June 22, 2011 - M.T.H.'s HO Norfolk & Western passenger cars will be arriving at local M.T.H. Authorized Retailers in early July. Check out the car's details in the photos below or click on the video icon to the left to see them in action behind the M.T.H. Norfolk & Western J Class steam engine.
“Fine New Feathers for the NEW Powhatan Arrow" proclaimed a 1949 brochure for the N&W's premier passenger train, newly re-equipped with luxurious cars from Pullman-Standard. An all-coach daytime streamliner connecting tidewater Virginia to the Midwest, the Arrow covered the 676 miles between Norfolk and Cincinnati in under 16 hours behind the road's magnificent Class J steamers.
The M.T.H. 5-car set accurately models the train's regular consist of compartment (divided) coach, crew coach, regular coach, diner, and tavern-lounge-observation. Separately offered add-on cars enable you to put on additional equipment when traffic warrants it, just as the prototype did.
Each car features full car interior detail mounted atop what may be the smoothest rolling trucks you’ll find on an HO passenger car. Our working end-of-car diaphragms are flexible enough for 18” radius curve operation. Flicker-free overhead interior lighting complements the interior detail and the lighted marker lights and drumhead on the observation car ensure that this train is one you won’t soon forget.
A visit to the Norfolk & Western in the early 1950s was like a scene from Jurassic Park: prehistoric beasts romping in their natural mountain habitat. At a time when other roads were letting their remaining steam engines rot away and giving them minimal service in dirty, dingy, soon-to-close facilities, the N&W was still running a first-class steam operation and even building new power.
With its main line through some of the nation’s richest coalfields, it was still betting on the future of steam; as late as 1955, the N&W didn’t roster a single diesel. The majority of traffic was handled by what N&W fans call the “holy trinity of steam”: the massive Y6 2-8-8-2; the articulated greyhound Class A; and the N&W’s glamour girl, the streamlined Class J.
Built in several groups between 1941 and 1950, a mere fourteen J’s were able to handle 80% of the N&W’s passenger traffic, because their designers addressed one of steam power’s key weaknesses: down time for maintenance and repairs. Amazingly, the J’s were designed to go a quarter-million miles between scheduled shop visits.
Like a race car, they were engineered for quick pit stops: in less than an hour, a J could be fully serviced, lubricated, filled with coal and water and ready for its next dash over the road’s 676-mile main line between Norfolk and Cincinnati, hauling the deluxe daylight Powhatan Arrow or the overnight Pocahontas.
You can order the J Class and the passenger cars from any M.T.H. Authorized Retailer.