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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Made in Japan: the Schorr OO gondola, triple hopper, and more!

Last year I posted an overview on Fred Schorr, last week I finished the decals on this Schorr triple hopper, and I have been meaning to post a photo of their gondola as well. Besides being a very active OO gauger, Fred E. Schorr, Jr. imported brass models from Japan in American OO. These seem to be hardly known outside of our OO gauge community. The list of these imported models includes:
Ma and Pa 2-8-0
DL&W camelback 4-6-0
Alco RS-2 diesel
[Their F-3 was not imported--sand cast bronze/USA made, later also sold by Ultimate]
UPDATE: And a PRR A3 0-4-0 

RDC-1 (coach)
RDC-2 (coach-baggage)
RDC-3 (coach-baggage-mail)

Cement hopper (two bay)
twin and triple hopper cars (ribbed side)
CV wood caboose
Also visible clearly in the photo with this post are Schorr trucks. Click on the photo for a better view. These were available in Bettendorf and arch bar designs. A close up of a Schorr arch bar truck may be found here.

Schorr advertised his products in Railroad Model Craftsman in the middle 1950s. One model that is sometimes associated with Schorr is a brass OO GP-7. This was actually a Kemtron product but Schorr sold it and mentioned it in his advertisements without noting that it was a Kemtron model and not his own product. See for example the ad in the October, 1954 issue of RMC, which is right next to a listing for another OO classic, the Johann 2-8-2.

Back to Schorr, these cars are great cars! I wish I had the complete set of all of the Schorr imports but as of now I only have examples of the RDC 1, the cement hopper, the triple hopper, and the gondola. This particular hopper is lettered with parts of a vintage Champ HO decal set for Rio Grande locomotives, and it came out well I think. My goal was to match this lettering scheme. The MKT car was lettered with Walthers decals.

They are light cars but they look great and on the Schorr trucks they are incredibly free rolling and track well. I could weigh them heavier but instead I either run them at the end of a train or in dedicated trains of lighter cars. When I run these cars I also run with them a light caboose, usually the one converted from Mantua HO that is described in this post.

UPDATE: Even more on Schorr here, with details on production runs provided by his son, Ed Schorr. And, as you read on in the website you will see I now have close to a complete set of all the models they produced.

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