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B.T.S. buys Babbitt Railway Supply

Published: June 21, 2010
West Virginia model railroad manufacturer B.T.S. has acquired the Babbitt Railway Supply Co. line of O-scale locomotive kits, according to B.T.S. owner Bill Wade. The 60-plus year-old line features products comprised of cast-bronze boilers, NWSL gearing, cast aluminum or sheet-brass tenders, and brass- and white-metal details.

Babbitt Railway Supply Co. started in the late 1940s with Gordon Varney releasing an O-scale 4-6-0 under the Varney name. This tooling was sold to General Models Corp. which expanded the number of wheel arrangements, and then picked up by All Nation in 1950. The steam locomotive portion of the line was later sold to George Sennhauser in Babbitt, Minn., who gave the company its name and reintroduced the line adding the 4-8-2. In 1993, Boyce Yates acquired and moved the line to Kentucky where he offered six different O-scale locomotive kits and many detail parts.

Over the years, many upgrades have been incorporated. Basic mechanical skills, including filing, soldering, drill and tapping, are required for assembly. Currently, the line contains a 4-6-0, 4-4-0, 4-6-2, 4-4-2, 2-6-0, and 4-8-2, all using 70-inch drivers, and three different tenders.

B.T.S. also offers laser-cut craftsman kits in O, S, HO, and TT scales. It also has a line of brass- and white-metal details. Brass imports and urethane kits are also available from B.T.S. More information on Babbitt kits will be available soon on the B.T.S. website.