Rolling Stock

November 2014 Premier Product Spotlight

Premier Line O Scale 4-Bay Hopper 6 Car Set

This car is likely the last hurrah of the bottom unloading coal hopper. Its prototype was built largely in the 1960s and ‘70s, just before the destinations for these cars — mainly utility power plants and harbor side shipping facilities — began switching to rotary unloading. While many of these cars survive in service today, newer coal cars are technically not hoppers at all. With trough-like bottoms and no hopper doors, they’re actually high-sided gondolas designed solely for rotary unloading.

November 2014 Premier Product Spotlight

Premier Line O Scale 40’ AAR Boxcar

The 40’ steel box car so familiar to model railroaders was a product of the 1930s. Wood box cars, which were built into the World War I era, and early steel cars were largely non-standardized, with details varying from railroad to railroad. The move toward standardization began with American Railway Association (ARA) designs of 1923 and 1932. It culminated in

October 2014 RailKing Product Spotlight

RailKing O Gauge Woodsided Caboose



Before railroads, “caboose” referred to a small cookhouse on the deck of a sailing ship. Nobody knows for sure, but it was likely the 1850s before the first railroad caboose gave a train crew shelte r from the weather. The Civil War era marked the emergence of boxcar-like cabin cars or conductor’s cars with side and perhaps end doors, win­dows, a heating and cooking stove, bunks, and roof lanterns to mark the end of the train.

October 2014 RailKing Product Spotlight

RailKing O Gauge Depressed Center Flat Car with Transformer Load

For transporting large or heavy items over land, nothing beats a railroad flat car. No wonder that manufacturers use flat cars to ship products or sub-assemblies ranging from transformers to airliner fuselages to heavy construction and mining equipment.

October 2014 RailKing Product Spotlight

RailKing O Gauge 40’ Double Door Box Car

In the beginning, American railway equipment followed British practices. But the open gondola, which remained the basic British merchandise car for over a century, was not as well suited to American needs. Whereas Britain’s mild climate and coke-burning engines made it possible to transport freight in open cars, covered with a tarp when necessary, American winters were harsher, distances traveled were greater, and wood-burning American engines threw off sparks that ignited unprotected goods.

October 2014 RailKing Product Spotlight

RailKing O Gauge 4-Bay Hopper And 3-Car Sets

Unlike equipment that carried a variety of loads, like boxcars, flatcars, and gondolas, this four-bay hopper was designed specifically for one cargo: bituminous coal. Its capacity matched the volume of coal that a pair of typical 70-ton freight trucks could carry. And its slope sheets — the angled floors at either end of the car — were set at precisely the angle at which coal would flow easily from its bottom doors. (Covered grain hoppers, for example, require much steeper slope sheets.)