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First Look Review
HO scale
SP 50' Overland Set
HO RTR 50' Overland Passenger Set, SP/Daylight (4)
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by: Sean Hadfield [ WINDYSEAN ]

Another nice-looking piece from Roundhouse Trains-- in fact an entire matched set!

These 50' Overland-style passenger cars wear the Southern Pacific's bright, cheery "Daylight" scheme. The paint, striping, and lettering are crisp and sharp. The detail is not necessarily toylike, but neat and simple. For example, the end rails are simple wire loops, there is no interior detail, and only very basic brake detail. The truss rods are a nice touch. I like the green tinted clerestory windows too.

The scale 33" wheels and 7' Commonwealth trucks roll as smooth as silk, and trail nicely. The wheels match NMRA RP25 (National Model Railroad Association recommended practice #25) profile. The couplers are "McHenry scale knuckle spring" type, which have a plastic knuckle and shaft, metal spring, and magnetic trip arm. They're set in body-mounted coupler boxes, with screwed lids, so changing them is a simple process. My pet peeve though, is sagging couplers. Consistently every car in this set has couplers that hang out of NMRA standard height, and in operation that can spell trouble.

Searching around the internet, I found on an SP fan site www.sprailroad.net/sp-daylight.htm that "From its beginning in 1893 until streamlining in 1950, all the train's cars featured 6-wheel trucks and were painted in dark olive green with black roofs and trucks." If that website is to be believed, and I found no suggestions to the contrary, then what Roundhouse has done is provide the newer, more attractive paint scheme on the quaint, older Overland cars. Take that as good or bad, as you like.

The car selection is correct and interesting. There are one each of a combine, an RPO (Railroad Post Office) car, a coach, and a business "lounge" car.
The car numbers are believable, especially considering the loosely interpreted paint scheme. A very nice touch is that Roundhouse offers an additional matching coach in a distinct road number.

This set was announced in July 2009 and is currently discontinued, but re-releases can be expected. It's a fun, attractive set. The suggested price isn't unreasonable, especially on sale or discounted.
Highs: These are pleasant-looking, smooth-rolling cars.
Lows: Not the pinnacle of fine miniature detail, so rivet-counters beware.
Verdict: A quick and easy way to get a passenger train going on your layout.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: RND84883
  Suggested Retail: $99.98
  Related Link: 2-6-0 Steamer, Daylight Colors
  PUBLISHED: Feb 02, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Roundhouse Trains!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Sean Hadfield (windysean)

I picked up model building and HO-scale model trains from my father. I've been working at it now for more than 45 years, always learning more. Although a self-proclaimed cheapskate, I always modify or add to my builds to make them unique and special (for better or worse, ha ha).

Copyright ©2021 text by Sean Hadfield [ WINDYSEAN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


As a follow-up to my review, I ran these cars for a little more than an hour at a recent train show on our club's modular layout. Despite our best efforts, the modules do not always line up perfectly square horizontally or vertically, but these cars never failed. I had mentioned in my review that the couplers hang below the standard, but in practice there were no issues. The couplers are of consistent height, so they stayed together over every bump or weave in the track. (We like to claim that we have accurately modeled 1980's era Milwaukee Road track in that regard.) I thought the bright colors would attract more attention from the younger kids in attendance, but they ,like their grown-up companions, seemed to enjoy the recognizable modern Amtrak trains most. Anyway, I'm warming more and more to this set myself. Cheers! -Sean.
MAR 01, 2012 - 02:21 AM

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