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

Latest On The Track

What They Say:

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.


You know I’m always looking forward to the next release and its arrival with great anticipation. I treasure my Lowell Smith Signature collection.


“You have received many compliments when I have run my RailSmith cars with my friends.”

Dan & Nina D.

So glad our big Alaska trip happened when it did.  It was the trip of a lifetime for me and Nina, thank you so much for organizing it.

J. LaBoda

To say the least this is a HUGE development for N-scale and I, along with a number of others, are indebted to you for making these cars possible. Thanks so very much!!!

R. K.

You are in my book one of the very best.

Bill S.

That car is about the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in N scale!  Excellent work!


The thing I love about all the things you do is the fact that everything is so well thought out, so beautiful and so unique.  


What a trip! We had a great time- exceeded our expectations by a mile. The Silver Lariat was simply stunning. A gem on the rails. The scenery and weather were perfect. The delays were not an issue for us at all. All just a good days work on the railroad! Thank you for all the…

S. S.

I got my new Santa Fe business cars, they are superb and worth the wait ten times over.