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

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A quick look at Vanden Boom track (and other updates)

As the summer nears an end, I have been working furiously on the draft of a book on the history of American OO. While based on content from this website, it will be a very new product, making many new connections and presenting quite a bit of new information beyond that found online.

Sometimes I unexpectedly found I had examples of a product that I was not even aware of it being a commercially produced item. Specifically, I recently sold some track, but saved some interesting pieces of track that were really well made by what I assumed to be some very fastidious modeler. I also had used a little of it when we lived in an apartment, and I thought maybe someday I or someone else might use it again as the basis for a simple shelf layout. I have eleven pieces, all completely unmarked as to the maker.

What I learned is that this track must be prewar Vanden Boom track. It matches their catalog illustrations perfectly. What they produced was in effect a line of sectional track laid on plywood, including double track curved and straight sections as seen in the photo. It has traditional OO rail in steel, and the wood ties are ballasted. It has also held up well with the long storage, probably because the plywood was given a good coat of shellac. And hopefully will see some future use still. Probably some reader also has some Vanden Boom track? Worth taking a look. 

I’ve still yet to locate an example of a Vanden Boom freight car, built or as a kit. More on those here, some were produced, and if you have anything I’d love a photo.
Updating on this website, I know from my office it appears broken, which was a huge shock a few weeks ago, but from home it works fine. I hope no fans of the site are having issues, it seems to be something with an upgraded firewall at my office that is blocking about half (!) of the photos in the site. This front page of the site has no photos at all when I look at it from my office! Which has also been a motivation to work to push the book over the finish line. Websites are nice, but eventually they break and go away, especially if hosted for free as is this one. Emphasized recently by the folks at Blogger, who changed the interface on my end very significantly.

As to the book, I’m trying to finish a draft of the complete text so that it can go to an editor, and hope to be done with that in the next two weeks! Although it will probably take a month. I’m really quite a ways along, over 200 pages in and another 100 to go, much of which has some rough text already in place. I have worked out a way to write this and avoid potential copyright issues, something that had the project stuck for a long while. A lot of the photos are ready for the book too, but I will need more. With luck though the book could be out by the end of this year, self-published but on Amazon (with my other music publications). I’m enjoying finding even after all these years more things I did not know, and I hope also that it is ultimately a good read. Be watching for more information on the book in the coming months. 

Friday, July 3, 2020

A quick look at the Nason PRR postal

I recently realized this model has never been featured in the site.

The Nason PRR postal was part of the line of “eazy-bilt” passenger cars introduced in 1936 with stamped brass sides. The design is somewhat uncommon, but this is a nice model to be on the lookout for, it is one of the few RPOs produced for the American OO market.

This example I rebuilt a few years ago from an eBay purchase. It is on Nason trucks and operates well.