Walthers HO Texas Special?

Discussion in 'Passenger Equipment' started by Joseph Toth, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    With Walthers releasing HO scale passenger cars in the plated stainless steel finish what will be the chance to ever see The Texas Special as one of their annual passenger train releases?

    Most old head model railroaders remember the Lionel/Athearn HO Texas Special set with the former Hobbyline FAs and Athearn shorty passenger cars, including a dome car. 1950s HO has come a long way!

    With the Hallmark sets in the untouchable price range, mabie a poll can be taken and contact made with the TRRA and Katy boys and girls to approach Walthers with this project? I´m sure it would be a sell out before its release!

    The Katy operated the train during its early operation behind steam from Waco to San Antonio because of the lack of diesel servicing factilities there and the quick turn around time forbid the through operation of the E7s.

    Was there ever a breakdown on the Frisco where a Frisco steam locomotive had to rescue the train? This should stump the best Frisco expert. I certainly don´t have an answer!

    Joe Toth
  2. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    My sense is that they might, but it is doubtful any of us will live long enough to see it. So far they have offered us the SUPER CHIEF, EL CAPITAN, HIAWATHA, 20TH CENTURY, BROADWAY, EMPIRE BUILDER and the CITY fleet (I may be forgetting something). I would guess that first we will have to plow through the 400s, DAYLIGHT, NORTH COAST, PANAMA LIMITED, GOLDEN STATE and possibly others before getting around to something with such "limited" appeal as the TXSP. Hope I am wrong about this, although I am sitting here with a 9-car Hallmark TXSP plus E7s, so I don't know that I would buy a plastic consist anyway. I would, however, like to see Walthers offer a 14-4 sleeper, as these were used by a number of midwestern roads and would be good layout fodder.

  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    While the Brass is very very high in price, the Walthers stuff isn't cheap either. $70 for one passenger car. 1 car! And a A-A set of E7's with out sound would be about $300-400 and with sound $500-600.

    It would be nice to see it though.

  4. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Back in the early 1970s I was buying Balboa/Westside brass passenger cars for the outrageous price of about $25.00 each. I think an A-B set of E8s or PAs was around $100.00.

  5. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    If memory serves me well, the Balboa and Westside brass in the early 70s was pure generic. A few PAs and passenger cars might have come close to a specific railroad but it was sheer pot luck. The prices compared to what most people brought home to spend on living expenses didn´t leave a whole lot left over for the hobby either. The current brass, while beautiful in appearance and prototypically correct, is so much more expensive because of the small runs of models imported.

    A perfect example of early 70s marketing was Westside´s Great Northern H-6 4-6-2. I purchased two at a Dallas shop (not Hall´s) for $89.00 each. A couple of years after that, PFM imported the H-7 and its price had increased quite a bit already. There may not have been as many H-7s built though? Also, from the story I remember, Westside was owned by Dick Truesdale and he flew for a commercial airline and brought his models back with him on the flights from Japan, thus saving transport costs that the other brass importers had to add on to the final price of their products. Anyone out there, correct me if I am wrong.

    At any rate, Walthers missed the train completely. A Texas Special in HO would also open the door for the Frisco Meteor. Plated cars and the side plating on the E7s would produce a train that would run circles around the Broadway. E8s would compliment the E7s of course with a later release. Not knocking the Pennsy or Ken you understand! The Pennsy´s tuscan red fleet (along with the Norfolk & Western) was elegant! The Texas Special had a flair to it that made it unique in many ways. Dallas Union Terminal looked sharp with all the Texas streamliners serving Big D in the early 50s. The TS seemed to stand out though. Of course most of America´s cities were the same way with several railroads offering streamliners for kids to stare bug-eyed at and put one on the Christmas wish list. For this reason it isn´t easy for Walthers to release all the name trains modelers want to see.

    I honestly think that the TS would sell out before its release though. The TRRA´s excellent publication #69 is making more modelers aware of just what did run between St. Louis and the Lone Star State in post-war America. Lionel´s post-war Super Chief ran around a lot of Christmas trees and for some reason they just didn´t give the TS the glory it deserved when they released the F3s and shorty passenger cars. It would be interesting to know where the TS sold best when Lionel released it. I would say the territory it served of course. Despite its shortcoming in O gauge and even later with the HO release, including dome cars, a lot of us young Texans still longed to own one.

    Mabie Walthers will listen to us now? But please, no dome cars! I would buy the HO train and mount on a shelf below my Fogg and Bennet TS Texas Special prints. It would become a collectors item before its release. You can bet on that!

    Joe Toth
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2011

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