Product Reviews

Enjoy our in-depth reviews of great new model railroading products in a variety of popular scales, presented by the Model Railroad News staff. Please contact Editor Tony Cook to have your product considered for review.

Coal Dealer Trestle in S Scale from East West Rail Services

July 26, 2018

Coal Dealer Trestle in S Scale from East West Rail Services

An elevated coal trestle is a common “action accessory” on many toy train layouts, but there are prototypes for those “toys” that did an important job of helping to supply coal for many communities and industries.

Very, Very Late Steam Era: Illinois Central Ice Reefer in O Scale from Atlas O

July 24, 2018

Very, Very Late Steam Era: Illinois Central Ice Reefer in O Scale from Atlas O

A classic example of 20th century North American rolling stock was the ice-cooled refrigerator car. Atlas O offers a 40-foot steel body version of this long-serving type of freight car, decorated for Illinois Central and many other road names.

Tip-Up Transfer: Toledo, Peoria & Western Caboose in HO Scale from Bluford Shops

July 17, 2018

Tip-Up Transfer: Toledo, Peoria & Western Caboose in HO Scale from Bluford Shops

The detail on this HO-scale transfer caboose model is very impressive, as is the excellent application of the various colors. Bluford Shops did a very commendable execution Toledo, Peoria & Western paint scheme, right down to yellow handrail accents and eye-catching silver truck sideframes.

A Star is Born: Trix SNCF class 241-A Steam Locomotive in HO Scale

June 19, 2018

A Star is Born: Trix SNCF class 241-A Steam Locomotive in HO Scale

The real SNCF class 241-A is currently the largest restored hand-fired steam locomotive running on European rails. The Trix 241 A 65 pulling a string of Orient Express sleeping cars would look good on any layout.

Where There’s Smoke… Built-Up Fire Station from Menards in HO and O

May 18, 2018

Where There’s Smoke… Built-Up Fire Station from Menards in HO and O

This new Menards Collectibles built-up fire station is available in HO and O scale, and includes figures and vehicles, as well as a number of details that add to the product’s value and enhance the building’s eye appeal.

Not Just Another F-unit: Athearn Genesis EMD FP7 in HO Scale

April 17, 2018

Not Just Another F-unit: Athearn Genesis EMD FP7 in HO Scale

Athearn’s Genesis FP7 isn’t just another F-unit model. As my closer examination of the model reveals, it’s a high-quality HO scale model characterized by accurate road-specific details with high-end decoration and the usual quality Genesis drivetrain.

VIA Rail Canada RDC in HO Scale by Rapido Trains

March 14, 2018

VIA Rail Canada RDC in HO Scale by Rapido Trains

You won’t find a better RDC model that offers such fine detail right out of the box. From its scale proportions, road-specific features, and smooth engineering and performance, this model clearly stands up to its claim of being the “absolute” example of a Budd RDC.

Westerfield Models Auto Boxcar Resin Kit in HO Scale

February 16, 2018

Westerfield Models Auto Boxcar Resin Kit in HO Scale

This Westerfield Auto Boxcar kit reproduces an early steel construction example. The provided history included with Westerfield’s kit notes New York Central (NYC) began operating all-steel boxcars with an American Car & Foundry example in 1912.

Atlas Master Line Penn Central GE U33B in HO Scale

January 31, 2018

Atlas Master Line Penn Central GE U33B in HO Scale

This husky Penn Central U33B example from General Electric’s U-boat production shows off the stubby pug nose that became common in the 1960s. The model is available from Atlas in standard DC, as well as DCC-sound versions.

Penn Central General American 50′ Boxcar from Moloco in HO

January 31, 2018

Penn Central General American 50′ Boxcar from Moloco in HO

Has Penn Central become that popular? Moloco Trains, a maker of high-quality HO-scale freight car models, apparently cannot keep up with the demand for at least one road name offered for its 50-foot boxcar release.