The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Schorr 2-8-0 Camelback

Those readers with some knowledge of models produced in American OO on reading the title will think something like “Fred Schorr imported from Japan a brass 4-6-0 camelback; a Schorr 2-8-0 camelback sounds like some kind of kitbash job based on that model.” Oh contraire! A photo of a stock version may be found in this prior post, and this is not at all based on parts from that model.

This great 2-8-0 is actually based on a Nason 2-8-0 frame and tender. The boiler is scratchbuilt and was scratchbuilt by Fred Shorr himself; it is lettered for his road the Yorkville and Western. Looking at the overall view you can tell right away this is a great model. Note the engineer in the cab and the overall proportions which look to be very authentic to a prototype, probably CNJ. See this illustration for example.

One neat feature is the smoke unit; it started in working the first time I set it on the rails, as did the lights. The locomotive did not however run the first time it was set on the rails and I had to go in and oil the motor and drivers to free up the drive train. Once I did that the engine ran beautifully. It is geared slow and has a big Pittmann motor. I don’t know how many cars it will pull but the longest train my layout will accommodate is around a dozen cars and that is not a problem for it at all.

The tender body is Nason (from their 4-4-2 model) but has been raised up a bit and is on a new frame. Looking at the bottom we get to the other big surprise for me of this engine; it is equipped with a sound unit. It is a PFM system so actually on my layout, without a PFM base unit, the sound is more like radio static than chuffing but still even then it is certainly a break from the ordinary non-sound locomotives I had ever run before. Also note the tender trucks; they are based on I believe On3 sideframes and bolster with OO size wheelsets.

As to running it on the layout, I really like this engine! It runs very smoothly at a slow speed and takes my curves easily. It is wonderful to run with other vintage items. I have two cabooses that were built by Pierre Bourassa for his road that have no railroad name, just a car number and they look very nice with locomotives of any road such as this one. Again, I am very happy to have this great engine and it will see service on the layout to be sure.

UPDATE: This great vintage OO model may be seen in operation in this video.

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