Wheels of Time Blog

From Inspiration to Finished Product

This is my photo, from a foggy morning in 1986, of Southern Pacific's GP9 “Torpedo”, no. 3195, pulling a matching set of Caltrain painted bilevel commute cars arriving at the Burlingame station on Train No. 30. This line runs between San Francisco and San Jose, California. 

And this is the plastic-injection cavity mold for Wheels of Time’s version of this commute coach. From time to time people ask about the tooling for our products. This is one example: a cavity mold for the roof and undercarriage of Southern Pacific's bilevel gallery coach. 

And, finally, the finished product. Wheels of Time's Southern Pacific bilevel Commute Coach.


Chesapeake & Ohio 70-ft Arched Roof Baggage-Express Car

C&O baggage-express Car No. 314 next to former Reading T-1 "American Freedom Train" steam locomotive, at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum. These cars (this one in C&O For Progress paint scheme) were built by Pullman Mfg. Co. in 1929. See Wheels of Time item #s 200, 201, 202TS for the N-Scale version.


A Kitbash: Southern Pacific Class 60-P-5 Railway Post Office Car

Robert Diepenbrock appears in the current N Scale Railroading magazine (Sep/Oct) writing about his SP San Joaquin Daylight kitbash. He sent us some photos of the project, which benefits from Wheels of Time parts. The car is a Southern Pacific Class 60-P-5 Railway Post Office (RPO). SP only had one RPO with this kind of window arrangement: this car type was more common on the Union Pacific Railroad. Thanks to Robert for sharing his fine work with us.



From Pennsylvania to Penn Station, NY

Last week, after attending a friend’s wedding in Philadelphia, I had a chance to take the rails to New York City. Here is the connecting  SEPTA electric MU train (ex-Pennsylvania Railroad Budd Silverliner II cars) waiting at the 30th Street-Station in Philadelphia. 

Notice the nice web of steel girders and the “ADA warning band” on the train platform.


The 30th Street classical columns and clock face on the east side conceal an art-deco interior. The tracks run under this Pennsylvania-Railroad-designed structure.


Amtrak’s Keystone train took me to New York's Penn Station, which now looks like an airline terminal. I returned on a late-running Acela Express Train, No. 2257. On the left of the train board my train is currently listed as “On Time.”

Hopefully the construction of the new Penn Station will replace this low ceiling and uninspiring environment.




Here is Grand Central Terminal, an essential stop on any rail fan's visit to NY. It’s indeed grand, breath-taking and very majestic. Behind the terminal you can see the Met Life (ex-Pam Am) building.


Inside Grand Central, the mural of the night sky in green-and-gold (barely visible at the top) is painted from the perspective of God’s view looking toward the earth. In the center of the Main Concourse is the famous four-sided clock at the information desk.



Amtrak's Hiawatha to Chicago's Union Station

When I was in Milwaukee for the 75th Anniversary NMRA Train Show, I took a side trip by passenger train on Amtrak's Hiawatha to Chicago's Union Station.  It's still a grand and venerable station.

Here's some pics of the trip. Enjoy!

Entering Union Station

Deep in the bowels of Union Station, Amtrak's Hiawatha among Metro commuter trains.

Chicago's Union Station