1987 A Walthers Catalog and Reference Manual, published in the fall of 1986, saw the introduction
of the 40' Double Sheathed Box Car -Early with Braced
Ends (932-2700 series); the 40' ARA Steel Box Car
w/Wood Roofwalk (932-3100 series); the 40' AAR
Steel Box Car w/Steel Roofwalk (932-3500 series); 40'
PS-1 Box Cars (932-3700 series); 1910-1925 40'
Wood Reefer w/Wood Ends (932-2400 series); 1925-1950
40' Wood Reefer w/Dreadnaught Ends (932-2300); 50'
Airslide Covered Hopper (932-3650 series); 40'
All-Steel Gondola (932-3800 series); 42' Flat Car w/Stakes (932-2600 series); and 42' Bulkhead Flat Car (932-2900 series).