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I am going to buy a Hiawatha O gauge scale, if possible.. I have noticed a great variation in the Observation car..I would assume they would all be the same. Not so.  The 1930’s version and the more modern are different. So is the color of the cars.

What to choose, any thoughts or pictures as they changed…

Rich

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From the standpoint of matching engines and consists - the 4-4-2 version first pulled the flat Beavertail cars when the train was introduced to the public in 1935.

  In 1939 the cars were redesigned with the art deco Beavertail with the fins. The cars are usually associated with the new 4-6-4 but they were pulled by both the 4-6-4 and the 4-4-2.  Indeed pages 46 and 47 of Scribbins book The Hiawatha Story illustrates a car-by-car pass in review of Hiawatha 101 taken in October 1940 and the engine on point is a 4-4-2.

  Based on the book it looks like the early diesels joined the 4-6-4's in pulling the later design cars. I don't see anything about the diesels pulling the earlier version of the Beavertail. 

   The Skytop observation cars made their debut in 1948 and, as near as I can tell from the book text, they were pulled by diesels only.

@Richyb1 posted:

I am going to buy a Hiawatha O gauge scale, if possible.. I have noticed a great variation in the Observation car..I would assume they would all be the same. Not so.  The 1930’s version and the more modern are different. So is the color of the cars.

What to choose, any thoughts or pictures as they changed…

Rich

It gets very complicated!  The first  "Hiawatha"  was made up of the,  newly designed 1934/35 light weight passenger cars  , welded sides arched windows and a beavertail observation , with 2 angled curved window at the back .  These were a new  designed Atlantic's ( the Largest ever built) , the A class , The next series of car came out in 1937,  Had square windows , and a rib above and below side windows , as well as a new designed Beavertail  4 squared windows in the rear.   The next series of cars  came out in 1939 -42  with changes  made to windows as well as the Beavertails   now sporting 2 rectangular windows  with fins added  the car sided have ribs added,   In addition  New steam was added in the form of the new F7 class  shrouded 4-6-4's  ( the Milw  never called them Hudson's)  in 42 the addition  of Alco DL and EMD E6 's were added.  As far as finding the cars and engines Weaver made the  1935,37 and 39--42  style cars and sold them as 5 car sets  (you really need7 , minimum) as well as the A class Atlantic's  and the F7's  .   Lionel  Made the #250E prewar Atlantic with prewar articulated cars (nice toy) as well as a new MFG Atlantic  , (the engine is nice but bulky details their cars are Meh!, a nice toy!      Dont  get hung up on paint , most are off, ( matching to a Photo or another model wont help)  There are other 2 rail scale models  out there in brass as well as kits that for the most part more accurate !  I have a mix of most everything, works for me.  If I ever get the use of my hand back and finish selling my friends S scale collection , I can get back to working on my Hiawatha's

There has been a lot of good information provided by others, but to understand it better, try to get a copy of the Hiawatha Story by Scribbins as mentioned above.  If you live in the Midwest, most libraries have a copy of it.  It is the "bible" for info on them.

A couple of additional comments, regarding the Skytop Cars.  There were actually two different types.

The Creek Series Cars were for the Olympian Hiawatha.  GGD has made the Creek Car in their set, (way out of my price range).

The Rapids Series Cars were for the Twin Cities Hiawatha.  K-Line along with MTH and Lionel all have made versions of the Creek Cars.  I like the K-lines best, they were offered in all three lengths (15,18,21).  Like most K-Line cars, the longer the car, the higher the price.  A couple of pictures of my 15" car.  I think it is awesome!  But I like Mainline Steam, that's why I chose that name for the Forum.  I wanted to pull it with Steam.  So my last point.

Page 107 of the fore mentioned book, shows an F-7 (not EMD but Milw 4-6-4 steam) pulling the consist in June 1950.  All of these were retired by Aug 1951.

BTW my photo on the forum is standing next to Milw 265 at the Illinois Railway Museum.

DSCF3487



DSCF3523

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Last edited by MainLine Steam

There has been a lot of good information provided by others, but to understand it better, try to get a copy of the Hiawatha Story by Scribbins as mentioned above.  If you live in the Midwest, most libraries have a copy of it.  It is the "bible" for info on them.

A couple of additional comments, regarding the Skytop Cars.  There were actually two different types.

The Creek Series Cars were for the Olympian Hiawatha.  GGD has made the Creek Car in their set, (way out of my price range).

The Rapids Series Cars were for the Twin Cities Hiawatha.  K-Line along with MTH and Lionel all have made versions of the Creek Cars.  I like the K-lines best, they were offered in all three lengths (15,18,21).  Like most K-Line cars, the longer the car, the higher the price.  A couple of pictures of my 15" car.  I think it is awesome!  But I like Mainline Steam, that's why I chose that name for the Forum.  I wanted to pull it with Steam.  So my last point.

Page 107 of the fore mentioned book, shows an F-7 (not EMD but Milw 4-6-4 steam) pulling the consist in June 1950.  All of these were retired by Aug 1951.

BTW my photo on the forum is standing next to Milw 265 at the Illinois Railway Museum.

DSCF3487



DSCF3523

The Hiawatha Story is the holy grail, of  Hiawatha books, but by the time your done you have a dozen books  , all getting harder to find and getting more expensive. sad to say there isnt a single book that covers all of Milwaukee Roads passenger trains. As far as the Last style Hiawatha cars , the Kine 20" ( 80 foot cars) are a grate value and  good, but they cant touch the GGD or brass models for accuracy and details, (the exception of  the Old Walthers kits)

A couple of additional comments, regarding the Skytop Cars.  There were actually two different types.

The Creek Series Cars were for the Olympian Hiawatha.  GGD has made the Creek Car in their set, (way out of my price range).

The Rapids Series Cars were for the Twin Cities Hiawatha.  K-Line along with MTH and Lionel all have made versions of the Creek Cars.  



Here is a forum thread comparing the Skytop cars from different manufacturers.  Warning:  If you read it, it will ruin the K-line, Lionel, and MTH versions for you.   Then you will be left with trying to find and build the Walthers cars or spend a gazzilion bucks on the Golden Gate Depot cars.



My 4 Hiawatha Observation cars left to right:

Lionel Heavyweight Olympian Hiawatha

Weaver Twin Cities Morning Train (Beaver tail)

Lionel Twin Cities Hiawatha (Rib side Art Deco style)

K-line Dell Rapids Skytop lounge

IMG_2230

Bob

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Last edited by RRDOC

There has been a lot of good information provided by others, but to understand it better, try to get a copy of the Hiawatha Story by Scribbins as mentioned above.  If you live in the Midwest, most libraries have a copy of it.  It is the "bible" for info on them.

Our Library had a copy, was paging through it to  the prior to checking it out to discover someone had sliced out some of the images. The text was informative.

@RRDOC posted:



Here is a forum thread comparing the Skytop cars from different manufacturers.  Warning:  If you read it, it will ruin the K-line, Lionel, and MTH versions for you.   Then you will be left with trying to find and build the Walthers cars or spend a gazzilion bucks on the Golden Gate Depot cars.



My 4 Hiawatha Observation cars left to right:

Lionel Heavyweight Olympian Hiawatha

Weaver Twin Cities Morning Train (Beaver tail)

Lionel Twin Cities Hiawatha (Rib side Art Deco style)

K-line Dell Rapids Skytop lounge

IMG_2230

Bob

beautiful !

@BobbyD posted:

Our Library had a copy, was paging through it to  the prior to checking it out to discover someone had sliced out some of the images. The text was informative.

I highly  recommend buying up what ever books you find .  Aside from the Hiawatha story ,  Hiawatha Nothing Faster on Rails , is a Must!!!!! , the January 1984 , model railroader. The Milwaukee Road Remembered.  Route of the North woods Hiawatha.  The Chippewa . The Olympia , to start with all worth the investment.  So much  of the Milwaukee Road  no longer exists . the information in these books are priceless

@RRDOC posted:



Here is a forum thread comparing the Skytop cars from different manufacturers.  Warning:  If you read it, it will ruin the K-line, Lionel, and MTH versions for you.   Then you will be left with trying to find and build the Walthers cars or spend a gazzilion bucks on the Golden Gate Depot cars.



My 4 Hiawatha Observation cars left to right:

Lionel Heavyweight Olympian Hiawatha

Weaver Twin Cities Morning Train (Beaver tail)

Lionel Twin Cities Hiawatha (Rib side Art Deco style)

K-line Dell Rapids Skytop lounge

IMG_2230

Bob

Wish I had bought the weaver art deco set, went for the beaver tail set instead.  Was the Lionel art deco set scale length?

@RRDOC posted:



Here is a forum thread comparing the Skytop cars from different manufacturers.  Warning:  If you read it, it will ruin the K-line, Lionel, and MTH versions for you.   Then you will be left with trying to find and build the Walthers cars or spend a gazzilion bucks on the Golden Gate Depot cars.



My 4 Hiawatha Observation cars left to right:

Lionel Heavyweight Olympian Hiawatha

Weaver Twin Cities Morning Train (Beaver tail)

Lionel Twin Cities Hiawatha (Rib side Art Deco style)

K-line Dell Rapids Skytop lounge

IMG_2230

Bob

Bob - Thanks for the link to the prior thread.

As for the accuracy of the various cars, I agree that the GGD would be much nicer, you get what you pay for!  Unfortunately I don't have a spare Gallizion bucks laying around.  They only sell sets.  I was looking at reserving last year but.....

I am OK with my K-Line, when I buy a 15" Long Car I accept it never is going to look prototypical.

I actually also have the Walthers HO version which is very nice!  Bought it when they came out, so was like $45 back then, which seemed like a lot compared to my Athearn Blue Box Cars.

Your 4 trains are great, maybe someday for me.  Now you just need the 1937 version to complete the set.  If you get questioned on the acquisition you can blame me.  LOL

Hate to stray off from the topic, but I have GOT TO KNOW, what is the track you are using in the foreground of the picture?  Did you hand lay it?  If so what are the components.  I am at the point of starting to get ready to build a layout and Your track looks FANTASTIC!  BTW, it can't possibly be more expensive than Atlas at this point (almost $1 per inch).  And switches at $135 (you gotta be kiddin me).  My O purchases may end-up shelf Queens, and I will operate in HO.  Glad I hadn't sold off the HO the stuff.

@Paul Finn posted:

Wish I had bought the weaver art deco set, went for the beaver tail set instead.  Was the Lionel art deco set scale length?

No, the Lionel rib side cars with the Art Deco tail are 18" cars.  I previously owned the 21" Weaver cars.  Why did I sell them?  They had dark green windows and no interiors, and only a 5 car set.  There may have been 1 or 2 add-on cars, but I never found them.  The Lionel cars, while shorter than scale, are much, much more detailed and have full interiors.  And there are 8 cars in the whole set.  They were released with Lionel's beautiful class A Atlantic.

The Lionel Heavyweights are, of course, 18" as the prototype are 72' cars.  The Weaver Morning Train (Beaver Tail) and the K-Line Sky Top Lounge are 21".  As others have pointed out, K-Line made these cars in 15", 18", and 21".

Here is another thread on the various Hiawatha trains.  And this gallery at Streamstyle Graphics will make you wish you were modeling in HO.

Bob

Jim

The track in the foreground I kitbashed using old Atlas O 2-rail track and an HO code 100 center rail.  I got the idea from other forum members.  I made a jig to run the track over a table saw to cut the slot for the center rail.  The rail was pressed in and glued with ACC cement. I painted track and rails with Rustoleum camo brown paint, used Woodland Scenics cinders for ballast and finished off weathering the ties with Bragdon's rust colored powders.

It was a lot of work.  I only used this rail in my yards and on a long trestle bridge.  The rest of the layout is Atlas 3-rail track and turnouts.  If you properly paint and ballast it, it looks good.  Just look at Norm Charbonneau's layout.  His scenery is so good and with his weathered track, you hardly notice the 3rd rail.

If you buy Atlas track used, it is a little more affordable.  The solid rail is much quieter than hollow rail Gargraves or Ross, and Lionel Fast Track is even noisier.  MTH ScaleTrax is a realistic looking solid rail track as well.  Atlas flex track is really hard to bend into 72" or 81" curves without introducing kinks at the joints.  I would try to buy curved sections for all but the broadest curves.

Bob

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