Walthers announces a new production of its Mainline-series HO-scale mechanical reefer cars. This model is based on Pacific Car & Foundry prototypes built in the late 1960s. These modern 57-foot refrigerator cars served North American railroading into the early 2000s.
An April 2021 delivery is expected for this production’s collection of seven different paint schemes: Burlington Northern (white with BNFE reporting marks), The Milwaukee Road, Pacific Fruit Express (R-70-18 class with UP and SP heralds), Santa Fe (Rr-72 class with SFRC reporting marks), Southern Pacific Fruit Express (R-70-18 class), Union Pacific Fruit Express (Armour Yellow with multi-color UP shield herald with R-70-21 class labeling), and Union Pacific (ARMN reporting marks on white car with small herald and “Building America” slogan carrying R-70-18 class label). This production will provide three road numbers for each paint scheme.
ABOVE: Santa Fe operated a large fleet of refrigerator cars and this Walthers Mainline release offers an eye-catching reproduction of a 1960s and later look.
The assembled plastic model will come with Hydra-Cushion or Keystone underframe (depending on prototype) with detailed underbody including brake gear and fuel tanks, Youngstown 9-foot plug door with separate vertical rod details and exterior-post sides, and Stanray peaked ribbed roof with capped exhaust stack detail. The model will ride on 33-inch metal wheels mounted in 70-ton roller bearing truck sideframes. The extended coupler pockets will include metal Proto MAX knuckle couplers. This new production of HO-scale 57-foot mechanical reefers from Walthers Mainline retails for $31.98 per car. Check with your hobby dealer or visit Walthers online for additional information.
ABOVE: UPFE 454663 is similar to Walthers’ Mainline mechanical reefer model. Following the break up Pacific Fruit Express, partners SP and UP repainted and continued operating these cars on their own. This view was taken in the late 1980s in North Platte, Neb., and shows an Armour Yellow repaint (similar to what Walthers will offer in its April 2021 delivery). – Dick Kuelbs photo, Kevin EuDaly collection