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

Sunday, February 8, 2015

American OO Layouts in Prize Model Railroad Layouts

Among some papers that came my way were two layout story articles that had certainly run in MR but they were not the same layout or format. They looked to have been cut out of a book. It was a puzzle for a while, but then I stumbled upon the source, a Fawcett book titled Prize Model Railroad Layouts. 

Published in 1952, the book was edited by A. C. Kalmbach for Fawcett books. It contains layout stories from the pages of Model Railroader from 1946-52. I am not sure the “prize” mentioned in the title of the book (maybe the prize was to be included in the book?).

Among the featured layouts are the Jersey Coast & Western of Rowland E. King and the great Norfolk & Ohio of Carl Appel. The Jersey Coast & Western was featured in a 1949 MR article (more on that here) and the Norfolk & Ohio layout story was from 1948 (more here and also here). The majority of the other articles were on HO layouts, but also there are O and TT gauge layouts and outdoor systems as well.

In looking at the articles again I can see that one photo I had not reproduced yet is this one, which shows Carl Appel with his layout. As always, click on the photo for a better view. Spread over two pages, the control panel for the island yard is visible, as is a train with a bobber caboose across the river and a streamliner coming over the bridge. A layout such as this will never again be seen in American OO, but certainly both of these OO systems were worthy of being featured in this classic publication.

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