The Val Ease Central Railroad

Taking Z Scale to the Public Around the World
(Text and photos Copyright Jeffrey MacHan)

Collector's Corner: The NMRA Special Collector's Series Cars

The National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) has been producing a limited series of American collector cars as a benefit to members for the past several years. Two series are currently being offered. The "Heritage" collection and the "Living Legends" collection.

Recognizing the Pioneers of NA Model Railroading

The "Heritage" cars are designed to honor the contribution to the hobby by North American model railroading pioneers. The complete series of cars issued in Z-scale are:

Heritage #1: John Allen's "Gorre & Daphetid", [Micro-Trains 40' double-door steel box] road #8409 (issued 7-92)

Heritage #2: Lynn Westcott's "Sunset Railway & Navigation Co.", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door steel box] road #202 (issued 4-93)

Heritage #3: Frank Ellison's "Delta Lines", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door wood box] road #2941 (issued 1-94)

Heritage #4: A.E. "Bud" Sima's "The Prospect & Upper Ridge (PURR)", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door wood box] road #720 (issued 7-94)

Heritage #5: Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee's "MUT Lines" (Milwaukee Union Terminal), [Micro-Trains 40' gondola] road #1934 (issued 6-95)

Heritage #6: Al Kalmbach's "Great Gulch, Yahoo Valley & Northern", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door wood box] road #77569 (issued 1-96)

Heritage #7: Bill McClanahan's "Texas & Rio Grande Western", [Micro-Trains 40' double-door steel box] road #64260 (issued 5-96)

Heritage #8: Billings McArthur's "Firewater & Kicking Horse", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door steel box] road #4148 (issued 6-97)

Heritage #9: Jim Trout's "Hollywood & Western", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door wood box] road #4548 (issued 1-98)

Heritage #10: Ed Ravenscroft's "Glencoe Skokie Valley", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door wood box] road #2084 (issued 8-99)

Heritage #11: Whit Towers' "Alturas & Lone Pine" (no Z issue)

One of the most recognized figures in the hobby, Whit Towers served in a wide range of national and regional offices and was editor of The Bulletin for a decade. His Alturas & Lone Pine is recognized around the world as one of the finest model railroads ever. (NMRA web site, used with permission)

Note: no "Z" scale model was produced for this issue. However, Z_Scale and Ztrack are teaming up with the NMRA to correct this omission. For further information on how to place a reservation for Heritage #11, read on.

Heritage #12: Jerry Drake's "Bent Spaghetti Lines", [Micro-Trains 50' double-door steel box] road #1980 (issued 2-02)

Jerry Drake was well known throughout the hobby for his wit and wisdom sharing his experiences though clinics like "Blending Backdrops with Scenery." He not only educated with his clinics, but entertained with humorous tales in the Bulletin, lampooning himself and well-known rnodelers alike. His tales usually centered around his famous Bent Spaghetti Lines and each contained the promise of more to come with his trademark "Attza 'nother story."

Heritage #13: Gordon Odegard's "Platteville and Calamine", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door steel box] road #2002 (issued 4-03)

Heritage #14: Bob Hegge's "Crooked Mountain Lines", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door wood box] road #1952 (issued 2-04)

Heritage #15: Cliff Grandt's "Hardscrabble & Great Divide", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door wood box] road #1912 (issued 4-05)

The "Living Legends" of Model Railroading The success of the "Heritage" cars prompted the NMRA to begin a special "Living Legends" series in honor of the principal figures still very much active in model railroading. The current issues are:

Living Legends #1: John Armstrong's "Canandaigua Southern", [Micro-Trains 50' plug-door steel box] road #4523 (issued 12-98)

Living Legends #2: Dean A. Freytag's "Davies Steel Corporation", [Micro-Trains 50' drop-end gondola] road #12120 (issued 9-01)

When model railroaders think of steel, they think of Dean Freytag. Dean has given clinics, written articles, published photos and authored a book on the subject. His "Davies Steel Corp." is the parent industry for his mill operations. Taken from his wife's maiden name, Davies Steel is the recognized leader in the model steel industry. These special commemorative cars are numbered in honor of her birthdate.

Living Legends #3: Milt Moore's "Gibralter Railroad", [Micro-Trains 40' single-door steel box] road #2002 (issued 7-02)

Living Legends #4: Hal Carsten's "Susquehanna Northern", [Pennzee 40' 3-bay gondola] road #10010 (issued 1-04)

Living Legends #5: Allen McClelland's "Virginian & Ohio", [Micro-Trains 37' single-dome tank] road #404 (issued 9-04)

*In 2004, the NMRA stopped offering their collector cars in Z-scale. Other scales are available. See the NMRA web site for more information.