The Bachmann HO Silver Series 52' Flat Car Western Pacific models the 52' flat car that has been in common usage on North American railroads for many years. Flat cars were used as early as the 1820s to haul rocks in New England, and were the first type of freight rolling stock developed at the advent of the railroad industry. Designs were to improve to carry heavier loads to match more powerful locomotives and to increase efficiency throughout the 19th and 20th Century. While Bachmann is not specific on this car (It is very generic), it looks to be a Circa 1950s model.
Road Name and History:
Western Pacific Railroad: The Western Pacific Railway was built as a result of E. H. Harriman gaining control of the Southern Pacific Railroad, that closed the Ogden Gateway to George Gould's Denver & Rio Grande Western. The WP was incorporated in 1903 and the last spike of the Salt Lake City-Oakland route was driven near Keddie, CA, in 1909. The line through the Sierra Nevada Mountains followed the Feather River thus earning WP the name "The Feather River Route". The Western Pacific, Rio Grande, and many other Gould roads went bankrupt in 1915- the Western Pacific Railroad emerged from bankruptcy in 1916 as the Western Pacific Railroad. In 1931 the Inside Gateway route was completed as Western Pacific built north from Keddie to reach the Great Northern at Bieber,CA. A scrappy smaller railroad surrounded by huge rail systems, the Western Pacific was swallowed by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1981. With UP's purchase of the Southern Pacific, the SP's Donner Pass line has been favored over the former WP Feather River Route.
Travel Tip: The Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, CA, is an excellent museum to learn all about the history and heritage of the Western Pacific Railroad. Take California Highway 89 (very scenic) north from Interstate 80 at Truckee,CA.
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.