RailSmith Development

Learning more about trains…

I love all the feedback and responses I have had about RailSmith Models and what direction to go!  I read each one and have filed them for review.

Being from the great Northwest, my passion has always been for the Hill Lines, and specifically the Spokane, Portland, & Seattle, and many of you know that.  I certainly do not know everything there is to know about the NP, GN, and SP&S, but I know enough to be dangerous.  We moved from Portland to California when I was young, and I spent about thirteen years growing up around the Western Pacific and Southern Pacific.  So those five lines are my railroad background.

With the launch of RailSmith, my railroad library has been increasing at an alarming rate.  Many of you have been very helpful, as well, as I learn more about passenger service in the rest of the country.  Thank you for that!

When I mention a classic passenger train like the North Coast Limited or the Empire Builder, you’ll see in your mind’s eye a rather pure consist of color, be it orange and green, green and green, or blue and white.  The SP&S in the late 50’s to the end (in 1970) ran its main crack train like this: sleepers and coach cars for the NP North Coast Ltd, and for the Empire Builder, and then its own (SP&S) cars for headend, diner, and short-distance coaches.

That gives you a pretty colorful and eclectic-looking consist.  The Southern Pacific’s San Francisco Overland is also wonderfully eclectic.  What has caught me off-guard are the trains in the east that went to Florida.  As I go through these books of consists and the story of name trains like: The South Wind, Florida Special, The Champion, Silver Meteor and City of Miami to name a few, I see consists of cars from many different lines that make up these trains.  I should not be surprised, but I am.

As I review the cars for the north-south ‘Florida’ trains, it seems that all of these name trains carried cars from the multiple lines that ran them.  There are Pennsy, Illinois Central along with ACL, Seaboard, RF&P, CoG and Florida East Coast.  If you model these lines, you already know this. Several of the trains named here like the South Wind and the Silver Meteor were launched with a full Budd consist. But only a year or two later, Pullman built cars like the RailSmith models were added to these trains.  As I delve into these consists, it is fun learning what happened in ‘railroading’ beyond my borders of the Northwest.  I sure hope I can do your railroad justice. 

To those of you that are new to what I do, I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  I just announced the special run in the Pullman Park Series for the Atlantic Coast Line, two heavyweight sleepers in the Royal Purple scheme.  It will take no explanation that these cars can easily be run in a consist with the Florida Special train.  Being made in the USA, the heavyweight Micro-Trains cars are just a little more money, but given the opportunity to be added into your consist, these cars will help to create more options of trains you can run!

This is the kind of stuff that drives me!

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:

D.K.

I am speechless!  The AFT Showcase car is everything I hoped it would be; and more.

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.

K. Lyons

I want to be like you when I grow up!

Paul G.

I just received my Carolwood Pacific cars yesterday. They are exquisite! Every attention to detail was paid here, and I can’t thank you enough for putting this into production.  They are going to look amazing, circling my main Street miniatures display.

G.P.

I just received the “The Great Locomotive Chase” set from the Walt Disney Family Museum. Very nicely done!

Linda and Pete B.

Just wanted to thank you again for the opportunity to be with you and the many other happy folks who experienced the Feather River Canyon trip.  I know you put a lot of work into making this special trip a reality and it all came together extremely well!

Rick S.

Every new release from your Signature Series gets me revved up for the rails.

R. M.

Lowell, I just want you to know – you make this hobby fun!

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.

Chuck T.

Just a quick note to acknowledge receipt of my AFT Tool Car. Thanks so much for another Outstanding Piece of Craftsmanship! The AFT is my most prized “N” Scale collection. I had perceived that there were delays in getting this last car into our hands, but thought it was a problem with China. Your letter…