Paul Reithmaier

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Tidbits from Chaski

Posted by Steve Bratina, 8 Oct 2009:

My wife and I were on vacation and as usual, hit the used bookstores. I picked up a May/June 1978 Engineers & Engines magazine that had an article about Paul Reithmaier. I have seen pictures of his 4-8-4 before at the old Wabash club in Lafayette Indiana in the 50's. It was an interesting article and mentioned that he was going to build an amusement ride for children when he moved back to Germany. He did so in 1963 and apparently did build a 3/4" high line for the kids to ride on. For this track, he built two 3/4" 4-8-4's and a 3/4" electric 2-8-2 that he could use on short notice to give rides. The article said he was 84 at the time of the article.
The 2-8-4 is mentioned in this article. It said that he built his second Hudson in 1945 and patterned it off of the first one he made in 1927. This second Hudson, #10, was later rebuilt as a 2-8-4 and sold to a member of the Lafayette club.
As for the Atlantic, it said his #8 engine was an Atlantic built between 1927 and 1930. It has 6" diameter drive wheels. The article states that it is on its third boiler and is still running (1978). His other Atlantic, #13, was built during 1959/1960 and was built with slide valves.
In 1970/ 1971, he built another Atlantic, named "Hiawatha". He was 78 years old at the time and went on to build one more engine.

Posted by Gerhard Karl, 22 October 2009

When Paul Reithmeier came back to Germany he brought with him two 4-8-4 steam locomotives and a partly built 2-6-2 Diesel loco. Here in Germany he built another Atlantic loco.
He died in January 1986, almost 93 years old.
One of the 4-8-4 locos was sold, the other 4-8-4 remained at his friend Karl Donauer, who built another 4-8-4. The Atlantic remained at the family, where Paul had his tracks in the last years. I dont know about the diesel loco.

Posted by Gretel Reithmaier Foushi, 12 November 2010:

I am Paul Reithmaier's grandaughter. I have memories of walking the tracks around Paul and Frieda's yard in Oak Forest, Illinois that were there for his hand made train. Needless to say, my brother, my cousins, and I were in much trouble for that. I also have memories of riding in one of the "passenger" cars for his train. Karl Reithmaier was mentioned in one of the posts. He is my cousin, descended from Paul's son Lawrence. I am descended from Paul's son Albert. I am retiring next year and have hopes of finding out more about the trains Paul made. Hopefully, this is a first step in that direction.

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