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I'm excited about this topic for numerous reasons. I shall start out by naming a few. It edifies OGR, which created and maintains this wonderful Forum. It reminds us what a great magazine O Gauge magazine has always been. And, it gives us a chance to share the magazine articles that taught us something useful about our hobby and/or entertained us.

I have an advantage when contributing to  this thread because I have been a pack rat when it comes to OGR Magazine. Believe it or not, I have almost all the hard copy issues going back to 1989, and have never thrown any out. (On occasion, I have given a few hard copies to a friend.) If you are not such a pack rat, no problem; you have all of them available to you as a digital subscriber. I'm also a digital subscriber, but like having paper copies in my hands as I read and flip through them in my recliner.

I have two issues to comment on that come to mind immediately. The first is one I read a number of years ago about repairing Lionel Postwar 022 switch tracks. I can't tell you at the moment which issue it is, but I remember it well. This morning I was able to repair two pairs of those switches in which the non-derailing feature was not working. As a result of reading that issue, I was able to do the necessary soldering to get the non-derailing feature working again.

In a few minutes I will share another article in a different issue  that I just read, which was my inspiration for starting this thread. Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari
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This afternoon I re-read numerous OGR Magazine issues. One of them I got particularly excited about: Run 237, which is the August/September 2009 issue. In that issue was Jim Policastro's article entitled "We Aren't in Kansas Anymore."

Jim's article talks about various ways to have your track change grades, and still have your trains run well.

I initially wanted a layout with changes in grades, but opted not to do so when I built it 25 years ago.

Jim's article has opened my mind to the possibility of either changing grades or adding an elevated line on piers or trestle on my layout.

IMO, Jim's article is excellent in every way; it's very clear, thorough, informative, and has excellent photos to illustrate the points he makes.

Now, it's your turn to share some of your favorite issues of OGR Magazine. Among your favorites could include those with articles you may have had the good fortune to have published. Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

Run 154 is one of my favorite OGR magazines.
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When I became a digital subscriber, I got access to all previous OGR magazines (One of the best investments I have made). There were many awesome magazines that I have read but Run 154 stands out. Les Lewis' New Haven traction layout is a sight to behold. I was blown away by detail he put into his layout. Sadly, I have not found any images of his Yale University Module which was a work-in-progress when this article was published.



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Hi Arnold,

Two of my favorite issues of OGR magazine also contain articles by Jim Policastro. Run 247 and 248 contain parts 1 and 2 of Jim’s article titled Reading Central Railroad’s Doorway to the Northeast.  This modular layout measures 31” X 78” but packs a lot of play value in that compact size. Mountains to the left, city to the right, and plenty of action in the middle!  Truly a genius design, it has become the inspiration for my layout.


My favorite OGR article was the "Edgerton Parks Four Great Lionel Layouts", on the Police Academy League community model train layout for improving relations ships between the police and kids in Rochester, NY. starting in the 1950s.  The layout was operated by local kids and police officers.

Fred Dole did a great job on this article in the OGR October 1989 issue and I keep rereading and enjoying it.  It shows how model trains as a hobby can keep kids off the street and enjoy this great hobby with the help of a community and improve relations with police officers.

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I also loved that this exhibit was four separate layouts, with a layout for each of the four seasons of the year.

Here is a OGR forum link to my post on the " Edgerton Parks Four Great Lionel Layouts" as featured in OGR Magazine Run 107 Oct 1989 and CTT June 1991 and Aug 1991 issues.  Link include links to youtube videos on the layout.

Here is a link to Edgertons railroad club web site.


Last edited by Rich Melvin

I must confess that I'm not sure if the following articles appeared in OGR or CTT Magazine, having subscried to both for most of the past 30 years.

However, the articles that made the biggest impression on me were those about the following:

Frank Sinatra's layout with structures reminiscent of his hometown, Hoboken, NJ.  I believe the article mentioned that he was good at maintaining and repairing his Lionel trains and he hired a highly regarded layout builder to construct his layout.

Several of Phil Klopps's layouts since he was first featured in a 1989 magazine. Phil builds massive around the walls layouts with vignettes, enabling his trains to run through the scenery of all 4 seasons. He has beautiful scenery (including the Horseshoe Curve and Starrucca Viaduct) with Postwar accessories and combines realism with whim and whimsy. I try to emulate Phil's approach of combining realism with whim and whimsy on my own layout.

One of the most inspiring articles was the one about Neil Young's layout. It showed Neil and his son having a great time running their trains on it. I remember the article mentions that Neil's gorgeous mountains were made from wood that came from the Redwood Forrest.

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

Another fascinating article was about the layout of Presyterian minister that was in a NY City Presbyterian Church. He made very nice structures and scenery using brown paper bags and wooden coffee stirrers that members of his congregation used and threw away.  He also devised a clever way to throw his switches using pulleys instead of electricity.

Thank you for the kind words Arnold and John. My favorite aspect of submitting magazine articles has always been hearing that they provided inspiration and that others made good use of them.

My favorites for obvious reasons.

My first cover (Run 227):


..and a favorite part of my old layout (Run 230):


And while I was going through my old cover photos I found this true collector's item:


I bet your cover of Run 256 looks more like this:


A last minute change had to be made in my cover photo when that month's issue of another famous magazine appeared to be very similar to the one originally selected for OGR.



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My favorite OGR article was the Edgerton Park Train Exhibit about the Police Academy League community model train layout for improving relations ships between the police and kids in Rochester, NY. starting in the 1950s.

Fred Dole did a great job on this article in the OGR October 1989 issue and I keep rereading and enjoying it.  It shows how model trains as a hobby can keep kids off the street and enjoy this great hobby with the help of a community and improve relations with police officers.

I also loved that this exhibit was four layouts, with a separate layout for each of the four seasons.


That was run #107. It is my favorite issue too (so far, I only subscribed last month but I have already purchased many years' worth of back issues) because my father was the Edgerton Club's secretary at the time.  He joined to become more involved with me in the hobby. I am only now revisiting my O-gauge roots.

Alan Arnold and OGR Staff

Thank you for creating the "All Time OGR Index".
You all have finished my many years long project of making my own personal OSR & OGR Index.  I have issues starting with O Scale Railroading vol 46 of Oct 1976.  Some issues are missing.  My Index has two topics:  Build or Repair and General Articles.  I used to look through magazines while watching boring no contest TV football games especially at the in-laws over the holidays.  I only listed the articles that I am interested in or think I might want to return to.  I got tired of going through over 100 magazines to find the one I wanted.

I also have Indexes on CTT, Other magazines like TCS, Lion Roars and Lionel Train catalogs.

The "All Time OGR Index" will be used and save me time doing my own index.  I still had dozens of issues to go through.



Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

Woke up early  and flipped through a few issues of OGR. Nice way to start the morning

The one most interesting to me was Run 172 (April 2000). That issue included an article entitled Hi-Rail on the New Haven, story by Peter Paulnak (owner of layout), photos by Fred M. Dole.

Everything about the New Haven RR appeals to me, and Peter did a great job modeling it, with 4 tracks in one area, and beautiful scenery and structures reminiscent of the New Haven and New England in the 1950s.

What blew me away was Peter's operating missle silo with a Lionel operating rocket launcher inside one of his mountains. Peter explains that missle silos existed in the mountains of New England during the Sputnik and duck under era of the 1950s. On Peter's layout, the viewer can see the interior of the mountain with the missle moving into position, as sirens and steam go off and the missle is launched.

A layout does not get more dramatic than that, IMO.


Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

My favorite would probably be Run 183. Because it featured the Ocean City Train Garden layout. The layout was located in a now demolished shopping mall on 94th street in Ocean City, Maryland. It was later moved to the old Lifeguard Headquarters, which was later also demolished.

It was open to the public and had free admission every weekend during June, July and August. Although admission was free, they did use the layout to raise money and take donations for a local charity that gave terminally ill children and their families a free beach vacation. The train garden was built and operated by Don and Bobbie Murphy, Ernie Teague and Frank Utz. Don and Bobbie were frequent contributors to this forum in the early days. Some of you might remember them from the forum meets at York in the grandstands during the early 2000’s.

I spent countless hours there running trains during the summer months when I was in high school. The older guys took me in and we all became friends and bonded through our shared interest in model railroading. Frequently we would stop running trains on Saturday evenings and grab dinner at the Bull on the Beach. I miss those guys. And while they might be gone and the layout no longer exists, the memories remain. 🚂🌊🏝



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Last edited by J 611

Not a magazine per se, but the OGR 50th Anniversary DVD set is something I highly recomend. It includes fantastic videos of the layouts of Marty Fitshenry, Don Klose, Jim Policastro, Dave Minarik and others.

I've seen them many times, but still enjoy playing them again periodically, and always get more ideas for me to improve my layout when I do. Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

I'm hoping that a good number of our fellow Forum members will consider purchasing the new 21 Great Track Plans for Compact Layouts book by Ken Hoganson that was released this past week. It would certainly help generate some useful ideas for experienced modelers, but best of all would be a great item to stimulate interest in O gauge layout building for those who, to this point, have been "armchair modelers" and/or those who feel they don't have space for an O gauge layout. Consider getting one to give as a Christmas stocking-stuffer to someone you might want to see enter our great hobby. Every book sold helps to support the magazine and this forum.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

Looking forward to reading it Allan... I'm always amazed at what can be accomplished in small spaces (in any scale).

Please order a copy (if you haven't already done so). It's available in print and digital versions. Personally, I always prefer to have a printed book for how-to topics that I can add to my library and easily find if/when I need to look something up; transport from place to place; or have by my side for ready reference if I am trying to follow various building steps or techniques.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

Hi Arnold, this is a great thread, I love it and thanks for starting it.  Alan, I didn't know about the index that you spoke about, how do you get to it?  Right now I can't really think of a favorite OGR Magazine, I don't know how many I actually have but I can tell you that I like them all, there is always something in them that I find that is of great interest to me.  I've kept all that I have and even have a few duplicates.  However, I'm seriously thinking of going to just straight digital because i'm running out of room for magazine storage and I can't get my wife to throw out some of her magazines that she hardly ever looks at.   I just need to get with Alan and ask me a few questions before I make up my mind.

Thanks for starting the thread.

I've kept a few back issues dating back to when the magazine was "O scale." My favorite issues by far are ones where Fred Dole photographed outstanding 2-rail and 3-rail layouts - some are black & white but they are that good; and the Frank Ellison articles - which was a personal favorite of Fred's as he was re-creating parts of Delta Lines on his 3-rail pike. For me, the articles written in the old days, I suppose by the old timers, were the best. Fred had a knack or an innate talent for capturing the essence of a railroad.

Last edited by Paul Kallus

This evening I enjoyed reading Run 238 (October/November 2009) in my collection of OGR magazines.

Run 238 features the massive and beautifully scenicked layout of George Kush in his article entitled Operator's Dream. That issue also had a very well written and instructive article by Jim Policastro entitled A Compact Layout for All Seasons.

Lately, I've been playing OGR videos at bedtime, and I seem to be sleeping better! My wife is fine with it because I keep the volume low so as not to disturb her sleep but just loud enough for me to hear it.  I particularly enjoy the Great Layout Adventures 50th Anniversary Blue Ray 2 Disc Set of DVDs. IMO, every layout featured in that 2 disc set is sensational.


Just had a chance to flip through the current issue, Run 320 Oct./Nov. 2021, of OGR Magazine in hard print. I think it's one of the best ever.

I particularly enjoyed reading the article entitled Fall is Here! Can Winter Be Far Behind, by Peter Condro, Tom Gilsdorf, and Walter Strohecker of the River City 3 Railers Train Club in Virginia.

The whole magazine is excellent. You won't be disappointed when you get it and read it. Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

I particularly enjoyed reading the article entitled Fall is Here! Can Winter Be Far Behind, by Peter Condro, Tom Gilsdorf, and Walter Strohecker of the River City 3 Railers Train Club in Virginia.

If you liked Run 320, you will likely also like 321 because the River City 3 Railers group is going to be the cover feature with their new Christmas module. Work on that issue is being wrapped-up now, and if I can get some significant computer glitches taken care of by my IT guy, we should be right on schedule. There will be some 19 layout photos and another 11 photos describing how the guys built this module.

Last edited by Allan Miller

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