Re: Narrow gauge beginnings
- Hubert Wetekamp wrote:
> I don't know, why, but I love the narrow gauges, and don't like widegauge in the meantime.FWIW, there are guys in South America and some in Asia that do PROTO:61 using HO track to model meter gauge.
- Hi all,
I'm a modelrailroader since 1968 ( at that time toy-railroader), starting with HO-3-rail, than N-scale, and with
developing railroad-magazines in 1975, I came to MODELRAILROADING.
In 1979, I discovered HOn30. There was an small station-layout shown in my modelrailroad-magazine, and I felt in
love to that nice look.
So, I sold all my N-equipment and started in HOn30.
In 1983, I met an guy, who wanted to found an narrow gauge association here in Germany.
And together with him, we did so, and since that time, I'm an hardcore-narrow-gauger.
After some modelling in Sm (Metergauge on HO-track, using HO-running-chassis), in 1986 we switched over to
On39 3/8 (Metergauge in 1:45). Since that time, I'm an O-scale-narrow-gauger, and in 1993, I developed On3.
I don't know, why, but I love the narrow gauges, and don't like widegauge in the meantime.
- In a message dated 99-03-02 12:37:03 EST, Hubert wrote:
<< I don't know, why, but I love the narrow gauges, and don't like widegauge
in the meantime. >>
You said it all. Maybe except for the Colorado Midland.
- In a message dated 2/28/99 10:30:35 PM Eastern Standard Time, zig@...
<< what magic it was that got you sucked
into narrow gauge? >>
It's been a long-term afflication, brought on primarily by my first visit to
the East Broad Top in 1962. It was, and still is, a wonderful narrow
gauge/short line experience. My early interest in the Ma & Pa, which of
course had narrow gauge roots, also played a role. My first brass engine was
a Gem Ma & Pa 4-6-0 ($29.95 in 1964!!). The second was the Gem EBT Mike a
year later ($49.95--big money back then). Visits to Colorado have just
confirmed the addiction. Still at it after all these years.
- << what magic it was that got you sucked
into narrow gauge? >>
I have been a model railroader for as long as I can remember having had
trains since I was 3. I was born in South Africa and spent several years
in Cairo with my parents just after the war. My father was a WWII pilot
there. I drew pictures of trains from there and would send them to my
grandparents in SA. I never understood the pictures or the interest for
years until my mother (my parents were divorced when I was 10) recently
told me that my father was an engineer on the Bayer-Garretts of the South
African Railways. They of course are narrow gauge.
When I went to England ( I lived there for 2 years) I carried on my
interest as a "train spotter" and had my next train set, a Hornby-Dublo set.
I came to Canada in '56 and had a very minor interest in trains as I had no
friends with the same interest. Eventually, I got into HO CNR and CPR sets
and started to rebuild my interest in model railroading. It was at this
time that friends gave me all their old MR and RMC where I discovered the
world of John Allen. This inspiration of realism of weathering displayed
in his photographs is what propelled me into painting and weathering
locos, freight cars and structures. All this was done by hand with a brush
and paint from a bottle as I couldn't afford an air brush. I took some of
my models to the local hobby shop to see if there was any interest in this
form of painting only to create a stir. Until then, all the modellers were
painting shopped engines... no weathering existed. I built an inventory of
brass from trading for my paint jobs. I remember at one point painting 24
CNR 4-8-2's at one time. Until then, I was unaware of the charm of narrow
I started making trips to the East Broad Top and to Cass with my good
friend Dave Burroughs as well as the occassional train chasing trip around
the country. Finally on one trip to Cass with another friend, I was
standing in the gondola riding behind a shay and talking to him when he
started to tell me about the D&RGW and RGS and specifically On3. The more
he talked the more I listened. By the time I got home and checked out a
couple of books, I was hooked. Within 2 weeks I sold all my brass and HO
equipment, dumping an entire HO layout. Everything was converted into
starting in narrow gauge. My first engine was an Ironhorse K-27 and a
couple of T-boiler shays. The shays were later sold off. I started to buy
copies of the Gazette to find out more sources for kits and models and
books for ideas and inspiration. This was eventually followed up with
several trips to Colorado and New Mexico (and Chama of course).
Also, I was tired of modelling what everyone else was doing here.
Everyones layout looked the same, had the same equipment and now I had
something different to offer. What's more, I could more easily add sound
to my locos.
So you see, I started in narrow gauge and finished in narrow gauge.
And the rest is history...
Lex A. Parker
Visit my web site at:
- Hi Lex, Hello all,
thank's for sharing your evolution in modelrailroading and especially in narrow gauge.
That brought some memories back to my mind:
My grandfather from my mothers side worked at our federal state railway until retirement at an railroad-crossing. He
had to close and to open the gates there (sorry, I don't know the correct english term).
My grandfather from my fathers side worked once at a local narrow gauge line (Meter-gauge), and later met my
grandmother, while she worked as an conductor on a state-train.
Also, I don't know my grandparents from my fathers side, only the father of my mother, I think, this was planted in
my mind, and that must be the reason, why I started modelrailroading in 1968 and later switched over to narrow
- I owe my narrow gage start to the March 1968 Model Railroader article by Al
Armitage wrote which I think is as timely today as the day he wrote it. I
personally feel the present narrow gage community owes a lot to to him for his
contributions. As well as Swede Norlin, Bob Brown, Cliff Grandt and others
that I just can not remember now. Lee Gustafson
- Narrow gauge has been part of my since the late 1940's. Saw the ET&WNC
equipment lined up in Elizabethton one day. Then, Richard (Dick)
Andrews in Railroad Model Craftsman in the early to mid 1950's with
"Narrow Gauge Junction" . . . and Edmund Collins III with his catalog of
parts and plans . . . and Jack Alexander and his On3 layout articles.
- Hello Chris,
In 1977 I attended the NMRA National Convention in Denver. There was a
trip on the Durango & Silverton available and that was the start. Side
trips were to the Colorado Railroad Museum, a ride on the Georgetown Loop
and unbelievable modelling at the convention. Before it was over I had
acquired a C-21 in ON3 and it has continued ever since.
Last summer I returned to Colorado for the second time and rode the Cumbres
& Toltec. I also drove over a 1000 miles to visit many of the sites that I
had read about. I hope to return again this summer.
Bob Ram (London, Ontario, Canada)
> From: Chris Zygmunt <zig@...>
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [on3] Narrow gauge beginnings
> Date: Sunday, February 28, 1999 10:26 PM
> From: Chris Zygmunt <zig@...>
> Hi All,
> Is there anyone else out there that wouldn't mind
> sharing with us, what magic it was that got you sucked
> into narrow gauge? So far only a few people were brave
> enough to do so. There are many lurkers on this list.
> I know who some of you are. Here's your chance.
> Come check out our brand new web site!
> Onelist: Making the Internet intimate