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Quality Craft/Weaver Model Trains

History

Weaver Pennsylvania GG-1 Electric - 'O' gauge brass Quality Craft Models was founded in 1965 by Bob Weaver and wife Shirley. What started as an operation producing Wooden and white metal Craftsman Kits consisting of buildings, rolling stock, etc., in gauges from 'N' to 'O', has grown into a major manufacturer of ready-to-run plastic (and brass) 'O' Gauge 2-Rail and 3-Rail model trains.

Weaver 'O' gauge NH RR American Flyer coach The first location for the business was an old, single story print shop located on Wheatley Avenue in Northumberland, PA. Joe Hayter, current owner and President of the Company, started in 1969. Joe was for a time married to Bob Weaver's daughter. In 1974, a newer, more modern facility was constructed near the old print shop.

Weaver 3-Rail 'O' gauge Boston & Maine GP-38 Prior to 1980, Quality Craft made trains in HO gauge, but dropped out of the HO scale business. Since then many fine scale 'O' gauge models have been produced. Locomotives such as the GG-1, Baldwin Sharks, Pennsy Torpedo, SP Daylight, articulated Class R-2s, and the NYC Dreyfuss Hudson are all scale. The first plastic 'O' gauge model produced was the 2-Bay Hopper in 1980. Originally it was offered in 2-Rail only, but in the early to mid 1980's the hunger for 3-Rail models was answered by offering a choice of 2-Rail or 3-Rail. Weaver was one of the first manufacturers to introduce scale models to the 3-Rail market.

Weaver 'O' gauge Milwaukee Road U3328LD Outside Braced Boxcar, Missouri Pacific U16015LD 2-Bay Composite Hopper and Grand Trunk Western U20011L Steel Side Double Door Boxcar With the expense involved to have the tooling completed for plastic injection molding, it was decided to get the most out of one mold. Therefore, the 2-Bay Hopper tooling was made in such a way that the side and ends could be interchangeable allowing Weaver to produce a 2-Bay Offset or 2-Bay Ribbed car with regular, peaked or rounded ends. The tooling and injection molding was completed by Train Miniature, located in Chicago. Thus, Weaver Models, a division of Quality Craft Models, was born, and the Ultra Line was created.

Weaver 'O' gauge Pennsylvania Torpedo 4-6-2 Pacific Steam loco Next to join the Weaver Ultra Line Family was the 40' and 50' Tank Cars. Again, with careful planning and the removal / addition of sections to the mold, Weaver could inject either size tank from the same mold. Train Miniature also produced this mold for Weaver. Keeping with the times, Weaver tanks were offered in 2-Rail and 3-Rail from the start. The 50' Rail Box and 4-Bay Centerflows were soon to follow. Poly-X-Co., out of Philipsburg, NJ did the mold work on these two projects. Soon after, Wilhold Company, located in Sunbury, PA contacted Weaver regarding tooling needs. They did a fine job on the next release, the PS-2 Covered Hopper.

Weaver Canadian National 60' Railway Post Office, available in 2 rail or 3 rail Then a former Wilhold employee decided to go into business for himself. Being located only 1/2 mile North on the same road from the Weaver plant was just too convenient to pass up. Besides, he was very skilled at his trade. The 3-Bay Coal Car was his first project for Weaver. This formed a tooling relationship that still exists today.

The early to mid 80's also welcomed the first plastic 'O' gauge diesel project - the Alco RS-3 Diesel Locomotive. In 1990 the connections were made with Samhongsa to enter into the brass 'O' Scale Market. Weaver's first project was the PRR M1a 4-8-2. Approximately 800 to 900 of this model was produced, only about 50 being in 2-Rail. With the lack of other 'O' gauge manufacturers, weaver immediately sold every one. From 1990 to 1993 numerous brass and plastic model projects were successfully marketed by the Weaver team.

Weaver 'O' gauge rolling stock - Western Pacific U14022LD 50' Plug Door Boxcar, CSX U2325L 3-Bay Ribbed Coal Car, XF SANTA FE 40' PS-1 SD Boxcar The Samhongsa / Weaver Team also ventured into the plastic market. Numerous plastic diesels were produced: SD40-2, C628, C630, Baldwin Sharks and E8's. At that time, Weaver was releasing 1,000 to 1,500 diesels per style. About 100 to 200 were offered in 2-Rail, the remainder in 3-Rail. QSI Sound was introduced into the models in late '91 / early '92. In the mid 1990's, Samhongsa made a strong connection with Mike's Train House. From then on, they would no longer produce anything in 'O' scale for anyone other than Mike's.

It was not until 1997 that Weaver located a brass builder to fill the shoes of Samhongsa, resulting in the February '98 release of a brass Union Pacific 49er 4-6-2. By this time, numerous other manufacturers jumped on the 'O' Gauge "Band Wagon", resulting in a variety of choices for the discriminating modeler. Weaver's lower production quantities of 300 3-Rail (225 with sound and 75 without sound) and 50 2-Rail was evidence of this. From then on, Weaver has been releasing two to three brass releases each year.

Weaver 'O' gauge diecast #783 Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0 scale Western Maryland locomotive and tender It was later '92 / early '93 when Weaver moved into a state-of-the-art facility located along Route 11 approximately 1 mile North of Northumberland. That was also the year Joe officially took the "reins" of Weaver Models by purchasing the business. 1995 was also a significant landmark for Weaver as it was the first time an "Ultra Line" catalog was officially published featuring models produced in-house. Prior to that, the few catalogs released featured one or two brass, Gold Edition, imported models. What started out as an eight page catalog produced one time per year has grown into a 28+ page semi-annual release.

Today Quality Craft is a batch producer, manufacturing a line of true 1/4" 'O' Scale freight cars and locomotives. Products are created in limited runs. Locomotives range in price from $250.00-$300.00. Weaver also sells Scalecoat Model Railroad Paint, which is used on all the models produced in-house. Some of the HO kits made by Quality Craft in the 1970's have been picked up and re-issued under the Gloor Craft Models line. Weaver Models released a scale Hiawatha set in 2000, and they also entered into a license agreement with Lionel to use their TrainMaster Command Control and RailSounds technology. Weaver does not make track or accessories.

Link to Weaver Quality Craft Web Site.

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