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

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What They Say:

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.

Jim and Jo Ann K.

Every aspect of the trip was professionally done.  You and Barbara were on top of every change and your matter-of-fact assurances speak highly of your professionalism.  Jo Ann is a retired chef  and we know what good food is, and the meals provided on the CZ trip were stellar! BRAVO to you and Barbara for…

Rick S.

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

D.K.

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

Bill S.

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

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…

J. Arenas

Wow… You made my dream come true with the CK Holiday! I am a great admirer of your work.

R. K.

You are in my book one of the very best.

R. M.

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

J D

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