Twin Cities Hiawatha

Twin Cities Hiawatha
HO
Scale
WalthersProto®
Twin Cities Hiawatha

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Racing business travelers from downtown Chicago to the heart of Minneapolis/St. Paul in speed and luxury, no other train defined Milwaukee Road’s flawless service better than the Twin Cities Hiawatha. With an authentic consist behind all-new FP7 diesel power in your choice of pre-1955 orange and maroon, or post-1956 yellow and gray, and updated with new and better details, these superb replicas will be the star of your HO operations or collection.

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For nearly 40 years, the 400 miles (640k) of track between Chicago and the Twin Cities was one of the most hotly contested passenger routes in all of American railroading. Providing business travelers with state-of-the-art, high-speed service – and staying a step ahead of the fierce competition from the CB&Q and the CNW – created the legend that was the Milwaukee Road’s Twin Cities Hiawatha.

Work began on the greatest Hiawatha of them all immediately after WWII, as a collaborative effort between the Milwaukee’s own engineers and famed local industrial designer Brooks Stevens. Entering service in 1948, many of the amenities found only on more expensive overnight runs were standard for the daytime Hiawathas, including plush reclining coach seats and a full diner, while first-class passengers were treated to a traditional parlor and the breathtakingly beautiful Skytop observation-lounges that became the train’s signature cars. As the CB&Q added domes to its Chicago-Twin Cities service, the Milwaukee countered with its new high-level Super Domes in 1953, the only equipment not built in the road’s own shops.

In the fall of 1955, the Milwaukee began operating Union Pacific trains between Chicago-Omaha, and repainted some 40 cars for pool service. Cheaper and more durable, these colors were quickly adopted as the Milwaukee standard. Starting in 1956, cars assigned to Twin Cities Hiawatha service received several upgrades including new trucks with disc brakes, improved diaphragms and notched sidesills, and repainted. In this form, the great train continued running with some adjustments to its consist and schedules through 1971.

Reborn as Amtrak’s Twin Cities Hiawatha from 1972 to 1978, today, its spirit lives on in Amtrak’s daily Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service over the same route as its famed namesake.

Leading the Twin Cities Hiawatha from 1950 to 1971, the Milwaukee roster boasted 16 FP7-F7B-FP7 sets that easily nudged the century mark whenever schedules demanded!

While EMD’s immensely popular F7 could be equipped for high-speed service, the Milwaukee was among buyers who wanted more water for the steam generator and opted for new FP7s. While outwardly similar, these units were actually four feet longer to accommodate bigger water tanks.

With a black roof for ease of maintenance, the new FP7s shared the same orange and maroon scheme as passenger cars - until the cars’ gray roofs were repainted to match soon after the engines arrived! Engines in the first order arrived with a cast “Running Hiawatha” logo mounted on the nose. Eventually these disappeared and standard Milwaukee heralds were then applied on the cab sides. This scheme was common to 1955, when the first units were repainted for joint service with Union Pacific in gray and yellow. Various standard appliances were also changed over time, including air horns, radio antennas, pilots and more, while unique Milwaukee touches including “barrel-style” spark arrestors, and sheet metal bug and snow deflectors were also installed. Five sets were later reassigned to freight chores, but the majority held passenger assignments until retirement.

Along with completely new tooling to match the prototype’s extended body and frame, these replicas are detailed and painted to match three specific eras of Milwaukee service, with the standard features that define WalthersProto engines including:

  • Available with ESU LokSound 5 Sound & DCC for DCC & DC layouts
  • Five-pole, skew-wound, high-torque, high-efficiency can motor
  • Helical gears with 14:1 ratio for smooth, ultra-quiet running
  • Easy multiple-unit operation
  • Superb paint & lettering in three schemes to match Hiawatha cars
  • Heavy die-cast metal underframe
  • Proto MAX™ metal knuckle couplers

Scheme-Specific Features:
1950-53 As-Delivered Orange

  • Printed Hiawatha logo on nose
  • Passenger pilot
  • Dual A-200 single-chime air horns
  • Side skirts

1952-55 Modified Orange

  • Nathan M5 five-chime air horn
  • Freight pilot
  • Roof-mounted oil cooler
  • Screen-type spark arrestors
  • Square winterization hatch
  • No side skirts
  • Herald on cab

1955-71 Yellow

  • Firecracker radio antenna
  • Nathan S-2 air horn
  • Lifting lugs on nose
  • Cab-mounted bug & air horn snow deflectors
  • Forward-facing "barrel" spark arrestors
  • Roof-mounted oil cooler
  • EMD round-corner winterization hatch

While most roads soon found their postwar plans for new equipment sidetracked by material shortages and production delays, the Milwaukee Road was already building an entirely new fleet for Twin Cities Hiawatha service in its own shops. Under the direction of Chief Mechanical Officer Karl Nystrom, this new generation of cars continued pushing the design envelope, being both lighter and more durable than most contemporary equipment. Nystrom was also a recognized leader in the field of high-speed truck design, having introduced a number of innovations on the 1939 Hiawatha fleet that were further refined for the postwar cars, which featured improved roller bearings and electrically controlled clasp brakes.

Noted industrial designer and Milwaukee-area native Brooks Stevens designed the actual car exteriors, which were now smooth sided with just a hint of skirting. Folding steps were also used on cars with vestibules to create a smooth and symmetrical appearance. Stevens’ firm also designed all of the interiors, and unlike most roads that reserved this level of luxury only for their elite clientele, all Hiawatha cars embodied the latest trends from reclining Sleepy Hollow seats to florescent lighting. Entering service in 1948, few adjustments were made until 1950, when the first FP7s arrived. Although painted to match the cars, black roofs had been specified to better hide loco exhaust stains, and the cars’ gray roofs were quickly redone to match!

As the Burlington added Vista Domes to its Twin Cities Zephyr, the Milwaukee went one better, purchasing the first full-domes for Hiawatha service in 1953 - the train’s only equipment supplied by an outside builder. While the Milwaukee prided itself on its own lightweight designs, the Super Domes as they were known were some of the heaviest ever built, topping the scales at a whopping 224,000 pounds in working order!

The most significant changes came in 1955, as the Milwaukee began running Union Pacific trains from Chicago to Omaha. UP insisted cars had to be painted to match, and the Milwaukee obliged, however its yellow was slightly lighter than UP’s traditional Armor Yellow. The new scheme proved to be more durable and easier to keep clean, and was soon adopted as the Milwaukee’s standard for its own long-distance trains. Additional upgrades were done as cars came back to the shops for painting; trucks were fitted with disc brakes and slight notches were cut into the sides above for clearance and easier access. Car steps were secured in the fixed position to save time during station stops, and car ends were modified with new lift rings and upgraded diaphragms. By 1957, solid yellow consists were typical on the Twin Cities Hiawatha, and would remain standard until 1971 and Amtrak.

For the first time, Deluxe Edition consists replicating two distinct eras of Twin Cities Hiawatha service are being produced - and there’s a brand-new Milwaukee train in the series too! These exclusive replicas are fully assembled with factory-printed names or numbers as appropriate, Preiser passenger and crew figures installed throughout each train, and factory-installed LED interior lighting as appropriate. Each is sold only as a complete set, with production strictly limited to no more than 300 of each.

1950-1955 Orange & Maroon
#920-822

The early 1950s were some of the busiest years of Hiawatha service, and this 10-car set includes extra coaches and 160 Preiser figures to model a typical train of the times. Period details on each car include black trucks with clasp brakes, straight side sills, folded car steps and original ends with no lift rings. These exclusive cars are included in this set:

63' Milwaukee Road Railway Post Office #2153
75' Milwaukee Road Express Car #1325 (double window doors)
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #506
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #511
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #539
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #544
85' Milwaukee Road 48-Seat Diner #125
85' Pullman-Standard Super Dome #59
85' Milwaukee Road 30-Seat Parlor Car "Red River Valley"
85' Milwaukee Road Skytop Lounge "Dell Rapids"

1955-1971 Yellow and Gray
#920-823

Autumn leaves weren't the only things changing color in the fall of 1955, as the Milwaukee became Union Pacific's Chicago-Omaha link for the famed City Domeliners. UP mandated all cars match theirs, and the Milwaukee painted some 40 cars in yellow, gray and red. Easier to clean and maintain, the Milwaukee quickly began shopping cars in Hiawatha service, which were then upgraded with new trucks with disc brakes and notched side sills directly above for easier access, fixed steps to speed station stops, and new end lift rings and improved diaphragms. Reflecting these many changes, as well as the removal of the Tap Lounge in this era, this nine-car set features the bold new scheme and over 150 Preiser figures aboard the following exclusive cars:

63' Milwaukee Road Railway Post Office #2152
75' Milwaukee Road Express Car #1318 (single window doors)
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #501
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #513
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #540
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #543
85' Milwaukee Road 48-Seat Diner #122
85' Pullman-Standard Super Dome #58
85' Milwaukee Road Skytop Lounge "Cedar Rapids"

“The Cannonball”
#920-824

While the Hiawatha fleet was well known throughout its home state, perhaps no other Milwaukee Road local was more popular with Wisconsinites than trains 12/23, affectionately known as "The Cannonball." A favorite with commuters from the 1880s to 1972, it served as both a rolling social club, and a great alternative to driving the ever-busier highways between Watertown and Milwaukee. Based on the yellow and gray equipment assigned from 1956 to 1972, this three-car set includes over 50 Preiser passenger figures installed on the train. The set includes all the features of WalthersProto Deluxe Edition trains in a size that's perfect for any modeler or collector, especially those with limited space, and features these exclusive cars:

85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #508
85' Milwaukee Road Tap Lounge #173
85' Milwaukee Road 52-Seat Coach #545

Four sets of equipment were required for the Morning Hiawatha (trains #5/6) and Afternoon Hiawatha (trains #2/3). Making fewer stops on a faster schedule, morning trains handled a working Railway Post Office, and through 1957, all trains included express cars, which would also carry any checked baggage, pets and bulk storage mail as needed.

While four coaches were standard in the early 1950s, more were often added to meet demand. Light meals and beverage service for coach passengers were provided in a Tap Lounge car, followed by the standard 48-seat diner; diners were turned at the end of every run so the kitchen was always facing forward, allowing first-class, extra fare passengers in the parlor and Skytop to enter directly into the dining room.

Super Dome café-lounge cars joined each consist in 1952, and while Tap Lounge cars were technically gone by 1955 they were used if no dome was available. From early 1957 to 1961 the Olympian Hiawatha (#15/16) was handled as a section of trains #3 and #6, and consists swelled to 16 cars to and from Minneapolis. Soon after, Hiawatha consists reflected changing times with fewer coaches, Buffeteria meal service cars in place of full diners, and the addition of mail storage cars coupled directly behind the Skytops.

Below are several examples throughout different eras of the train for your reference.

1952
Morning Hiawatha
Railway Post Office
Baggage/Express
Coaches (4 typical; more as needed)
Tap Lounge
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Valley series Parlor
Skytop

Afternoon Hiawatha
Baggage/Express
Coaches (5 to 7 based on demand)
Tap-Lounge
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Valley series Parlor
Rapids series Skytop

1955
Morning Hiawatha
Express/Mail (mail storage cars from GN and PRR also handled)
Coaches (4 to 6 typical)
Super Dome
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Valley series Parlor
Rapids series Skytop

Afternoon Hiawatha
Express/Mail
Coaches (6 to 8 typical)
Super Dome (Tap Lounge if unavailable)
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Valley series Parlor
Rapids series Skytop

1957
As of early April, #3 & #6 handle cars from Olympian Hiawatha #15/16; all were listed as separate trains in public timetables.

Morning Hiawatha - Olympian Hiawatha combined #6-16 East between St. Paul - Chicago
Railway Post Office
Baggage dormitory
Coaches (2)
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Super Dome
Coaches (3)
Valley series Parlor
Super Dome
40-seat Diner
Sleeper
Sleeper
Creek series Skytop

Afternoon Hiawatha - Olympian Hiawatha combined #3-15 West between Chicago - St. Paul
Storage Mail/Express
Baggage dorm
Coaches (2)
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Super Dome
Coaches (3)
Valley series Parlor
Parlor
Superdome
40-seat Diner
Sleeper
Sleeper
Creek series Skytop

Morning Hiawatha #5 West
Railway Post Office
Mail/Express
Coaches
Super Dome; Tap Car if unavailable
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Valley series Parlor
Parlor
Rapids series Skytop

Morning Hiawatha #2 East
Railway Post Office
Mail/Express
Coaches (6 to 8 typical)
Super Dome; Tap Car if unavailable
48-Seat Diner (Milwaukee-Minneapolis only; kitchen forward)
Super Dome
Rapids series Skytop

Afternoon Hiawatha #3 East
(No checked baggage or dogs)
Coaches
Super Dome; Tap Car if unavailable
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Valley series Parlor
Rapids series Skytop

1967
Morning Hiawatha Trains #5/6
Express/Baggage
Coaches (4)
Super Dome
Buffeteria (rebuilt from 48-seat diner; used 1965-on)
Rapids series Skytop

Afternoon Hiawatha Trains #2/3
Railway Post Office
Express/Baggage
Coaches (6)
Super Dome
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Rapids series Skytop

1970
Morning Hiawatha #5/6
Railway Post Office
Express/Baggage
Coaches 2-3 (four summer and holidays)
Buffeteria
Parlor
Mail storage cars

Afternoon Hiawatha #2/3
Express/Baggage
Coaches 2-3 (four summer and holidays)
Super Dome (Tap lounge used if car unavailable)
48-Seat Diner (kitchen forward)
Rapids series Skytop

1971
Morning Hiawatha; last run on April 30, 1971
Mail/Express
Coaches (5)
Super Dome
Buffeteria
Parlor Wisconsin Valley

One of the busiest spots in the city, the area in and around Milwaukee’s venerable Everett Street Station hummed with arrivals and departures day and night from 1886 to 1964. The actual complex stretched over three blocks, anchored by the massive 600' long train shed. Trains entered and departed from the east and west through broad curves at either end, passing by a powerhouse, Railway Terminal Post Office, Railway Express Agency facilities, and a small turntable.

Two of the most important buildings in the complex were also the smallest; standing guard at both ends of the station where busy streets crossed multiple tracks, the Milwaukee installed signature octagonal two-story crossing shanties. Manned around the clock, watchmen could better observe approaching trains and traffic, and activate pneumatic crossing gates from their tiny perch on the second floor. Three blocks east, the Milwaukee maintained several freight houses and adjacent yards, and from 1958 to 1969, a day of train watching wasn’t complete without a stop at Walthers, located a few blocks away on North Water Street!

Limited-run kits
Milwaukee Everett Street Station & Train Shed Kit
933-2946

Walthers Water Street Building Kit
933-4203

Elevated Crossing Tower Kit 2-Pack
933-2945

In Stock Kits
Brick Freight Office Kit
933-2953

Train Shed with Clear Roof Kit
933-2984

Industry Office Kit
933-4020

Trackside Post Office
933-4063

Railway Express Agency Transfer Building
933-3095