Western Coil & Electrical Company Burlington Zephyr

Western Coil & Electrical Company Burlington Zephyr

Western Coil Zephyr

The Western Coil & Electrical Company of Racine, Wisconsin produced cast aluminum Burlington Zephyr sets in the 1930's (see the video). Instructions for this train may be found here. In 1978, the Consoli family obtained the remaining parts inventory from Western Coil and continued producing these sets. Consoli initially used original Western Coil lead power and observation cars. Pullman cars were reproduced from Western Coil tooling. Original style Barber-Coleman unidirectional motors powered their trains. The Consoli paper vestibules (bellows) between the cars were hand-folded. Documented below are differences between the 1930's-era three-car Western Coil set seen above and a four-car Consoli set pictured below. Please note that comparisons on this page are specific to these two sets. There may be sets with other variations.

Consoli Burlington Zephyr

Consoli Zephyr

Comparison photos of the Western Coil and Consoli sets:

Western Coil lead power car

Western Coil Burlington United States Mail Railway Post Office lead power car. Metal handrails and
window panes were applied to the outside of the car body. Window panes were included in "DeLuxe" sets only.

Consoli lead power car

Consoli Burlington United States Mail Railway Post Office lead power car.
No handrails. Window strips were glued inside the car.


Western Coil REA Pullman car

Western Coil Railway Express Agency Pullman car.
Metal handrails and window panes were applied to the outside of the car body.

Consoli REA Pullman car

Consoli Railway Express Agency Pullman car.
No handrails. Window strips were glued inside the car.


Western Coil observation car

Western Coil Burlington Zephyr 9900 observation car.
Metal handrails and window panes were applied to the outside of the car body.

Consoli observation car

Consoli Burlington Zephyr 9900 observation car.
No handrails. Window strips were glued inside the car.


Western Coil lead power car frontConsoli lead power car front

Western Coil lead power car on the left has marker lights on either side of the headlight and a small Burlington Route
decal, while the Consoli power car on the right has no marker lights and a larger Burlington Route decal.


Western Coil lead power car top

Western Coil lead power car top. A cotter pin secures the motor to the car body.
The car does not have a mirror finish like the Consoli.

Consoli lead power car top

Consoli lead power car top. The car body rests on the motor; there is no hole for a cotter pin.
The car has a mirror-like finish.


Western Coil pickup roller

Western Coil pickup roller for car lighting.

Consoli barrel connectors

Consoli barrel connectors used for car lighting instead of pickup rollers.


Western Coil observation car rearConsoli observation car rear

Western Coil observation car on the left has two red taillights, one back-up light and a smaller Burlington Route decal,
while the Consoli observation car on the right has no lights and a larger Burlington Route decal.


Consoli & Western Coil boxes

Consoli Zephyr four-car set box on top and a Western Coil three-car set box on the bottom.

Some general information on this page is from an article in the October 1986 issue of The Train Collectors Quarterly.

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