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

Sunday, May 12, 2013

American OO in 1946, Part V: Layouts and More


While model railroading was trending away from American OO after the war, there were quite a number of individuals who were working happily in and committed to the scale, which will be seen especially as this series continues into the following years.

To open up the year, first up in the January issue of The Model Craftsman we find these two sharp, scratchbuit steam locomotives. I admire this type of vintage model. Clearly some real time was invested in them and the builder had some real skill as well. As always, click on the photo for a closer view.

Richard Houghton has been heard from before in this site (see this article for a 1940 photo, for example), and was still active. Two photos of his layout may be found in the February issue of The Model Railroader, in an article on building a timber trestle. From the article, “The Photograph shows a double track trestle on a curve with a two per cent grade. It’s an eye-catcher….” The models are Scale-Craft.

There is no photo but I enjoyed reading this item in the April 1946 “Along the Division” column in Model Railroader.
Bob Maus of Seattle, Wash., hearing tales about what work horses O gauge engines are at lugging around 80 and 100 car trains went downstairs to his OO pike to see what he could accomplish in his gauge. He made up a train of 64 freight cars including the caboose, coupled up a pair of Scale-Craft Ten-Wheelers to them, got it up an 18 volt head of steam, and watched the sturdy little hogs walk off with the train without so much as a grunt. Neither of the engines had been weighted or modified to increase tractive effort. Fifteen of the cars were die cast; the remainder were the usual wood or cardboard construction. The run included a long grade of 1 ½ per cent and a short one of 3 per cent. Bob says the figures speak for themselves.
Turning ahead to the May issue of MR, we read in Along the Division a sad/lucky tale involving another California OO gauge pike.
W. R. Bolinger’s OO gauge Sierra View Lines, at Pasadena, Calif., was kept suspended from ropes in the garage above the family car when not in use. It was recently destroyed by fire, but gave an alarm that saved possibly the whole house from destruction. Flames burned the main suspension rope through and the 7 x 14 ft. layout crashed onto the top of the car, alerting the household. Firemen quenched the blaze before it got beyond the garage, but the layout was totally destroyed.
Also in the same May issue we learn the winners in OO gauge at the annual NYSME show, a Mohawk Valley observation car and a NYC caboose by Carl Schutzman and E. Wesley Oliver, respectively.

In the November issue of Model Railroader we find this great construction photo of the OO layout of Herb Friend. Clearly a large pike, toward the back note the diesels. They can’t be Schorr F-3s as they had not been produced yet. This layout was up to date and will be heard from again.

The last OO layout photo published in MR in 1946 is found in their December issue. The caption reads,
Miniature industrialists in and around Minneapolis, Minn., are familiar with George Hurley’s OO gauge Minnesota Central Lines, famous for its speedy freight service. The road’s 155 ft. of track is laid with HO gauge rail. The freight has been broken to allow highway traffic past.
In the big picture, OO gauge layouts were to be found coast to coast. When this series returns this look at 1946 closes with some startling news.

Continue in 1946 Series

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