Virtual Modeling

What is Virtual Modeling? Paraphrasing from the Steam Era Freight Cars web site, Virtual Modeling is intended to be a temporary, loose affiliation of modelers building the "same" kits and connected by the Internet. These groups will form to tackle similar projects. The group will be able to communicate via an email list to discuss topics related to the kit-building effort at hand. And, while the AMB caboose kit is a great kit to begin with, almost anything may be considered if enough modelers are interested in helping each other. The group could "converse" through one of the existing IT groups, or if preferred, a new group could be created to just handle IT Virtual Modeling projects.

Go to the Virtual Modeling page.

Products of Interest

Modeling – Proto:87

LASERkit by American Model Builders

LaserCut Structures in N, HO, S, and O Scales
Lineside Structures®

Passenger Cars
Detail Parts


HO Scale Lineside Structures® 708
HO Scale Lineside Structures® 708
Based on the Engine House located in Springfield, Illinois at East Belt Wye.  This model will be at home on most any layout from the Electric era through the Diesel era!

American Model Builders - Stealth Traction Line

The Stealth Traction Line began with the pursuit of personal modeling interests which resulted in the creation of limited appeal specialty items to customize the Model Railroad Warehouse Alco‑GE Steeple Cab switcher and items specific to the Illinois Terminal that have been made available to fellow modelers with shared interests.

HO Scale Model Railroad Warehouse
From the HO Scale Model Railroad Warehouse
Alco-GE Steeple Cab Kit
Conversion Parts from the AMB Stealth Traction Line
To this... with conversion parts from the
AMB Stealth Traction Line
But, think ITS/ITC Class A

ITC Caboose and Decals Available

The ITS/ITC maintained a fleet of wooden cabooses that would serve the railroad not only in the electric age, but also into the early 1960's.  To improve to quality of service, a select few cupola cabooses were converted to bay window cabooses, by use of a pre-fab bay window.  American Model Builders of St. Louis announces the release of the HO Scale LASERKIT® 870 for the ITC 900 Series bay window caboose.  This is a high quality kit with all the detail you've come to expect from AMB that is prototypically correct, and comes with cast design, GSC style bay windows and leaf spring "inserts' to convert Tichy arch bar freight trucks to the caboose style trucks used on the prototype.  One of the features of this model is the enclosed ladder construction kit which when assembled is an exact model to the prototype ladder!!

LASERKIT® # 870 is now available at a MSRP of $44.95.  Custom made decals by Rail Graphics are available separately from this kit for $2.75 per set.

Please add $5.00 for S&H, via USPS Priority Mail - Continental US Delivery Only. Email for shipping rates outside the US 48.

During WW II, the IT would promote the war effort by promotion of the "Buy War Bonds" campaign. Now comes a custom made "BUY WAR BONDS" HO decal nose herald for Class "D" #74, photos of which may be found on John's website page:
MSRP is $4.95 per set. Please add $1.00 for S&H.

American Model Builders accepts Visa/MasterCard, PayPal, Checks, or Money Orders to:
American Model Builders
1420 Hanley Industrial Court
St. Louis, MO 63144
(314) 968-3076
See Ordering Information at:

Orders may also be placed by email and PayPal, see the above website ordering page for further information.

Additional Illinois Terminal "Electric Years" decals are now in the works and 2004 will be the year that resin cast Illinois Terminal passenger cars kits will be released!!  For additional details and updates visit: or e-mail John at


HO Scale LASERkit 870
HO Scale LASERKIT® 870

HO Scale LASERkit® 870 - End View
HO Scale LASERKIT® 870 - End View

HO Scale LASERKIT® 870 - Platform Detail View
HO Scale LASERKIT® 870 - Platform Detail View

Prototype View of ITC 903
Prototype View of ITC 903

Model Railroad Warehouse

ITS/ITC (Alco‑GE) Class A Steeple Cab

Select Interurban from the Main Menu to go to the Steeple Cab page.  The are other items of interest listed on this page as well including possible Class B and Class C "kits".


Sketch of Alco-GE Steeple Cab
Sketch of Alco-GE Steeple Cab exclusively available from Model Railroad Warehouse and their dealers.

Proto:87 Stores

Items specific to Proto:87 and "finer scale" modeling. Take a minute to check out the possibilities!

Take a look at the new Precision Strassenbahn System™ illustrated to the right!

"The PSS™ System is designed specifically for Proto:87 operation, but in many situations can also be used for HO, HOm, P4 and even OO. It will also operate with either 2-rail, or overhead, DC or DCC wiring."


Precision Strassenbahn System™
Precision Strassenbahn System™

Closeup of Precision Strassenbahn™ Rail
Closeup of Precision Strassenbahn™ Rail

View of Precision Strassenbahn System™ with a MDC ITS box car and PE Blimp
View of Precision Strassenbahn System™ with a MDC ITS box car and PE Blimp

Sergent Engineering

HO Scale AAR Type E Couplers – not Kadee compatible

Compatible Shank Sergent Coupler
Compatible Shank Sergent Coupler

Narrow Shank Sergent Coupler
Narrow Shank Sergent Coupler with prototypical Accurail® PROTO HO scale size draft gear box



View of assembled and weathered Sergent Coupler.
View of assembled and weathered Sergent Coupler. See Pete Brown's web site for further detail.

Sunshine Models

In March 1930, the recently merged Illinois Terminal Company took delivery of 100 ARA design double sheathed, double door automobile box cars and numbered them into the 51500 to 51599 series.  The cars were rebuilt in 1941.  Fifty cars had one of their doors blanked off permanently and were renumbered to the 8200 series. The remaining fifty cars retained their double doors and were renumbered to the 8300 series.

Note that Sunshine's information that these cars were acquired used from the Southern Railway is incorrect.  So, that makes Sunshine's model good for an additional 10 years. And, with their renumbering, these signature cars served the Illinois Terminal and National Pool from March 1930 until the early 1970s

For further prototype information, see the Fall 2004 issue of The FLYER.  A copy of the information sheet from Sunshine Models is available at the link below:

Illinois Terminal Double Sheathed Box Car Kit
(Large File - 1.43 MB)

Be prepared for a long wait.  The currently reported backlog as of April 2004 is up to 6 months if it is not in stock.  However, your patience will be rewarded with a fine model.

Or, a detailed flyer is available with a self-addressed, stamped envelope or cars may be ordered directly from:

Sunshine Models
P.O. Box 4997
Springfield, MO 65808-4997

Missouri residents add 6.6% sales tax. Shipping is $4 for up to five kits. Note that Sunshine does not have a web site or email, and does not list their phone number.


Builder's Photo of ITC Auto Box Car 51501
ACF Builder's photo of ITC 51500-51599 series Auto box car built March 1930

Model of Southern Railway 1495xx Auto Box Car
Model, by Bill Welch, of Southern ARA Auto box car nearly identical to ITC ARA Auto box car by Sunshine.  Photo by Ted Culotta and courtesy of the Steam Era Freight Cars web site.

ITC Auto Box Car 8320
ITC Auto box car following 1941 rebuilding.  Fifty cars renumbered to 8300 series kept their double doors. Fifty cars renumbered to 8200 series had one door blanked off making them single door cars.

©Illinois Traction Society, Updated April 12, 2011