I thought I was finished making interiors for my K-Line Union Pacific City of Los Angeles passenger train. I completed the interiors of a Rail Post Office, REA-Baggage car, Dome Diner, 5-2-2 Pullman Sleeper, Dome Coach and two Observation cars. That was until I found a great deal on a 18" K-Line Western Star 4-12 Pullman sleeper. As other have said in this forum, I think this hobby might be addictive.
Before I began this build, I went back through my other post of the problems upgrading a 5-2-2 sleeping car: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...enger-car-1305-k4690. After reviewing that old post, I followed the steps below so I would only have to upgrade this Western Star 4-12 Pullman interior once.
According to the book The Union Pacific Streamliners by Ranks and Kratville the twelve Western series cars that were made in 1949 by A.C.F. are unique in several way from any other Union Pacific Pullman sleepers. First, A.C.F. gave these car interiors an unusual color scheme. The room colors alternated throughout this car. Even the roomettes on either side of the hallway were opposite colors. Also, room colors on the two sets of double bedrooms alternated. Second, unique item was the Western series of cars were the only 4-12 sleepers the Union Pacific fleet owned and they normally ran them with the vestialbe forward for easier passenger boarding. Third, was the Western series sleepers included an 8' x 9' area with full size seat and drop down bed for the sleeping car attendant.
Here are the steps to upgrade this interior.
Step.1, Start by removing the existing K-line interior from the shell. Then separating the benches seats and passengers from the plastic base.
Step.2, Put down a new basswood floor and mark where the windows are located. Be careful, sleeping cars have a lot of walls and the rooms can be very small. On this car I marked the room numbers on the basswood floor per the A.C.F. plans to keep everything in order. Western Star passenger cars have 4 bedrooms marked A, B, C, D and the 12 roomettes were marked 1 ~ 12.
Step.3 Glue the seats in the place so the people can see out the windows. Then start putting up walls. The existing K-Line bench seats were not long enough to be used as convertible sofas in the bedrooms. But with a little bit of modification I was able to extend/stretch these bench seats to the length of the room. To do that, I used 1-1/2 bench seats per room. Do this by cutting one bench seat in half and attaching it to another full size seat. To get the smaller roomette seats I cut about 1/3 off the other K-Line bench seats I had laying around.
After all the walls were up and painted I repainted and reinstalled the K-Line people that originally came out of this passenger car. I recommend trimming the bottoms on your figures to make them fit in the seats better. The windows on this K-Line shell are not the correct amount or spacing apart for a real Western series 4-12 sleeper. But if you look close you will notice this build does have the correct amount of bedrooms and roomettes based on the original A.F.C. plans. I managed this feat by slightly stretching some rooms and shrinking other rooms.
This is the second sleeping car interior I have completed using Hennings 21000 Passenger Car LED lighting kit. This LED lighting kit gives more vertical room for standing figures and interior walls than the original K-Line Streamline lighting. The new LED kit is about an 1/16" thick while the old K-Line incandescent lights were about 3/8". And the new LED kit’s circuit board fits perfectly in the middle hallway just behind the roomettes.
On the inside of the K-Line shell I attached a metal hand rail that goes down the main hallway next to the four bedrooms. This hand rail is not shown on the A.C.F. plans but it can been seen in the black and white historical photos before UP tinted the windows.
The Western Star is currently riding the rails today as part of Union Pacific's Heritage Fleet. I took the photo below of the Western Star (now called Omaha, UP car# 200) in October 2019 while it was going up the Cajon Pass. All the windows on this side of the Western Star/Omaha are still in their original locations. But the windows on the other side were heavily modified in 1965 when the interior was changed to be an 11 bedroom sleeper and its name changed to Sun Rest. In 1974 the interior was modified again by UP, this time to be an 8 bedroom deluxe sleeper and its name changed to Omaha.
My advice for upgrading a semi-scale K-Line Pullman sleeper is the less items you put into the rooms the more your viewer will be able to see. I will attach the original Union Pacific plan view, printable curtains and Pullman quite signs at the end of the post. I hope this write-up helps others who want to upgrade their K-Line sleeping cars.
To look at the other interior builds in this series click on the links below. They are listed in the order I run them on my layout: