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

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vintage OO Layout Photos I: Bourassa

One thing I have been accumulating in recent years are a few vintage American OO layout photos. I have posted a couple of these already (for example here and here) but with this series I will be posting them more formally in a series format. To kick things off we have two photos from the layout of Pierre Bourassa in 1965. Click on either photo for a larger view.

The prime subject of this first photo is a beautifully kitbashed (Scale-Craft based) 4-8-2. Pierre had a large Canadian OO layout and at that time was one of several OO gaugers with large layouts in Canada. Starting up at the front the track looks to be laid on fiber tie strip and the turnout must be something larger than #6. The turntable is a beauty and seven of the roundhouse stalls look to have locomotives in them. The work car to the right is riding on an interesting pair of trucks, possibly based on On3 sideframes but with OO size wheelsets. Note also the figures and details in this realistic scene.

This second photo focuses in on a nicely finished Kemtron GP-7. The location, judging from other photos of the same layout, is just to the right of the roundhouse scene. That is one sharp engine!

Besides the other details in the scene note the coupler on the Geep; it is a HO style horn/hook coupler. I see them in other photos in this group. Pierre must have been experimenting with them for automatic coupling. However, for sure he later moved on to Kadee couplers. Most active OO gaugers with layouts did use these in that time frame and following; all but the oldest versions are compatible with S-C and Lionel couplers (manually only) which is another bonus. The November, 2010 issue of Model Railroader gives the basics on these, that the original Kadee coupler (with the straight pin from the knuckle) was introduced in 1953 and the improved version with the magnetic style trip pin was introduced in 1960. I have both types on cars but the latter style is the standard for the modern OO operator.

Pierre is 93 and I hear from him mainly by snail mail, which is how he sent me these photos. I do thank him for sharing these.

Continue to Vintage OO Photos part II

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