McCloud River Railroad Models:

Golden West Hobbies

In 1995 a family in Edgewood, California, launched Golden West Hobbies, which developed a business of doing single car to extremely limited runs of commercial models painted and lettered for local area railroads, focusing heavily on the McCloud River, Yreka Western, and Central Oregon & Pacific. In the early 2000s the company expanded into commissioning a few custom runs of models from major manufacturers. Most of what the company did had little to no basis in reality or was only very loosely based on actual prototypes. Golden West sold most of their products at the Dunsmuir Hardware Store, with lesser sales at a few other area outlets. Some of the better McCloud models the company produced were a special run of 500 cars of the McCloud Railway caboose #102 commissioned from Athearn and a handful of Bachmann Shays lettered for the McCloud River, though at least a few of them got numbers other than the #16 and #17 of the prototypes. Some of the more fanciful models included modern 55-foot covered hoppers and Athearn wide vision cabooses painted in variations of the brown and white applied to the incentive per diem boxcars. The company seems to have largely stopped producing models in recent years, but their products show up on occassion on eBay and at train shows. The only web presence the company had was a blog updated maybe a dozen times between 2007 and 2009. The pictures on this page are examples of the cars the operator of this website has acquired through the years.

In 2004 Golden West commissioned Athearn to produce 500 models of the McCloud Railway caboose #102. Most of these cars were typical Athearn "Blue Box" kits, but the company did add glaze in the windows, assembled, and painted the end railings of a few cars for sale at Dunsmuir Hardware as seen on this model.

Golden West painted several of these Bachmann 4-wheel "bobber" cabooses for the McCloud River. They were reasonably accurate to represent actual McCloud cabooses, but not with the post-1955 logo.

Another relatively common offering from Golden West was this Athearn cupola caboose model painted in a scheme very similar to the one worn by the VIP Caboose #553.

One trip into Dunsmuir Hardware yielded this model of an ore jenny painted as "McCloud River 03".

Golden West did a large number of McCloud River flatcars, mostly Athearn 40- and 50-foot models.

A McCloud River gondola. Many of these cars could have had at least reasonably accurate road numbers for the equipment type but did not.

A pair of Athearn single dome tank cars painted for McCloud River. Both of these cars have 1700-series numbers, and the inserts sold with these cars used pictures swiped from early versions of this website.

One of the more fanciful Golden West products I've purchased was this Bowser coal hopper.