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I am looking to add a set of heavyweights to my attic layout. I have O-31 curves so need 15” cars. Road name preferences: WP, SP, UP, Santa Fe, or most any other western railroad. Color preference: dark green, gray or dark brown. Having a hard time finding something so recommendations appreciated. Thank you!
Kevin 

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@c.sam posted:

There ave been many and numerous sets produced over the years by several manufacturers so you should have little difficulty finding something. Main differences will be window strips with silhouettes in the earlier cars and full interiors with overhead lighting in the newer production models.

Great, glad to hear that. Do you know of any companies who have produced something like this in a 15” version? It is Lionel 25503 - 23505 and is the closest I have found to what I want. Thanks.

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@MikeH posted:

Kevin,
Are you concerned about brands?  I have one set of MTH RailKing heavyweights from the 2018 catalog and I am really impressed with them.  Very nice details.  All of my other passenger cars are 18" or 21".

Hi Mike - I like MTH cars just fine. Are they the 15” versions (versus the smaller O27 ones)? Do you have the model number so I can check them out? Thank you!

Last edited by CoastsideKevin

The Atlas cars are exceptional, but very hard to find.  Another higher-end short car train would be the GGD SP Harriman sets.  They are also 60' cars and came in five car sets.  They are pricey but accurate to the 60-C-5 style cars that SP operated lots of.

However, for a more budget conscience approach, the MTH Railking Cars with the 30- number would be a nice starting point.  Lionel's "Madison" style cars that are based on the post-war cars are about the same size as are the Williams 15" cars.  The Williams cars have window inserts, but you will get the best price on those likely.  I keep a set of CNJ ones for times I operate on public layouts with 027 or 031 curves.

Just a few photos of the Williams 15" cars.  These came in lots of western road names also.

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Hi Mike - I like MTH cars just fine. Are they the 15” versions (versus the smaller O27 ones)? Do you have the model number so I can check them out? Thank you!

The RailKing cars (30-69267) are 16.5" when measured from the face of each coupler (pictured below).  The car bodies themselves are 15" before the diaphragms and couplers.  Indeed these particular cars are C&A but I am not suggesting them based on road name.  They are surely available in every name you mentioned.  I am suggesting them because they are nice quality, rated for O-31, are ubiquitous, and therefore relatively inexpensive.  Good luck in your search.

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@GG1 4877 posted:

The Atlas cars are exceptional, but very hard to find.  Another higher-end short car train would be the GGD SP Harriman sets.  They are also 60' cars and came in five car sets.  They are pricey but accurate to the 60-C-5 style cars that SP operated lots of.

However, for a more budget conscience approach, the MTH Railking Cars with the 30- number would be a nice starting point.  Lionel's "Madison" style cars that are based on the post-war cars are about the same size as are the Williams 15" cars.  The Williams cars have window inserts, but you will get the best price on those likely.  I keep a set of CNJ ones for times I operate on public layouts with 027 or 031 curves.

Just a few photos of the Williams 15" cars.  These came in lots of western road names also.

IMGP8194IMGP8176

Those CNJ cars look nice, Jonathan. If I could find those in dark green SP or Santa Fe, that would be ideal. I think that is what you are referring to with the GGD sets. Way out of my price range, unfortunately.  Beautiful, though.

@MikeH posted:

The RailKing cars (30-69267) are 16.5" when measured from the face of each coupler (pictured below).  The car bodies themselves are 15" before the diaphragms and couplers.  Indeed these particular cars are C&A but I am not suggesting them based on road name.  They are surely available in every name you mentioned.  I am suggesting them because they are nice quality, rated for O-31, are ubiquitous, and therefore relatively inexpensive.  Good luck in your search.

IMG_0197IMG_0196

Thanks for this, Mike. Yes, those really do look great. I’ll narrow my search a bit and see what I come up with.

@Norton posted:

I am not sure I would call the Atlas Trainman or Industrial Rail cars exceptional. Their Atlas O full scale cars, yes, but the other lines are comparable to MTH Railking. OK but a step down from K-Line IMO.

I see Beth at PDT has some Santa Fe and Great Northern Atlas green heavyweights.

Pete

Thanks Pete. I’ll check out PDT and see if those are small enough to work on my layout. I also like the K Line offerings but see more of the larger cars, usually 18” for sale.

Sure, the 15" cars might make it around the 31" curves, but how will they look doing it.  I'd seriously consider the 13" O-27 Madison cars from MTH. They have full interiors, not the old-fashioned silhouettes, and look great. I have the O-27 Madisons from MTH in B&O, NYC, NKP, and PRR.

My new layout has larger curves with the outer mainline being 54" and 72" and the inner being 42" and 54", but I don't feel like these look too small. That said, I did just recently add a set of the MTH 15" Madisons. I cannot imagine them on my old layout which had 27" and 42" curves due to overhang.

@HiramO posted:

The K Line aluminum 15" cars are absolutely beautiful; I have the Broadway Limited and the Fleet of Modernism. Not sure whether they made western roads...  Also not sure how many they made, they are pretty rare in the marketplace.

Most of my passenger equipment is 20 inch scale length, but a train of these 15" K Line cars is pretty slick!

Jan

I have not seen many K-Line 15” cars on the auction site, but will keep my eyes open for them. Thanks!

Sure, the 15" cars might make it around the 31" curves, but how will they look doing it.  I'd seriously consider the 13" O-27 Madison cars from MTH. They have full interiors, not the old-fashioned silhouettes, and look great. I have the O-27 Madisons from MTH in B&O, NYC, NKP, and PRR.

My new layout has larger curves with the outer mainline being 54" and 72" and the inner being 42" and 54", but I don't feel like these look too small. That said, I did just recently add a set of the MTH 15" Madisons. I cannot imagine them on my old layout which had 27" and 42" curves due to overhang.

Good point. I found the RK O-27 lightweights, especially the vista dome cars, to be visually too short. However the shorter heavyweights might look ok on my layout. Can you share some pictures? Thank you.

Last edited by CoastsideKevin

Good point. I found the RK O-27 lightweights, especially the vista dome cars, to be visually too short. However the shorter heavyweights might look ok on my layout. Can you share some pictures? Thank you.

Here's a couple videos of them on my work-in-progress layout. That outer mainline has 72" curves for perspective.

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Last edited by raising4daughters

Here's a couple videos of them on my work-in-progress layout. That outer mainline has 72" curves for perspective.

R4D,

Thanks for the video but from it I can't tell if they individually look good or not.  Your vantage point isn't close enough, except to show the string of cars at a distance, and the vertical format is too narrow to see the individual cars with any detail.

Many people here are pushing for using the horizontal format exclusively for video of trains because trains are long but not tall, unlike say rockets, trees, or people, which are tall and skinny.  This situation may be an exception however.

In spite of my complaints thanks for posting them.  From them I do see that they don't overhang much at all as they traverse the curve and fit together well.  Strung together they're a nice choice as a result.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

I have several sets of the MTH RailKing, ABS, 15" cars. They are very nice cars, though a little on the heavy side compared to the O-27 Lionel plastic cars. Lionel also makes cars that are almost identical to the RK cars. This may make it easier to build a nice train. You will probably have better luck finding the RK cars than the others.

@Mike D posted:

I have several sets of the MTH RailKing, ABS, 15" cars. They are very nice cars, though a little on the heavy side compared to the O-27 Lionel plastic cars. Lionel also makes cars that are almost identical to the RK cars. This may make it easier to build a nice train. You will probably have better luck finding the RK cars than the others.

Thanks Mike. This definitely helps me narrow my search.

And thanks to everyone who weighed in on this question - this forum continues to help me as I progress in the hobby. Happy holidays!

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