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

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Three Freight Cars by Bill Johann

Those in the OO SIG know there is an inventory maintained by the SIG, which at present resides at my home. Several items were recently claimed, including these three cars built by Bill Johann. Before they left Arizona I thought it a good idea to document them further for the website, as they are nice cars. Click on any photo for a better view.

These first two were scratch built by Johann in late 1987. How do I know? Because they are signed and dated. This first photo shows the cars overall. The Bliss Fall gondola is wood and has a gravel load, and the Mill Creek flat is plastic and has a machinery load. They are nicely finished and lettered, with the gondola showing just a bit of wear from transportation/storage.

The second photo show the bottom view, which gives the dates they were completed. The frames are very similar. The flat has the later version of his roller bearing truck which roll wonderfully. Other than trucks and couplers there are very few commercial parts on either of these cars.

Next we have this big three dome tank. I believe it was based on a Tyco HO model. What Johann did was make a new frame from brass and add other details. It is also an effective model, as even though it is based on a HO body it is still a large car in American OO. He built this car in 1978 but updated it in 1991.

Finally, a close up of part of the bottom of the tank car. I appreciate a lot that he took the time to sign the cars with his initials and date them, it is something I plan to start doing. It is a sure way to know that he built the cars and for me at least that carries some value as he built some great cars and was such a big figure in postwar American OO.

If you are not a member of the OO SIG, more information may be found here.

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