the Spring of 2006, Walthers introduced their ATSF prototype heavyweight chair
car. This car was the project of several top Santa Fe modelers and has been well
The definitive reference for
these cars is the Coach Book produced by Dr. John McCall and published by the
Society. The prototype for the model is the 10 car series 3060-3069 built by Pullman
in 1929. These are discussed in the Society book, page 134. These have the same
window pattern as 3050-3059, but the underbody of the 3050 is arranged differently.
The 3060-series had a pressurized water tank between the battery boxes, while
the 3050-series had overhead water tanks and thus no underbody tank, with the
battery boxes side-by-side in the middle. On page 173 of the society Coach book
are two photos. The photo of 3051 has a different underbody arrangement to the
Walthers model while the photo of 3060 matches it exactly. The 3100-3109 chair-smokers
shared the same window pattern but with differing a/c roof hatch location, underbody,
and of course interior. The model is of the air conditioned version which would
date from around 1935. It is the first plastic cars to feature the steam ejector
air conditioning equipment.
released the car in three paint schemes.
Sperandeo wrote that "Walthers' green cars with black roofs are correct for
my 1947 period, and of course they're good for many years earlier than that and
into the 60s. I don't know what color guidance Walthers is using for the coach
green." (It is a slightly lighter and more olive green than they used on
their Pullman cars, and the trucks are a different green from the body simulating
"truck brown." SF painting guides called for the vestibule steps to
be body color. Later, everything below the top of the channel sill got painted
gray scheme is the 1947-and-later scheme for modernized heavyweights without the
silver gray pinstripes. The Society Painting and Lettering guide (Appendix 1,
page 3) shows that 3064 was painted 2-tone gray on 4-30-1951, and 3065 was painted
2-tone gray on 10-9-1952. Charlie Slater reports having "pictures of both
3064 and 3065 taken in the early 1960's and they both are painted coach green
with a black roof." Their TTG lives must have been limited.
also said, "The green carbody with the silver roof is really only correct
for chair cars with package air-conditioning renumbered to the 1101 series. This
was done about 1953. The Walthers model will only have steam ejector A/C as far
as I know, and people at Walthers know the silver roof isn't correct for that
but they think it will attract its share of buyers." That being said, there
is a photo of a coach with a silver roof being converted to a Horse Express car
on page 135 of the Coach book. The photo explanation calls it 3052, although there
is nothing in the photo itself to confirm that identification.
coaches and chair cars definitely appeared in the solid gray (not produced by
Walthers), however, and there are photos of examples in the McCall book. We await
proof that the 3060 cars were ever painted that way.
3050 series operated as chair cars into the 60s except for 3059 which was converted
to chair diner 1518 in 1950. The others became MOW cars, Horse Express cars, or
were sold. The 3050, 3053, 3055, and 3057 served as chair cars until 1970-71.
3060 cars all operated as Chair Cars until the late 60s except for 3068 and 3069
which were converted to Chair-Diners 1519 and 1520 in 1950.
Sperandeo: "Heavyweight chair cars and smokers were used on the California
Limited in my period, The Scout at that time had a heavyweight chair
car from a connecting train, and of course the San Bernardino locals had a heavyweight
chair car. The California Limited also used a coach-dormitory car that
I hope can be kitbashed from the Walthers model. I'm modeling a summer 1947 Grand
Canyon consist that has all lightweight chair cars, but heavyweight chair
cars were used on these trains both earlier and later. As Bill Messecar has pointed
out, chair cars or coaches were used as rider cars on trains 7 & 8 when the
rider combines were being reconditioned, I think in the late '50s or early '60s.
And of course chair cars are useful for all kinds of specials and extra sections."
John McCall reviewed the Walther's cars. "Green with black roof, truck brown
trucks and black underbody. Quite good and accurate. The battery boxes could have
been set outboard a little bit - about a scale foot - and painted that truck brown,
as should have been the steps (which were carbody green). Trucks are the right
pattern and the roof looks good for the a/c version . The interior is right for
the chair car series 3050-3069."
trucks on these cars are a new casting. If your layout has tight curves, there
may be insufficient swing to these trucks requiring modification. The most common
problem is with the frame mounted generator.
includes decals in their kit so the modeler can number the car as he wishes. The
wire grabs by the doors are installed, but the roof grabs and a myriad of handles
for the steam ejector hatches are in a bag for the modeler to decide if he wants
to install. The air conditioning hatch handles make this a sizable job. The underbody
has key visible elements but it lacking in fine detail.
to kitbashing options, Dr. McCall added, "With minor window modification
and change in the interior detail - the series 799-808 Partition Chair/Coach/later
used as rider cars on #3-4 could be made quite nicely in both green and single
three of the 3050-3069 series to Chair Diners in 1950. Such cars, were always
green with black roof. Of course, the interior would have to be modified. These
Chair Diners - 1518-1520 (from 3059, 3068, and 2069) - were alike except that
1518 had a slightly different window arrangement. Again, with minor window closure,
etc., such a conversion of the basic Walther's model is possible by reference
to Coach book floor plans."
with somewhat more window closure etc, the basic car could be converted to one
of the "1527" etc., Lounge-Dorm conversions Topeka did in 1948. These
were the last HW lounges ATSF had. They were turned out, initially, in shadowline
paint and were later repainted to the two tone gray (with black roof and dark
gray trucks etc) circa 1950." Colin Kikawa has done just that.
3101, 3103, 3104, 3105, 3106 subsequently became Coach-Baggage combines in 1956/57
for mixed train service.
for these cars are also new: straight-equalized trucks. John Fiscella reported:
"It was *the first* integral pedestal truck widely produced when Commonwealth
Steel (CS) introduced it in 1917. It was also one of the first 6-wheel trucks
with clasp brakes and 11' WB, I believe. (Pullman's first integral pedestal truck
was introduced into production in 1922, the 242. The frames for that truck were
not made by C.S., but by A.S.F. or Malleable Steel. Later on, Pullman outsourced
the frames for their 242 and 242-A to CS) A 4-wheel versions of that truck ("CS:41-EIN"
and "41-EFIN") were also made by C.S. and later by General Steel Castings
Corp.(GSC). Later than that (perhaps starting in c1928), Pullman "allowed"
their customers to specify the CS:242 for Pullman-built cars; Pullman never actually
built that truck. That is somewhat hard to prove with out production photos or
eyewitnesses, because Pullman or Malleable Steel never had official unambiguous
castings marks, whereas CS and GSC (its successor) did. That CS:242 truck continued
to be made by GSC after the GSC takeover of CS in 1930-31, well into the early
40's, because ACF, CCF, Bethlehem Steel, and Standard Steel made heavyweight cars
into that time period, and they were good CS-GSC customers, because Pullman wouldn't
sell to compeditors. 40's examples of the CS:242 truck display the GSC shield-shaped
casting mark, instead of the squat diamond-enclosed-S castings mark of C.S. Good
customers of the CS:242 truck (design) were ACL, ATSF, CN, CP, GN, MP, NYC and
All in all, the Walthers
effort is a great and needed model.
photo can be clicked for an enlargement.
Ejector Air Conditioning Hatches without handles|
and input to Steve Sandifer.