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

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Graceline Pullman and Combine, and Nason and Famoco Comparisons

A recent article featured these two cars in progress toward rebuilding, and they are now complete.

They are both Graceline cars. They came to me in a lot purchase years ago partially rebuilt, and as outlined in the earlier article I put the projects together using almost entirely vintage Graceline parts. The only things not Graceline are the trucks (Scale-Craft, the trucks on the Pullman being “special” as a prior owner had modified them for better 3D detail) and also on the Pullman two of the vestibule doors (on the side not visible) are modified J-C doors. Plus I added MHP diaphragms to the Pullman, I had a few extra pair around and this seemed like a car I would probably run often. As always, click on the photos for a better view.

Looking at the Pullman a bit more, this second photo is with a later style Nason car (Easy-Built type with brass sides). The Graceline Pullman is not full length; it measures 75 feet instead of 80 like the Nason car. Besides that, among the more notable features of the car are the pressed cardboard sides with the metal end doors. The Graceline passenger cars have more parts to them than any other brand of American OO passenger car for sure. I opted on this model and on the new combine to add windows and shades, which add a lot to the look of the model. I chose the name General Sherman out of the Pullman decals as it sounded the most imposing to me, fitting for a car that took so much effort to rebuild.

This last photo is a closer look at the combine and a comparison with the Famoco version. The Graceline model has more of a 3D look as the baggage doors are castings (reproductions, made in molds that were made by Temple Nieter and obtained from Ed Morlok) and also note the vestibule end. I opted to leave off the vestibule doors to get more of a “mixed train” look. This is an advantage to this specific model as it has cast ends and cast sub-ends with doors that are the inner walls of the car.

The Graceline combine is 75’ long and the Famoco is only 70’. That Famoco car has some real history for me, as I built it from a fresh kit in late high school, that kit having been given me by the late Temple Nieter (more on Temple here). It is one of the first three passenger cars I ever owned and was probably the first one of the three. Getting it out again I tweaked the trucks and now both cars are running well! I especially like seeing the Graceline combine running in a mixed train, the (open) vestibule is a great look.

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