Southern/West Point Route passenger equipment : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

I would like to find out as much information, and get photos and drawings, and what HO scale models are available of and good matches for Southern RR, West Point Route, and other roads that ran cars on the Southerner, The Crescent, and the Southern Crescent as I am attempting to model those trains in HO scale. If you know how I can get this info, or have any yourself I would appreciate all the help I can get.

Thank You very much,


Ken O'Dell

-- Ken 'Dell (, February 13, 1999


Response to info on Southern/West Point Route passenger equipment

Drawings: For the steam locos, you can find very detailed construction drawings of the Ps-4's. I do not know who published them, but I have seen them at train shows. I am not aware of anything on the car end.

Locos: If you want the very best, Precision Scale's run of the Ps-4 cannot be beat. Figure on spending $550 to $650. If you know a thing or three about working with brass, fine-tuning or replacing motors, adding or replacing detail parts, etc, you might want to consider a good used Ps-4 by Pacific Fast Mail - running about $250-$350 on average. Cheaper? Rivarossi puts together a respectable plastic boilered USRA Heavy Pacific. Again, some kitbashing and modification skills can yield a finely running and detailed loco. E-8's, either brass or one of the Life-Like proto-2000 models should suffice for a diesel era-model.

Cars: I know that Hallmark will be running a brass version of the 1949 Cresent, for a lot of $$$ of course. Rivarossi also makes streamlined lightweights and heavyweights for the Cresent - based on stock protoypes from different RR's. I have heard the heavyweight coach is based on an SR prototype, but I have not seen any verification.

History: There is a good write-up on the history of the Cresent from it's humble beginnings as the Washington-New Orleans Southwest Vestibuled Limited ( a mouthful!! ) on the R&D in the early 1890's through the Streamlined era with pictures of various cars from the Pullman Palace days, pre-1928 green and gold heavyweight era, green and gold era, and streamlined era. The write-up is in Dubin's: Some Classic Trains. The book is out of print, but you can probably fine a used copy from consignment at train shows for around $80-125. If, like myself, all you want is the article, NMRA's Kalmbach Library will photocopy the pages from their copy and send them to you - cost for members was about $5.00 total, if I remember correctly. There is also a nice timetable listing consists in Prince's book on SR steam.

The Cresent [Limited] was a Pullman train operated from New York over PRR through Washington and points south over SRR, West Point Route and L&N. I do not know if the SR cars operated over the PRR section - I doubt it.

Hope this helps and provides a good start.

-- Kenneth Selvidge (, February 15, 1999.

One small clarification:

There were 5 equipment sets that protected the schedule of Trains 37- 38: 3 were owned by SR, 1 owned by L&N and 1 by PRR. WPR also contributed some equipment to the pool (most notably WRA diner 500), but those cars were not built specifically for the Crescent Ltd.

-- Rick Terry (, November 22, 2000.

Ken, Microscale has a decal set for the West Point cars used on the Crescent and I'd think they've got a set for the SR cars as well. Green Frog has a video tape, Passenger Trains of the 60s, that has a few action shots of the Crescent coming by on the West Point. Your consist will probably depend on the time you model, as Tom Alderman stated. The film shows the Crescent in the early 60s with a LOT of head-end (baggage and RPO) equipment and a couple of streamlined coaches at the rear. I slow-motioned the film and saw an ACL baggage car mixed in with some of the L&N baggage cars up front.

-- Bud Leggett (, August 08, 2001.

I believe the 2 definitive books on the Southern Railway are (1) Southern Steam Power by Ranks and Lowe; and (2) Southern Railway Locomotives and Boats by Richard Prince. The Prince book has blueprint drawings in the latter part of the text. The Ranks and Lowe book is very scarce and I think it is now in reprint. All the best, CR

-- Clark Reed (, January 08, 2003.

Southern Railway cars did run to New York over the PRR as did cars of the SAL, ACL, and C&O.

-- Jack Grasso (, February 05, 2003.

Ken, find a copy of the Pullman-Standard library Volume 7 (Southeast) for diagrams, photos, and descriptions of the cars PS built for these trains. The book is out of print, but copies may be found here and there (a train show perhaps). Good luck.

-- Ray Brown (, July 25, 2003.

nkp car has a full line of brass car sides for the crescent. I just got a set of all cars except the coach. walthers has the budd 44 seat coach that is close. look at the cars are a lot of work but come nickle plated and you buy a car shell which he has available or put them on other passenger cars

-- joe mashburn (, July 03, 2004.


As further followup on passenger car model availability: IHC has a line of corrugated lightweight cars that are based on the pre-war cars used in the Southerner and Tennesseean. They are a bit less than scale model replicas, but they are passable when not used with other cars from other manufacturers. They include the RPO, Baggage, Baggage-Doprmitory-Coach, Coach and Diner. The sleeper and observation cars are some other prototype (looks to be Santa Fe). There is also a matching series of interior kits for these cars that add to the illusion. I have used metal wheelsets and Kadee conversion bolsters on the trucks and have removed the skirting on the cars and coated the roofs with Dullcote. I also relettered them using scale sized letters and correct Southern RR spacing on the letterboards. When the light is right, they are a passable lot.

-- Ray Brown (, July 10, 2004.

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