by: Sean Hadfield [ ]
Another nice-looking piece from Roundhouse Trains-- in fact an entire matched set!
AppearanceThese 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.
OperationThe 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.
HistoricalSearching 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.
SummaryThis 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.