We received our FVM Milwaukee Road 1935 Hiawatha set this week and took some time to take a few photos of this special model. The first Hiawatha name train by the Milwaukee Road was dubbed the “Twin-Cities” service as it ran a daily 410 mile, 6-hour trip from Chicago to Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota. Milwaukee Road brought on designer Otto Kuhler to design this new “streamlined” train as an answer to Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroads Twin Cities Zephyrs. The initial four Hiawatha locomotives went into service in 1935 were oil-fired Atlantic-type (4-4-2) steam locomotives that were completely shrouded in sleek “streamlined” metal and painted Milwaukee’s signature grey, maroon and orange paint scheme.
Despite the diminutive size of these locos, they were capable runners that regularly pulled the complete train at more than 100mph. Because of the high speeds, Milwaukee Road equipped the locomotives with both a whistle and a horn. The horn was used for signaling when the train was running at high-speed and it attracted quite a bit of attention from onlookers.
The original 1935 twin-cities Hiawatha had two complete sets of passenger cars that included the “Tip Top Tap” cafe, three coaches, one parlor car and Milwaukee Road’s signature “beavertail” observation car.
Within months, ridership soared and Milwaukee Road added two more coaches to the consist. Fox Valley Model’s Hiawatha set includes the 4-4-2 streamlined locomotive and tender, the tap-cafe car, three coaches, a parlor car and the beavertail observation car. Two additional coaches can be purchased separately. This first run is officially sold out, but some retailers have a few extra sets that are likely going to go fast. You can find out more information on this model at Fox Valley Model’s website HERE.