Union Pacific’s Pony Cars

We have just returned from our private-car charter with this time being from LA to Denver in the winter. We called it the ‘Polar Smith Express’ and there was no disappointment, because it was blue skies or snowing and was such a delight. You can see some of the photos trickling in by checking out the Tours link here.

These trips are so special and one thing that makes them so is the staff provided by California Zephyr Railcharters. The chief steward, William Hall, is just a delight and has been on every trip with us. He is from the ‘old school’ of railroad passenger service and was hired on with the Southern Pacific serving in the private car service and then moved to the Union Pacific with that merger. Over-the-years he continues to be in demand on the UP’s passenger ’Specials’, and we are blessed that he rings the dinner bell on our trips.

On a recent excursion, I was talking with William about his work with the UP executives on their beautiful yellow train.  He began talking about the experiences on what he called ’The Pony Cars’.  I stopped him by asking what the pony cars were and he told me it’s what we call UP’s private business car train.  I asked him why they are called that and he said it is because the ponies follow ’the big horse’. (I just love learning a new railroad slang term, and one I have never heard used before.)

My second release of UP’s ‘Pony Cars’ is on the riveted-side business car body. ‘Office Cars’, as these are also known, are all unique. The current release using this different body version will help bring that eclectic feel to what is commonly called Union Pacific’s most beautiful train. The first two cars sold out quickly and these appear to be just as popular. The colors are carefully matched to the UP Historical Society’s color specifications, retail for $68 each, and are expected in the next two weeks!

Check out the whole Executive Line here!

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:

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!

D.

“You have no idea how excited I am about these cars . . .”

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!

Charlie S.

Thank you for producing such well researched quality offerings.

A.M.

“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”.

Jeff B.

Keep up setting the bar high and providing a product that exceeds expectations.

M. Magliaro

I received my #99 business card in the mail today. It looks superb. Thank you for another wonderful job. You are really filling a niche.

K. Lyons

I want to be like you when I grow up!

George H.

Blunt End Observation is a GRAND SLAM! I’ve wanted this car for ages but never figured out a good way to kitbash it.