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

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Pole Load and an OO Gauge Graduation Present


Today we have a pair of Scale-Craft flat cars built by William Gilbert and decorated for the Union Pacific. Both have replacement decks and a nice, sharp job of painting and lettering.

The car with the power pole load came to the layout relatively recently from Gilbert. It is on Schorr trucks and the load is a beauty, I would like to duplicate the load on the second flat car.

The second car has more of a story. I knew it came from Gilbert years ago. One of my projects presently is cleaning and reorganizing a storage system at our home, and as I had purchased (at a garage sale) a number of large binders I also got started on a long overdue reorganization of my OO letter archive.

Gilbert was one of the first OO people out there that I corresponded with back in those days long before E-mail, one of a few in particular (along with Temple Nieter) that encouraged me as I got started in American OO when I was in high school. Where this is going is I found the letter that was sent along with the box this car came in. Gilbert sent it to me as a high school graduation present!

It has rolled a lot of miles on my layout over the years. It came to me on Scale-Craft trucks, but in one of  my several projects to move good trucks around I converted this and all but one other of my Scale-Craft flat cars to “Morlok method” (modified Mantua/Tyco HO) trucks (described further here). The wheelbase is a little short but they roll almost as well as Schorr trucks, and visually on certain cars (especially flat cars) look fine to my eye. (This flat car may also be seen ["before"] in this article, where I compare early and late Scale-Craft flats and a flat set up with the Morlok trucks).

As noted already, I would like to add another pole load to this car and it should be fairly easy to duplicate. Pairs of cars such as this look great running together on the layout.

And to close with a deep thought, perhaps I was the last high school student to receive an American OO model as a graduation present, but I certainly hope not. This website is I hope planting some seeds, and now more than ever I hope there are people out there physically sharing OO models with a younger generation. And thank you again to William Gilbert for both of these sharp cars.

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