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Walthers HO Scale Model Railroads & Trains

Wm. K. Walthers Inc. was founded in 1932 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In that year, the company offered rail, couplers, and electrical supplies. Within five years, the company had expanded its product lines and sales to the point that it moved to a new, larger factory. In 1937, Walthers offered a new product line in HO scale. The company continued to thrive until the beginning of World War II when production was halted to conserve resources for the war effort.

After the war, Walthers production boomed once again and the company continued to grow until the '60s when model railroading's popularity began to decline. Walthers adapted to the changes by becoming a distributor of other model railroad companies' products while continuing to expand their own lines. By the '70s, the company was growing once again.

Walthers has continued to grow. The establishment of the Walthers Importing Division allowed Walthers to distribute international model trains in the United States. Upgrades to its manufacturing plant and model railroad technology have allowed Walthers to become one of the leaders in HO scale model trains. Walthers now offers its own model railroad lines as well as products from more than 300 model train manufacturers throughout the world.

Quick Facts

  • Wm. K. Walthers was founded because Bill Walthers received a wind up model train as a gift when he was seven years old. He continued with trains as a hobby, ending up with an attic layout made up of his own railroad models built from scratch
  • When Walthers introduced its HO scale line, Bill Walthers took the layouts to be exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair. This exhibit helped the hobby grow in popularity
  • Walthers introduced its Train Line Deluxe Sets in 1994. These sets offer the high-quality detailing that model railroaders demand at affordable prices to attract new hobbyists

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