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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Difference of Decades III: More Bourassa

It always catches my eye to see cars that I have in my collection in vintage photos.

In some recently received materials were a group of photos from Pierre Bourassa showing five cars I would like to highlight. First up has to be this very nice photo, which he captioned “The old Boy!” That locomotive must be out there somewhere today, it is I believe a Johann 2-8-2 and is a beauty. Right behind it is a pulpwood flat and a gondola lettered for the FEC. And it is a very nice portrait of their maker. As always, click on the photo for a better view.

Pierre is no longer with us but the pulpwood flat is alive and well in Arizona. It is scratchbuilt from plastic with a real wood load that is removable. I upgraded it slightly a few years ago, putting it on a set of roller bearing trucks, and have two more similar cars also built by Pierre (a view of this flat and another may be seen here). Just to the right is another FEC gondola built by Pierre from plastic and wood (I believe using a Picard body), not the same car but a cousin of the one in the vintage photo. It is a nice mate to the rock gondola I purchased from Pierre years ago, seen in this article (updated with another vintage photo from his layout). As he explains in a quote there, Florida was a vacation destination he enjoyed.

This third photo is dated April, 1991. It shows a glimpse of his shop and a group of cars he had for sale. I believe that I ended up with at four of these cars. Starting way over at the left, I may have that caboose and gondola too, but the photo is too vague to tell. I do have three and probably four of the boxcars however, starting with the green one and working over. You got a good glimpse of them in the second photo, as well.

They are all Eastern boxcars (more on Eastern here) that have been painted and lettered with decals, three for Canadian roads. They came from the factory with printed sides that are very hard to match. Plus for someone with a large layout like Pierre, you need more variety, and painting these cars is a very practical solution. All are running on Schorr trucks today and have Kadee couplers, most with extra brake details. The THB car was painted over Scale-Rail sides for the Cotton Belt if you look closely. The CP boxcar I am thinking was partially restored by a subsequent owner and that restoration left the patched paint scheme. But it could actually just be another car in the same paint scheme, Pierre must have had more than one of such a common Canadian car.

It is a treat to run them together now in the same order as in the photo. I did have to do a bit of restoration on two of the boxcars to get them in condition to run and more could/will be done to fix minor cosmetic issues (paint chips to touch up, mostly). But these operate great and I enjoy as well that I can connect them directly to Pierre and his layout.

For more on Pierre Bourassa, see this article.

Continue reading Difference of Decades series

No comments: