It’s all about the story…

I have been asked, “Have you always loved trains?”  The response is, “Yes ever since I can remember.”  I have memories of being small and having Grandma come to visit us in Chico, CA by way of the Shasta Daylight.  There are also photos of me in Gerber, CA standing on the platform of a bay-window caboose when I was close to five.  My railroad heritage comes from Grandma and her father.  Great Grandpa Lowery worked as a station master/agent for the Northern Pacific Railroad.  I have photos of where he worked and had his family living with him in the upstairs part of that station.  Truly it would be heaven for me, but it was life for them in 1915.  So, although ‘my railroad’ is the ‘Spokane Portland & Seattle’, and I love the Western Pacific (having grown up in Sacramento in the 1960’s), it is the Northern Pacific that is my roots.

Two years ago I tested the waters by asking Micro-Trains to produce two NP business cars for my Executive Line.  Knowing that the colors have seldom been modeled accurately in a production, I provided Micro-Trains the color ‘drift cards’ (color paint chips from the NP Historical Society).  Micro-Trains knocked the ball out-of-the-park in getting the color ‘spot-on’!  If they did it once, they can do it again, and so they have.
Below, please see the copy from my new product line page, “Mainstreeter“.

The Mainstreeter was inaugurated in 1952 as Northern Pacific’s second transcontinental passenger train.  In 1948, as new lightweight cars were purchased for the North Coast Limited, the older heavyweights went on to serve on the Mainstreeter.  They were also used on other overnight trains, pool trains, and held in reserve for ‘standbys’ during heavy traffic seasons.  It was originally painted in the ‘Pine Tree’ scheme, then the Lowey paint scheme, which was first used in 1952 and lasted until the BN merger in 1970. 
What follows, will be railcars that served in this capacity. On the… Main Street of the Northwest

Lowell Smith

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon. Read more

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What They Say:


“You seem to be the shining light in an industry that’s seen a lot of change since the early 2000’s when I was last in the hobby”.


I really am enjoying what you are producing, Lowell! Thanks for doing it. Jerry

R. K.

You are in my book one of the very best.


My kids absolutely love the Christmas cars! The C.K. Holiday, along with the Carolwood and Disney cars makes a wonderful Christmas train. It made many a loop under our tree this year.


Lowell, thanks to you and your company SP&S modelers (myself included) are having a much easier time modeling the North Bank Road. Thank you for your hard work!

K. Lyons

Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you do for the modeling community. I can honestly say that my enjoyment of the hobby has benefited greatly because of you.

Jerry E.

Received GN A10 today. Absolutely stunning! I am very pleased. Thank You all.


Thanks, Lowell, for another awesome addition to an already incredible train.

Dan D.

I look forward to continuing to buy trains from my favorite special run train maker. That’s how I think of you now, “The Train Maker”.  And speaking of cool trains, I just received a box loaded with great looking Texas Special cars. Thanks.  I certainly look forward to all the new releases you are planning.


Thank you ever so much for being such an integral part of the model railroading hobby!