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Peter's Model Railroading | The Layout | Equipment | Pullman Cafe Car
Model Information


I ordered a PRR cafe car, but American Models was out of them, so they offered me a Pullman-decorated car instead. Since they are basically the same tuscan-red body color, I was OK with that. It wasn't unheard of to have Pullman-owned/dedicated cars in a PRR passenger train consist. The photos shown on this page are of the car as it arrived new.

The history on these models is that they were originally commissioned by S-Helper Service and manufactured by American Models back in 1992. When their collaboration ended, American Models continued to produce and sell these cars to this day.

From end-of-diaphragm to end-of-diaphragm, the body measures 15.5" or a scale 82'8". The model weighs 11.7oz (332g), which is about 2oz too heavy. The wheels are perfectly in gauge, according to the NASG standard. The car is labeled "Cafe Car" with no road number. I ordered the "scale" version, so it comes with scale wheels and truck-mounted fixed/dummy "scale" couplers. It has six-wheel trucks and there is no electrical pick-up provided from the wheels. The underbody has some large components cast in, but no brakelines and only the bottom half of the cylinders are cast. There is a metal rod glued in between the centersills to give the car quite some heft.

As with most "scale" modelers, the American Models cars make for a nice starter point. I will be adding, replacing, and improving much on this car. I will also need to do some more research to see if there is a prototype match for this car. According to S-Helper Service, this model was based on the Central Railroad of New Jersey prototype.