Amazing limited production model trains.

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!

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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:


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!


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


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…


Lowell, I received my Great Locomotive Chase set today. “THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.” Keep up the good work.

Ray F.

I just wanted you to know my O gauge Hood River Pears car came yesterday in perfect condition. This car is just beautiful I can’t wait for the next one to come out. Keep up the good work.

B. Kutch

Love your 3-rail O Scale Atlas Woodside Reefer series. Looking forward to future issues.

Rick S.

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

S. S.

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


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.

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.

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