The O Scale Resource

March April 2014

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The O Scale Resource March/April 2014 31 Electric railways had their own unique sounds. When sitting, the electric air compressor for the brakes will start and chug along. A few hits on the bell, and you are off. The straight cut gears growl, and the car creaks. The PCC cars are sprung so soft that it feels like getting on a boat when getting on one. Besides the museums, some cities still operate old cars as attractions. The F line in San Francisco is run with vintage equipment. This is a great ride for getting the feel of what went on. My favorite is New Orleans on the St. Charles Street line. This line has been in operation since 1837 as a horse drawn line. The cars run on it today were made in the 1920's. The hurricane brought down the overhead wire and some of the trees, but the cars are still there. The line goes by Audubon Park and Tulane University. At Carrollton street, the cars turn off of St. Charles Street. There is a college hangout on the corner that sells a dozen different kinds of daiquiris. Get yourself a 12 oz one, and walk up on the levee. Have a seat in the grass, sip your drink, and watch the boats go by on the river. Life is good. The electric railway industry had publications that were directed specifically to the industry. Electric Railway Review and Electric Railway Journal were two of the more popular ones. Both of these magazines are available on CD by sellers on eBay. The scans are good, and you will find articles about your favorite line. In 1911, there was an Electric Railway Dictionary published like the Car Builders Cyclopedias of the steam railroads. There are many plans in the book, and it is a good source of other information. Not many detail plans have been saved, but many of the proposal plans have been saved. The Cincinnati Car Company plans are located at the Indiana Historical Society, as well as, the builders photos. The Indiana Historical Society also has the Bass Photo collections. Bass was a commercial photography house that did a lot on the electric railways. When I was working on the Ft. Wayne and Wabash Valley car for IRM, I went to the Indiana Historical Society to read the local newspapers, and found a lot of articles related to the car I was working on. I would assume other historical societies with newspaper archives would also be of help. Tom Froelich, in the white shirt, talks with Rich Nielsen and Ralph Nelson. That's Tom's layout in the back, again showing you do not need a lot of room to model traction. This is a North Shore line station being built in Racine, Wisconsin by James Rindt. James is a young modeler, and all of this was gone long before he was born. Not only is this a good model, it's a good research effort. Another example of some of the nice work being done with traction models. These are being made by Mike Slater of Racine, Wisconsin.

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