M&K Junction Railroad

M&K Junction Railroad
Another train of eastbound coal crosses the Cheat River

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Model Rail Radio O Scale National Show

While attending the O Scale National Convention, I recorded several interviews for Model Rail Radio.  Those interviews have been collected into a special show. This show is not yet available from the Model Rail Radio home page, but it is available from iTunes (use your iTunes application on your computer/phone/pad to search for Model Rail Radio).  It's also available from the Internet Archive by following this link:

http://www.archive.org/download/ModelRailRadio/mrr_072112.mp3

When you click on this link, the Internet Archive player will launch and begin playing the episode.

My purpose in recording this show (and I believe that the episode demonstrates) is that 2-Rail O Scale is a vibrant community with thoughtful, intelligent and  skilled modelers, historians and artisans.  Topics in the show include 19th Century modelling, layout design, preserving historic layouts and an interview with Tony Koester who admits that even he began model railroading with a Lionel O-27 layout (Hmm...this is the second time that I have run onto Tony at an O Scale event, could he be a closet O-Scaler? :-) )

It is my contention that few people start the hobby in 2-rail O Scale, but I believe that it is where increasing numbers of people will end up. With the current state of the art in HO, factory produced locomotives and rolling stock meet or beat what the best modeler can do.  As Clark Kooning (Master Model Railroader and former director of the NMRA) admitted in response to my question on one episode of MRR, he not upgrading his Blackstone HOn3 locos on his current layout under construction because "they have everything".

As factory HO models begin to routinely exceed the skills of a Master Model Railroader to improve upon them, what's a modeler to do?  Come to O Scale.  We have great kits and factory rolling stock that can be improved upon; not because the factory product is crude, but because so much more can be done in O Scale.  Things like working brakes, coupling air hoses, operating steam reverse gear, highly detailed track work and, most importantly, it's all large enough to see with aging eyes.

O Scale need not be expensive as the gap between HO and O  is narrowing quickly (e.g. an HO car is $30-40 even $50 and an O Scale car from Atlas is about $60).  Plus you need less O Scale to fill the available space.

I'll get off of my soapbox and let you listen to the episode and decide for yourself.

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