​​Lakes and Pines Division - Train Collectors Association

#125 April is here! Spring is here! Well, it’s supposed to be spring, officially staring on March 20th, but there is still snow on the ground and too many days are still stuck in the 30’s and maybe 40’s. The Twins home opener is April 5th and you may have to bundle up if you’ll be sitting in the stands that night. I had a table at the recent Randolph Railroad Days swap meet and I sold a whole $50 worth over the two days. I think I’m going to give up on trying to sell my modern Lionel collectibles because most people must not consider those trains collectible. There’s no reason I can’t continue attending railroad flea markets because I love talking to everyone. It’s sort of like our Lakes & Pines meetings. I don’t expect to sell anything but I like talking to everyone. Our next Lakes & Pines meeting is April 8 th . If you’re a flea market kind of guy, we have lots of them in April. There are two railroad flea markets on April 7th. The Newport Model RR Club Train Show & Sale is April 7th from 9AM to 2PM at the Woodbury High School, 2665 Woodlane Drive in Woodbury, MN. The other is the Granite City Train Show on April 7th from 9AM to 3PM at the River’s Edge Convention Center, 10 – 4 th Avenue South in St Cloud, MN. It is unfortunate that we have to have two flea markets on the same day. There should be more communication between the groups to avoid this kind of conflict. This simply splits up the vendors and both shows suffer. The Greater Upper Midwest Train Show & Sale will be held on April 14th from 9AM to 2PM at the Century College, West Campus, 3300 Century Avenue North in White Bear Lake. Tom Jefferson will surely be missed but Greg Beckman and his extended family will be carrying on, just as Tom wanted him to do. There are two shows in May that I want you to be aware of at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The 42nd Northland Antique Toy, Doll, Advertising & Pop Culture Show will be held Sunday, May 6th from 9AM to 3PM at the Progress Center on the Fairgrounds. This is the show with all the antique and collectible toys, such as farm toys, dolls, tin, mechanical, cast iron toys, advertising, and of course, toy trains, with some of our Lakes & Pines members having tables. The last big show of spring will be the Twin City Model Railroad Museum Hobby Show & Sale on Saturday, May 12th from 9AM to 3PM in the Education Building on the Fairgrounds. Vendor tables are still available for this show. Email: hobbysaleinfo@tcmrm.org LIONEL WASN’T THE ONLY O-GAUGE TRAIN MAKER IN THE 70’S AND 80’S Toolmaker Jack Ferris founded American Model Toys (AMT) in 1948 which reorganized as Auburn Model Trains in 1954. Business was not good, and later that same year, Auburn Model Trains was sold to Kusan, a plastics and toy company in Nashville, Tennessee. Kusan produced model trains using the former AMT tools, as well as new tooling of their own, but, with a declining market, Kusan ceased production of trains in 1960. The tooling was sold by Kusan to Andy Kriswalus of Endicott, New York. Andy produced rolling stock only from 1968 to 1982, trading as Kris Model Trains (KMT). After Andy died in September 1990, most of the tooling went to Jerry Williams of Williams Electric Trains, a Maryland maker of reproduction tinplate trains, and employer of Mike Wolf. Williams decided to concentrate on plastic, using the earlier tooling, and sold the tinplate tooling to Mike Wolf, who later formed Mike’s Train House or MTH. The original AMT/Kusan/KMT tooling was subsequently sold by Jerry Williams to Maury Kline of K-Line, in North Carolina, who also owned and used ex-Marx tooling. Frank Rash of Frank’s Roundhouse issued a series of model using exWilliams products. Part of the original tooling went to Ready Made Toys who sub contracted for Taylor Made Trucks, who issued a small diesel switcher on a flatbed truck. The switcher was subsequently issued by Ready Made Toys as the RMT Beep, still available today. Now I’d like to concentrate on trains produced by Frank’s Roundhouse, also known as Custom Trains. From 1983 until 1992, Frank and Jack Rash of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania produced their models. Frank’s produced hundreds of boxcars, hopper cars, refrigerator cars and stock cars. They also decorated bunk cars, F-3 locomotive cabs, FM Trainmaster diesel engines, passenger cars and trailer on flatcar (TOFC) models. You can see a complete listing with pictures at www.robertstrains.com/Frank.htm Frank’s Roundhouse also produced at least a half dozen special cars for the Midwest Division TCA. Nineteen different regular production, and four special production trailer on flatcars (TOFC) were produced. The flatcars match the ones used for the early MTH Electric Trains RailKing TOFC’s. The only truck type found on these cars are plastic Bettendorf trucks, made by Mike Wolf exclusively for Frank’s Roundhouse. Mike Wolf also supplied the trailers for the flatcars, which were made by Yatming, a manufacturer of die-cast model vehicles in China. The trailers are plastic, with two opening doors on the back end. The most interesting production from Custom Trains were twenty-two cataloged Fairbanks-Morse locomotives. The FM cabs were new blank bodies, not redecorated. Williams cabs were not obtained from Williams, but left at the Korean supplier by Williams when they switched to a China manufacturer. The FM’s used Samhongsa running gear with two DC can motors and QSI reverse units. Roadnames were Chessie, Jersey Central (blue & orange), Milwaukee Road, Virginian (blue & yellow), Wabash, Southern, Reading (yellow & green), Reading (green), Union Pacific, Santa Fe (blue), Lackawanna, Southern Pacific, Pennsylvania (green), Delaware & Hudson, Susquehanna, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Tuscan), Rio Grande, Virginian (black & yellow), Canadian Pacific, Jersey Central (green) and Chicago & NorthWestern (which I, Roundhouse Rick, have one). Custom Trains also produced 15-inch and 18-inch Madison Passenger Cars. The 15-inch cars were produced in six roadnames. Delaware & Hudson, Jersey Central, Lackawanna, Lehigh Valley (green), Lehigh Valley (Tuscan) and Southern Pacific. The 18-inch cars were produced in at least a dozen roadnames. Erie Lackawanna, Lackawanna, Pullman, Southern, Chesapeake & Ohio, Denver & Rio Grande, New York Central (gray), New York Central (green), Pennsylvania (Tuscan), Pennsylvania (green), Union Pacific and Chicago & Northwestern (which I, Roundhouse Rick, have a set). Besides those listed sets, a custom decorated set for the Royal American Circus and a second run of the New York Central green passenger cars were reportedly done. A Norfolk & Western Powhatten Arrow set may or may not exist. At the April 8th Lakes & Pines meeting, I will display Chicago & NorthWestern FM and Madison Passenger Car models. Does anyone else in Lakes & Pines collect KMT or Roundhouse models? THE INTERNATIONAL TOY TRAIN EXPO COMES TO EAU CLAIRE, WIS IN JULY The back cover of the May Classic Toy Trains magazine proudly displays a full page ad for the Menards International Toy Train Expo at the Chippewa Valley Expo Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on July 7th and 8th. Admission will only be $5 for adults or $2.50 with a discount ticket from Menards. Children 17 and under will be free. Can you believe that? See you at our L&P meet on April 8th . Rick Krenske.Type your paragraph here.