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

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A modern 43' Ortner three-bay hopper in American OO

When people think American OO they usually don’t think modern cars. I do have a few examples, however, and with a project to get several bad-order cars running this one is now on the road!

I purchased this model about ten years ago now from Pierre Bourassa, who scratch built it from plastic. It really came out quite well, compare it for example to this N gauge version by Micro-Trains. When it came to me however it was on I am not sure what trucks but probably Scale-Craft. I had some old Central Valley HO roller bearing trucks however that I wanted to convert, as they were large for HO. To do so I would have to cut the metal bolster and work out something to bridge the bolster so that it would be wide enough for OO. Result: a good looking truck that I put on the car but it did not hold up in service, the bolster was too flexible and had a tendency to break apart.

I made three pair of these not very serviceable roller bearing trucks back around that time. As I had parts in need of wheelsets and springs to build up two pair of Graceline trucks I decided to scrap the trucks on this car. Looking around, I realized another car that did not need to be on roller bearing trucks had a pair of the trucks that Bill Johann made and I believe sold on a limited basis. I will have a further article on these sometime [UPDATE: the article is here], but in short he took a large plastic HO roller bearing truck and worked out a better bolster solution than I had on the CV trucks with new wheelsets. These roll and look great, perfect trucks for this great car.

UPDATE: Looking for something else I stumbled on a full page article on making this model in The OO Road! In the November, 1995 issue Pierre noted,
Being a regular train watcher, I spotted some of the above cars on the FEC line while vacationing in sunny Florida with my wife, Jeannine. We try to spend a month there every year....

I decided to build one in polystyrene and wound up building 6 to date....

I am happy to propose Johann RB trucks, but he feels a HEAVY DUTY type, such as Lionel or Nason would be best for supporting the over 100 ton load.
UPDATE II: Also this photo is of the group of cars in service on his layout. I believe my car is one of the cars in the string, but before it was lettered.

No comments: