Remembering the Rutland - Forums
The opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily of the editor.
Railworks Forum 2001
Railworks (PO Box 148, Woodbury, NY, 11797-0148) has once again
answered the prayers of Rutland modelers by releasing in June of 2001 three wood combines
and two milk cars in HO scale brass. Modelers who favor the New York Central and the
Boston & Maine should also be interested since it is well known that these cars,
particularly the milk cars, ventured off of Rutland rails towards New York City and
Boston. These models are available in both factory decorated and undecorated versions. The
specific details are listed in the following table:
||Rutland Wood Milk Car #337 - unpainted
||Rutland Wood Milk Car #337 - factory painted steam era
||Rutland Wood Milk Car #338 - unpainted
||Rutland Wood Milk Car #338 - factory painted steam era
||Rutland Wood Combine #253 - unpainted
||Rutland Wood Combine #253 - factory painted steam era (w/
||Rutland Wood Combine #255 - unpainted
||Rutland Wood Combine #255 - factory painted steam era
||Rutland Wood Combine #256 - factory painted steam era
||Rutland Wood Combine #256 - factory painted diesel era
None of these cars have been previously done with the exception of combine #255. This
car was produced by Railworks in 1999 but was only available undecorated and came paired
with a 350-355 series milk car. It seems that with each new Railworks project the master
craftsmen at Korean builder Boo-Rim raise the bar another notch. I would
like to hear your opinions regarding this latest Railworks project. Historical points such
as what era(s) are correct for these cars are also encouraged. To do so merely click this link. Feel
free to lavish praise, criticize, and/or offer suggestions regarding this and future
projects because it is only by speaking up that things generally improve. In my
opinion these models illustrate this point perfectly.
From the Rutland and B&M E-lists:
The postman bought a box of goodies yesterday; 1 Rutland combine and 2 Rutland milk cars.
All are painted, with knuckle couplers, and the combine has a lighted interior.
Essentially, they are Ready-to-Run brass! WOW!!!!
In addition to the B&M milk cars Railworks is doing, they are taking
reservations for two styles of B&M wood cabooses (painted and unpainted). This is all
in HO, by the way.
If you're like me and were absolutely dissapointed at the non-existant quality control in
Overland's expensive CV milk car run last year, Railworks is a little haven of sanity.
With the Rutland pile driver and 2-8-0's coming, plus B&M and New Haven announcements
and promises of more New England prototypes, Railworks is clearly THE brass importer to
watch in the next few years.
If the leaps taken with the combines are any proof, I have a feeling the Rutland 2-8-0
will be the finest New England-prototype locomotive ever produced. And there have been
some great ones.
Kudos to Charlie for pushing the bar of quality higher and higher.
From Mark Rossiter:
My Railworks models arrived in yesterday's mail. They really are beautiful! The trucks
are the smoothest rolling passenger trucks I've seen in a while. I have yet to study the
models closely. So far my only beef is that the springs on the milk car trucks allow way
to much daylight to show through. The don't look prototypical at all! These will
definitely need to be replaced. The springs on the combine trucks are much better. Also, I
may have to do something about the shiny black roofs (obviously I bought the painted
version). I may spray them with Dullcoat. I don't care much for gloss black roofs on a car
such as this. I'm anxious to see what other modelers think of the cars.
From: Ralph A. Notaristefano
c/o North Shore Depot
3 Jay Court
Northport, NY 11768
ALERT: THE CONSTANT LIGHTING IN THE COMBINES MAY NOT BE DCC COMPATIBLE!
For modelers who purchased their models elsewhere, please take note of this possible
factor. RRHS member John McIlwaine raised this issue and there is merit to his concern.
Modelers should make adjustments accordingly. There is a very real possibility that the
lighting will short circuit. RRHS members should be aware that only a handful of milk cars
and combines remain (literally). FYI: unpainted combine versions come with seating and
fully painted interiors, thereby making them easier to custom paint.
Our association with Railworks has once again resulted in the production of a fine
series of Rutland passenger equipment. [The models feature] excellent attention to detail
and superior rolling characteristics. Factory installed couplers have now been added to
all models. Full interiors and constant lighting have been installed in the combine
The Rutland Milk Car and Combine project was very successful and I have enclosed a copy
of their history which I included with models purchased by RRHS members from me.
RUTLAND COMBINE #253
Classified as a passenger and baggage car, Combine #253 was built in 1902 and retained its
steel underframe and truss rod construction until it was retired and sold to Nelson
Blount's Steamtown in 9/63. Seating 30 passengers, this 59'-2" car weighed 48 tons.
She was renumbered X625 in 4/54. Currently at Steam- town in Scranton, Pa., her very
existence is being threatened by bureaucratic neglect. Steamtown plans to burn her to the
ground. This historic piece of Rutland equipment deserves better, not to mention the
taxpayer who has paid the storage bill for years. Call or write Steamtown and save this
grand "Old Lady".
COMBINES #255 and #256
Sister combines #255 and #256 were built in 1898 as coaches #515 and #516. Renumbered in
10/15, they weighed 37 and 42 tons. They were 59'2" in length and seated thirty
passengers. Combine #255 was retired in 7/54 and again in 12/60 when it was sold to 0.
Winston Link. It is currently at the Whippany Railroad Museum in Whippany, New Jersey.
Combine #256 was retired in 7/54 and again in 12/60 and placed on blocks in Malone, New
York where she rotted away. #256 was painted in the green and yellow paint scheme which
was introduced in the late steam and early diesel era. #255 was used in express service
between Middleburry and Bellows Falls after passenger service was suspended in 1953.
Combine #256 was later converted to work service.
MILK CARS #337 and #338
The Rutland was a frugal railroad and efficient use of existing equipment was often
necessary. Built by American Car and Foundry in 1904 and received on line on 6/6/04,
baggage cars #193 and #194 were converted to milk cars and were released after rebuilding
on 10/3/18 (#337) and on 10/14/19 (#338). Car #337 was re-sided without vents and #338
received similar treatment later in life. These 53' steel underframe truss rod cars
weighed in at 92,000 lbs. and 90,000 lbs., respectively. They were used all over New
England and found their way to New York City. #337 was retired in 6/61 and was later sold
in June. Milk car #338 was sold in April 1957.
From Rob Davis:
Not sure about DCC with the combine, but I had a throwback with it down at our club.
Like any car with wiring stretched across both trucks, you have to watch the track
circuits clear through the length of the train, or you could have a real zapper.
The lights in my combine seem to have loose wiring. Haven't taken it apart yet.
Also, what color should the white interior wall at the passenger end be painted?