Tuesday, January 10, 2017

TRAIN TIME: Milwaukee Road Marx Trains On The 'Jeep' Layout

I pulled out some New Marx Trains/Ameritrains engine and rolling stock a couple of days before New Year's and played with trains during a rare couple of hours straight of 'me' time. Marx Trains was the company formed in 1993 by Jim and Debby Flynn under license by Jay Horowitz of 'American Plastics' who had revitalized the Marx playset line with new licensing under the 'Marx Toys' masthead. In 2004 Marx Trains was sold to someone else and the firm re-named 'Ameritrains'. By this time a series of legal entanglements, over-investing in new tooling, and a general decline in collector interest of tinplate spelled doom for the line and by 2007 Ameritrains was history. Sad because between Marx Trains (often referred to as 'New Marx' by collectors) and Ameritrains there was some gorgeous products.

The biggest drawback to the New Marx/Ameritrains line were the engines. The newer engines used can motors vs. the open frame motors of the originals and they were simply poor pullers. It's hard to get a New Marx/Ameritrains engine to pull 6-7 cars reliably. I've seen videos of older original Marx engines pulling upwards of 30 cars and I've had the older engines pull nearly 20 cars on my old train layout.

That being said it's still a treat owning and operating the newer stuff even if they don't pull a lot of cars and now that I'm running a very small layout that whole argument of pulling long consists is immaterial because short trains look better. Anwho, I started the evening by 'dressing' the 'Jeep' layout for The Milwaukee Road by pulling out a Milwaukee Road engine and rolling stock and a tin-litho station made by Sunset Trains and Toys and lettered for The Milwaukee Road. In addition, I finally placed my New Marx 'Lumar Dinor' on the layout - first time it's been used. Also, this time around I also pulled out some 'Built-Rite' scenic backdrops I'd recently acquired. It's a lot of fun being able to change the look of the layout by swapping out buildings and scenery elements. So let's see get on with the show. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Ameritrains No.8501 Milwaukee Road Chippewa 2-4-0 Engine and Tender

Ameritrains No.70402-S Milwaukee Road Stock Car

Ameritrains No. 70601 Allstate Twin Tanks Flatcar

Marx Trains No. 7349 Milwaukee Road Flatcar w/Pipe Load

Marx Trains No. 6507-4 Milwaukee Road Caboose

These two cars were pulled out and hooked up to the train but they just couldn't be pulled along with the rest, the consist was too heavy

Marx Trains No. 7359 1995 Collectors Club Boxcar

Marx Trains No. 73413 Olde Frothingslosh Beer Reefer

Marx Trains No. 5583 Lumar Dinor

Better coverage of the Lumar Dinor will be forthcoming

Shots along the right-of-way

There are three Built-Rite panels with mountain scenery on them and two Built-Rite panels with cityscape. There wasn't enough room in the back of the layout to set them up properly but it was good to see them in use anyway

...and last but not least, a video of the Milwaukee Road Run

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