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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Famoco Roundhouse Goat

One model that was featured in the Hobby Craft Stores advertisement inside the back cover of the April, 1939 issue of Model Craftsman was the Famoco 0-4-0T. They called it the “Roundhouse Goat.”

I don’t recall ever seeing one of these in the flesh but I understand that several may have gone through the Morlok auction so there may be some on eBay soon. The ad copy with this photo gives a good description of the model.
Another famous engine for your OO layout, the Jersey Central 0-4-0 switcher. This kit contains COMPLETELY FINISHED PARTS. All sheet-metal units stamped and formed. Wheels and motor assembled on chassis. Boiler and domes are solid brass turnings, assembled ready to paint. No tedious filing. Permanent-Magnet motor. Complete assembly kit, $19.50, or in two sections @ $11.00 each.
I also have a Famoco catalog copy of similar vintage. The text there says this is a Central of New Jersey switcher (using also the term “Roundhouse Goat”) with a 6 volt DC Permanent Magnet motor and proudly states that “This is a very powerful model and on test has pulled 32 freight cars without effort.” That I would love to see, and I know I would pay more than $20 if one came up for sale! A unique classic model to watch for.

UPDATE: Faster than I ever expected (I put up this post actually because I was putting a duplicate copy of that issue of Model Craftsman up on eBay and spotted that nice photo and description) I was sent photos of two of these models which were in fact purchased from the Morlok auction. I will leave the photos small to save space in the post but click on the images for a closer view. The New York Central locomotive looks to me to be essentially stock and the Yorkville and Western version may have been modified somewhat. In both cases note the view of the drive gear. Also of note in the collection with these engines was a third model that had a modified cab to use with a tender.

UPDATE: For a photo from 1938 of what is probably a pre-production version of this model see this article.

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John Ericson firmly believes everyone needs a hobby. TCA 01-52672