Weaver Quality Craft Models started producing model trains in 1965. Bob Weaver and his wife Shirley started in Northumberland, Pennsylvania in a single story building located on Wheatley Avenue. Early production of freight car kits were well excepted and liked by Train hobbiests and model railroaders. They were of good quality and easy to assemble. When properly assembled, detailed and finished with a good paint job, these models were considered to be on a par with, or better than the brass imports available at the time. Weaver Trains success led to a newer, more modern facility which was constructed near the old print shop in 1974.
The first plastic injection molded 'O' gauge model produced was the 2-Bay Hopper in 1980. Around this time the name Weaver was adopted. Weaver's entry into the genre turned out to be a very welcome addition. Mr. Weaver believed that his choice of an open coal hopper as his first offering was very fortuitous because modelers tended to run solid long prototypical trains of these hoppers. The hopper was only available in kit form, less trucks and couplers. The kits were originally set-up for 2-rail trucks and Kadee couplers. But in the early to mid 1980's the hunger for 3-rail trains by modelers and operators was answered by offering a choice of 2-rail or 3-rail. Weaver was one of the first manufacturers to introduce scale models to the 3-rail market. They developed a 3-rail truck with a truck-mounted coupler.
Weaver developed their own in-house pad-printing process to decorate the models. And developed their product the old fashioned way by speculating on which models would sell and in what quantity. Plastic molded freight car offerings expanded to cover a large variety of rolling stock including troop transports, Milwaukee Road type ribbed side box cars, wood side gondolas, Northeastern cabooses, and trailer-on-flatcars sporting a great number of authentic and colorful liveries.
Weaver Trains ventured into the plastic market. Numerous plastic diesels were produced: SD40-2's, the Alco C628's, C630's, the Alco FA's, Alco RS11's/D12's, the GP38's, GE U25B's, Baldwin Sharks and EMD E8's. Weaver Trains was releasing 1,000 to 1,500 diesels per style. About 100 to 200 were offered in 2-rail, the remainder in 3-rail. The dual motor drive was what was offered by the Chinese builders and a requirement woven into the culture of the 3-rail community. At about this time, the domestically produced diesels were transitioned to the China drive as well. QSI DCC Sound was introduced into the models in late 1991 and early 1992. The first Weaver products to use TrainMaster Command Control and Railsounds were the brass versions of the Hudson and the Atlantic. In 2000 the release of the C&NW Yellow Jacket 4-6-2 and D&RGW M-64 was part of the Gold Edition Brass Roster.
In 2015, Joe Hayter of Weaver Models announced his retirement and the closing of the manufacturing business in June, after a half a century in the model railroad hobby. Weaver was the last firm that produced or assembled locomotives and rolling stock in the United States. Weaver filled a void where up to the time they actually made a model, it was often overlooked by other 'O' scale manufacturers. Some of the unique and innovative Weaver models included the Pullman Bradley (American Flyer type) passenger cars, the WWII Troop Sleepers, the Kitchen, the Hospital, and the Express cars, the Milwaukee Road S3 Northern and F6a Baltic steam locomotives, the Northeastern cabooses and the PRR BP-20 diesel locomotives. In 2016 Atlas picked up and started manufacturing Weaver Trains' 20' container loads in Evergreen, MOL, K-Line, and Hanjin markings. Atlas also acquired the Weaver troop cars and B&O wagon top box car.
Trains and Toy Soldiers is excited to offer numerous Wear Trains for sale on our website www.trainsandtoysoldiers.com. Play Often, Collect More and Love Trains and Toy Soldiers.