There are so many items available now in all scales of model railroading. Never in its history has there been so much to choose from. However, there are always things that we specifically would love to see released that have never been.   Here is my list of 10 items I would love to see made available. My picks are all in HO scale as that is what I model in.

  1. PRR P-5, P-5a box cab and modified.  There have been several GG-1 produced over the years but its freight counterpart has only been released in brass. This is a real meat and potatoes locomotive, no fancy paint jobs here, just a lot of grime. There were no wash racks for PRR electrics except at the Sunnyside coach yard in Long Island City, and P-5’s almost never got there.  They would run as many as 4 together to pull those long heavy ore trains out of the Philadelphia ore docks.

    Photo by John Dzlobko found on
  2. Plastic kits of a center lift span bridge. Is there a more impressive movable bridge then a lift span? They have been reproduced in O gauge by Lionel, but not in HO scale.  The neat thing about these bridges is that they came in all sizes and number of tracks.  From a short single track bridge crossing a canal in South Central Florida, to the massive PRR double deck lift spans just north of the Newark NJ station. In recent years we have had to scratch build our own for our custom layouts.

    @Sam Lindsey



     Railroad center Lift Bridges
    Photos by Sam Lindsey & Indiana U of Pennsylvania

    D HO Layout built by Scale Models Arts and Technogolies, Inc (Michael Hart)

    SMARTT’ s custom scratchbuilt HO scale liftbridge
  3. Ocean going ships: freighter, oil tanker and a liner. Walthers did a harbor themed kit line about 10 years ago, but never did any ships. Sylvan Models makes a nice resin tramp steamer kit, and there are some ship model companies that make craftsman 1/87 ships. But these are expensive and very time consuming. Maybe someday Walthers will re-release its waterfront kits and add a ship to the assortment.
    Tramp Steamer Tangistan:  photo Duncan Mackenzie
  4. An Eastern Orthodox onion dome church, U.S. If you model the northeast, particularly Pennsylvania, you will find these unique churches most everywhere. They are referred to as onion domes because of the onion shaped dome on top of the steeple structure. 

    St. Mary Church, McAdoo Pa.
    photo from their Facebook site

  5. Ready to install realistic RR yard floodlight towers.  Here is something that dominates most railroad yards right up to today. There is available, and has been available for many years a very un-prototypical tower in either 2 or 4 light versions.  However, a rail yard with a series of prototypically correct towers would be very impressive for both day and night operation.
    A typical railroad yard floodlight tower.
    photo from
  6. PRR P-70 coaches and D-78 diner. Bachmann did a basic early version of these cars 15 years ago, but times have changed. Modelers have come to expect a new level of detail in plastic ready to run cars. Therefore, any remake or totally new model must reach that level. The PRR had several versions of the P-70 coach and D-78 diner. Both the original and modernized cars would sell extremely well.
    HW “P70” Coach PRR 1735
    Photo from
  7. Sharks, both Passenger and Freight.  We got the Centipedes in plastic. Now we need the Sharks, both the RF and PB (freight & passenger) versions. I saw where Broadway Limited Imports have announced sharks, but they do not give any details about, what, who, and when. 12 years ago Euro Models brought in a modified version of the old Model Power freight sharks from Brazil. Again times have changed, we want Jaws!
     wish-06  wish-07
    Baldwin Shark Nose PRR BP-20 and D&H RF-16 photos Bob Krone & Jean-Louis Simonet
  8. Those Baby Faced Baldwins, DR 4-4-15. Yes, there is a locomotive on my list that the PRR or the LV did not own. This is for all my NYC and SAL friends out there who would love to see this model in plastic.
    Baldwin Baby face DR 4-4-15 Missouri Pacific
    photo from
  9. Oil Refinery. Walthers, Plastruct, and Vollmer have all produced oil refinery kits over the years. All one needs to do is drive by a real refinery to realize that no one has really captured their look in kit form yet. Walthers recently returned to their Paper Mill project and added a new building. They also did the same thing with their steel mill. Maybe soon they will return to their Oil Refinery. Oh, let’s not forget about that oil tanker, remember the T-2 of WWII? You could scale one down.

    Photo of an oil refinery, 1944. America's petroleum industries pour out fuel and lubricants for the United Nations. These three new catalytic oil "cracking" units are turning out gasoline for the new machines of war at the plant of a large U.S. refining company in the southern U.S. state of Louisiana. In the eight years of the development of the "cracking" process in producing gasoline, it is estimated that 1,000,000,000 barrels of crude oil have been saved by the oil industry. The "cracking" process subjects crude oil to heat and pressure by which the oil molecules are broken down and made to release more of their derivable elements. The drain of war on such gasoline producing units as these is shown by the fact that the U.S. has manufactured 180,000 planes since December 7, 1941, propelled by gasoline motors. For example, one U.S. Liberator four-motored bomber in a six-hour bombing run consumes 1,800 gallons of gasoline, enough to last the average U.S. civilian motorist from three to five years.

    An Older Oil refinery, circa 1944
    image from
  10. Seaboard Air Line Silver Meteor.  This one is a real dream. Would someone please do the Silver Meteor as a theme train?  I would love to have a model of the Sun Lounge car, Hollywood Beach. Walthers, please! No more western trains for a few years.


Silver Meteor – postcard photo
from auction by Mike Eberhart


Ok, what’s on your wish list? What do you want to see in models over the next few years?


Joke of the Month

A few years ago a model railroad friend was telling a story about a Baldwin RF-16 Shark that derailed at Horseshoe Curve and landed in the Altoona Reservoir below. The headlines in the next day’s Altoona Mirror read; “SHARK FOUND IN ALTOONA RESERVOIR”.

A few months later he was back at it, this time it was a GE U-25C that derailed and ended up in the reservoir. You guessed it, the headlines for that one read; “U-BOAT FOUND IN ALTOONA RESERVOIR”.

—Ray Del Papa

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