Sunday, July 26, 2009

The O scale Fleet

The O scale Fleet
Besides the large scale cars, I have a small (and growing from time to time) fleet of O scale cars as well. I'm toying with the idea of a small layout, but keep considering the amount of time it would take from building, not overly sure which argument is going to win out over time.

In the meantime, I have presently have two small dioramas for posing the cars. They're "accurate" for posing the Fox River cars, you have to give a bit of modeler's license for the CA&E cars. I have plans for a couple of similar CA&E dioramas, but those are future projects.

AE&FRE 306, this is a Ken Kidder brass import, late '60s, early '70s. After the AE&FRE folded up passengers operations, these cars were sold off to the Shaker Hts Rapid Transit in Cleveland. They served enough time there that the modifications made to the original cars in Cleveland is how they were modeled. So some minor backdating is necessary to at least capture the "flavor" of the cars. This car has the original Ken Kidder poles still attached, something of a nod to our collective model railroading history and heritage.

AE&FRE 302, similar to the 306. Another Kidder import, posed on the Elgin city street diorama. Some finishing work needed for both the car and the diorama, but you can get a sense of some of the custom artwork/decals made for the cars. This car has Q-Car poles.

The Fox River Line had quite a fleet of Birney cars. Unfortunately the overwhelming majority of them had twin sets of front end doors, not something that I'm aware of ever having been commercially modeled (in any scale). They did have one car with the more traditional single set of doors, Car 48, which was purchased second hand from the Aurora Plainfield and Joliet. (Their #101). This is one of the current Corgi diecast imports, stripped and repainted after some detail re-adjustments. On the Elgin diorama, even though the 48 likely only operated in Aurora.

Another Kidder import, the 301, this one is in Shaker Hts colors (which is how I purchased it) I guess eventually it will be stripped down and done in AE&FRE colors, but it is a nice representation of the next step in the cars lineage.

We'll do the CA&E cars chronlogically,,,

One of the Kulmann cars on the Elgin street scene. Although this particular spot wouldn't be correct, the CA&E cars did operate on Elgin city streets like this. This is a Car Works brass import, currently unpowered. Painted in most of the orignal/as delivered scheme (really needs the doors and window frames done in dark brown, plus the lettering)

Jumping ahead to the steel car era, one of the Pullmans. This is an old Chicagoland Traction resin kit, originally offered in both O scale and HO scale. 20+ years old at this point, I'm pretty impressed with how the resin has aged (favorably). Wagner power and poles.

Last one (at present), another brass import from Car Works, a St Louis 450 series car. Often called "fishbelly", or "curve sided" cars, the cars have a distinctive body style that is wider at the window area and tapers to a narrower floor area (for close clearances on the Chicago elevated)

Other cars currently in the "fleet", but not far enough advanced (just yet) for adding here..

Another couple of the Corgi Birneys, one as the aforementioned Aurora Plainfield & Joliet 101, another for the Rockford and Interurban Rockford city service. A West Towns car (not really part of the "scheme" here, but an interchange partner), and a CA&E 500, the CA&E's one car, lightweight car design experiment. This car ran briefly on the Batavia branch and was deemed unsuitable for interurban service and eventually sold to the North Shore Line.