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I recently purchased Lionel's recent LEGACY model of the Grand Trunk Western Mikado no. 4070 (the same one the Midwest Preservation Society is currently restoring), and it has quickly become one of my favorites in my collection that I want to give it some in-service era rolling stock for it to pull.

While there aren't too many pictures I could find online of GTW steam freights, I figured I could have it pull a mixed freight of Midwest region road cars or something. Maybe a coal train?

The only thing I can't seem to find in O scale is a steam era Grand Trunk Western caboose to end the train. Nearly all the GTW cabooses I've found are more diesel era, unless I'm missing something or I need to get a really good GTW reference book?

Any hardcore GTW aficionados chiming in would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Thomas,

I'm not a GTW modeler, hardcore or otherwise, but I am a fan of the Central Vermont.  My understanding is that both roads used the same design, or at least a very similar design, for their wood cabooses.  Photos would seem to bear this out, and at least one website found in a quick search states that they are the same design.  As usual, caveats apply about the validity of claims made on the internet.  If you accept that the cabooses are the same for both roads, then you might look for one of the Mullet River Central Vermont caboose kits as a viable substitute for the GTW.  Here's a link to Marty McGuirk's CV blog, if you scroll down he has a photo of one of the MR Central Vermont cabooses.

There are a few issues though.  Mullet River is no longer in business, the kits are not in production at this time, and they are relatively hard to come by.  I believe that the artwork and tooling was sold to Des Plaines Hobbies several years ago, but I have no idea whether there is any realistic intent to bring the kits to market again.  Secondly, it's a craftsman kit offering, rather than RTR.  Whether the kit is a logical choice will depend on your skill set and inclination.  And there are miscellaneous other considerations: the kit is typically pricey, and you will need to source brake rigging, trucks, couplers, and decals.

If you are interested in the Mullet River kit, I can get you some photos of the box contents to review. 

Good luck,
Jim

I don’t know enough about the GTW to give you an answer. There are available offerings that can resemble from MTH, K-Line, Lionel and Weaver. K4 Decals offers some GTW decals that may work. Listed for a boxcar but it would get you the Maple Leaf and GTW logo. Also available in S if the O seems oversized.


All Nation offers a woodside caboose that shows up on eBay. A kit with 3D printed parts. Another one not totally accurate but could work. Not sure how you would adapt 3 rail trucks. Seems expensive and a lot of work and time to end up with an inaccurate model.

Weaver did a brass Canadian National years ago. Expensive and hard to find. Along with the CV they are all in the same family. Would require new lettering and paint touch up. Possibly they could run together as is.
K-Line sort of has the right look. Would have to be repainted and lettered.

Lionel’s would require the same. But they can be had cheap but really are poor in far as modern details but can be upgraded a bit.

The BEST solution possibly and maybe in the long run the least expensive.  Beth at PDT is offering a woodsided CV caboose. I would contact her and see if you could special order an undecorated CV version. You would at least start with the correct color and you could use the K4 decal set.

I model the Rutland. I’m in the same boat. You just have to accept a not totally accurate model and settle for close enough. Beth is offering a Rutland along with CV.

Jim, I love watching videos of New England roads. I follow Marty McGurks and Jim DuFours B&M.

Last edited by Dave_C

When all else fails, you can take a ubiquitous Santa Fe steel caboose...not hard to find...and repaint/decal for GTW...

"Santa Fe sold a total of 40 cars to GTW between 1969 and 1971.
They were numbered  GTW 75000 - 75033 and 79185 - 79190.
Infomation from Santa Fe Motive Power by Joe McMillan."

Decals for this project are available from K4.

The downside (?) is that this GTW caboose lot would've been long after 4070's heyday.  But, if that third rail and the lobster claws don't bother you, ...you know the rest.

Lucas Gudinov

Last edited by dkdkrd
@Mikado 4501 posted:

I recently purchased Lionel's recent LEGACY model of the Grand Trunk Western Mikado no. 4070 (the same one the Midwest Preservation Society is currently restoring), and it has quickly become one of my favorites in my collection that I want to give it some in-service era rolling stock for it to pull.

While there aren't too many pictures I could find online of GTW steam freights, I figured I could have it pull a mixed freight of Midwest region road cars or something. Maybe a coal train?



GTW handled mostly general cargo and auto industry needs, so lots of boxcars ( including auto boxcars) with other types thrown in.  No solid coal trains.

Agreeing with John23, I don't recall seeing any solid coal trains. There were blocks of coal hoppers coming from Illinois and going to the coaling stations at Battle Creek, Lansing, Durand, Milwaukee Jct. and points in Ontario for company use. However, there were solid gravel trains coming out of Oxford. The 4070 along with sisters 4076 and 4078 were used on those runs fairly frequently.

Of interest, the mikes (3700s and 4000s) were also used on the commuter runs (Detroit-Pontiac). They had the capability of quickly accelerating the 5-7 heavy-weight coaches over the five station stops on a 50-minute schedule.

@GTW posted:

Agreeing with John23, I don't recall seeing any solid coal trains. There were blocks of coal hoppers coming from Illinois and going to the coaling stations at Battle Creek, Lansing, Durand, Milwaukee Jct. and points in Ontario for company use. However, there were solid gravel trains coming out of Oxford. The 4070 along with sisters 4076 and 4078 were used on those runs fairly frequently.

Of interest, the mikes (3700s and 4000s) were also used on the commuter runs (Detroit-Pontiac). They had the capability of quickly accelerating the 5-7 heavy-weight coaches over the five station stops on a 50-minute schedule.

That's actually interesting, and also shows my lack of knowledge on the line itself.

Did they pull those green and black painted passenger cars the GTW have a good chunk of? I mostly know about the NKP and PRR(?) cars that the CVL/CVSR had when 4070 was still in excursion service. I do know MTH has made quite a few of the green and black ones. I definitely need to find some reference books...

All good answers here in the replies, fellas. I personally don't care too much about customization, since I'd be 3RS'ing the thing with Kadee's and likely weathering.

For me at least, finding ideal rolling stock for 4070 (either for in-service days or excursion days) in O scale hasn't been the easiest thing to accomplish.

Last edited by Mikado 4501

Thomas,

Earlier, the GTW had solid green day coaches on the commuters and the green/black coaches on the name trains. In the early '60s, they went to the more modern gray/black coaches. By that time, steam was gone on the Trunk. The mikes ran right up to the end of regular steam service (March 1960). With steam gone, the GTW had to use the more modern coaches equipped with electric heat. Some of the first generation diesels were equipped the steam generators but were being phased out. Of note, the GTW always ran their GPs and RS diesels long nose to the front.

For references, I would recommend the following:

  "Evening Before The Diesels" by Charles Foss   (great for steam and plant info)

  "Grand Trunk Western Railroad" by Imre Quasler   (early history of predecessor roads)

  "Grand Trunk Western in Color- Vol 1 Steam and Green" by Jerry Pinkepank   (great collection of photos)

There are others, but these are my favorites.

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