Saturday, November 10, 2018

ELM Epilogue: E. L. Moore, a frustrated Nader Raider?

We note that Ralph Nader has criticized the railroads for dumping toilet wastes over some quarter million miles of railroad right of way. Unlike airplanes and buses, which dump human excrement into chemical tanks for disposal at the destination, most railroad equipment just flushes the waste on the right of way. And, here, all these years, we've clamped down on our beloved E. L. Moore who has been hankering to do a bit on outdoor privies. Moore, an expert on the subject, has made them in many variations, including one made of bricks and another with wagon wheelsSo sayeth Harold H. Carstens in the Notes on an Old Timetable column in the March 1970 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Band Car

A couple of weeks ago Vince gave me a copy of a book called Montreal's Electric Streetcars: An Illustrated History of the Tramway Era: 1892 to 1959 by Richard M. Binns, published in 1973 by Railfare Enterprises. It's excellent and I was surprised by what seems like a lot of unique rolling stock. One item is this Band Car. The caption below the photo has this to say: A happy little Car! The MTC Employees' Band had their own travelling bandstand during the early 1900s. One of its final runs was to advertise the "Alexander's Ragtime Band" movie in the early 1930s. Elsewhere near the photo it's stated that: The Band Car was 26 feet long overall by seven feet wide and weighed 15,100 lbs. It was painted light yellow and carried no decoration or lettering. I can imagine an unpowered, narrow-gauge version being built by E. L. Moore for his E & K RR, in the spirit of the Spumoni Club Coach, a powered vehicle that was - inadvertently I admit - built as an unpowered coach. Or, building it as a powered trolley for an electric street railway, would open-up a lot of good stories. And speaking of stories, I leave you with Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Jack Haley, and Ethel Merman....take it away Irv....

Saturday, November 3, 2018

ELM Epilogue: The Case of the Photographer's Doppelganger - Solved!

[On the left, E. L. Moore's photographer figure, whose construction he described in Put Your Figures to Work published in the July '57 issue of Model Railroader and appeared in a number of his published photographs - photo from E. L. Moore's archives. On the right is an homage to E. L. Moore's photographer figure built by Bob Hayden from a Revell figure - photo courtesy of Dave Frary (the original was in colour; I created this trimmed black-and-white version for comparison purposes.)]

Last week I was reading through some issues of Railroad Model Craftsman from the '70s. In the February '77 issue I came across a photo by Bob Hayden that included the ELM-like photographer figure I chanced upon in his and Dave Frary's Elk River Line article in the May '70 issue of RMC. I figured I'd try and contact Mr. Hayden and see if he could shed some light on whether the figure was influenced in any way by E. L. Moore, or maybe was simply a commercial item, or maybe something else.

I contacted Mr. Hayden via his online bookstore, and he graciously answered my question. Below is a slightly edited version of his reply,

I do remember that the figure was based on the one in E.L. Moore’s photos. I think it started with a Revell figure, one of the few to-scale figures that we had back in the days before Preiser, Merten, and the others. Wire tripod legs, a little block of wood to hold them together, and a bit of cloth or tissue for the cover. Probably took more time to paint than to make. There may have been a tiny reflective jewel on the front to suggest a lens.

Mr. Frary provided confirmation, and kindly provided a colour photo, a black-and-white converted snippet of which I've included in the introductory photo to this post. He also mentioned that he too had built a photographer, but based on a Campbell figure.

A small mystery solved and another addition to the E. L. Moore story.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Flying Tiger PCC

Vince and I were chatting and I mentioned an interesting old book I bought over the summer: The Los Angeles Railway Through The Years by Steven L. Easklon, published in 1973. One of the things I particularly like about it is it's chock full of photos, and lots of them are L.A. street scenes of the 1930s and 1940s. Even so, this PCC photo attributed to William Bassler jumped out at me. Its caption reads: Above is P.C.C. #3010 at the east end of the "P" line sporting the famous Flying Tiger paint scheme during World War II advertising a need for streetcar motormen. That would make one impressive model, especially in TTC red.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Went to a train swap meet and all I got was this '69 Chevelle

Went to a model railroad swap meet this weekend. I'm very picky these days as I don't want to load up on stuff that I'm unlikely to use. One thing did catch my eye: this kit from the old AMT 1/43 scale Junior Collector Series. The note on the box says, Mar 31 /76 Woolworth, with 'Renfun' (?) underneath. I haven't seen one of these kits in a long time, so I snapped it up. It looks like all the parts are there along with the instructions, so, good times ahead.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Running the upper loop on the Moore & Moore Lines

Darrell Poole sent me a link to this first video of his HO scale Elizabeth Valley RR tribute layout of trains running on the upper loop. He's made excellent progress, and the layout and video are looking great! I'm looking forward to seeing how this railroad develops.

2018 is 1979!


I was thumbing through some Railroad Model Craftsmans from the late '70s, and in the January '79 issue found this calendar insert still where it should be in the centre of the magazine. The excellent painting is by Mr. Ted Xaras. I also noted the calendar is the same as this year's. And according to the Internet, next year is 1974 all over again - I can hardly wait :-)

Street repairs along the Alta Vista TC

We're thinking about resurrecting our annual Christmas Spike Party, but I'm not sure if the layout can be put into reasonable shape in time - we usually would hold the get together around mid-December, a week or two or so before Christmas. I've decided to try a few minor repairs to see if I can get in the groove for the work ahead. Some street track inserts I installed in the spring using transfer tape to hold them in place popped free over the summer. I reinstalled one using white glue this time, using a piece of board and a couple of hammers to weigh down the insert while the glue dried. Hopefully it'll stay in place this time.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Apartment construction on the Alta Vista TC

Not much happening in the streets of the Alta Vista TC these days other than some on-again-off-again construction of a Kibri 38222 apartment building. Assembly started in June a few weeks after the kit arrived from Germany. The walls were tilted up a couple of weeks ago, but there's still lots of work to go. It's a great kit and hopefully I'll do a full post when it's finished.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Time travelling to the '70s via TTC streetcars and trolley buses with an assist from Eastern Airlines

Some interesting TTC streetcar and trolley bus footage, and the video below, an ad by Eastern Airlines, touting the wonders of Toronto - opening with some aerial footage featuring the TD Bank Tower.