I recently posted on the For-Sale forum a duplicate of one of the cars that was used in the Guinness World's Longest Model Train record that took place in Columbus in 1980.

This got me thinking... did any OGR Forumites participate in the various attempts and final run back in 1980? I know from research that some of the players are no longer with us (Bob Cloud, George Taylor, etc), but I can't help but think that there are still a few guys around that were there. If so, I'd love to hear the stories!




Original Post

A quick bump for those that missed the original post the first time.

I'd still love to speak with any of the guys that participated in the Guinness World's Longest Model Train record in Columbus, Ohio back in 1980.




I was 18 years old, just graduated from high school, when my father asked me to help out during the first attempt at Northland Mall.  As soon as the mall closed, we set up an oval along the length of the (indoor) mall, between Sears and the Lazarus Department store.  I had grown up with a Lionel layout in the basement, and my brother and I had added to it when we were teenagers, so I was familiar with the technology.  They were very organized; from the track to having the wire sets ready for the track, to having all the cars and locomotives.  I believe the locomotives, perhaps ten of them, were GG1's.  I mostly worked as a runner taking cars to guys who were putting the train together, then I was one of many stationed along the track to watch for problems.  The train string lined at the turns, no matter what was tried and the attempt was called off.  It took a long time, very late in the night to pack all those cars back onto their boxes!   

A week later, I boarded a Boeing 727 at Port Columbus airport and left for Navy bootcamp and promptly forgot about the attempt.

Circa 2010, while helping my father go through stuff, having moved to Las Vegas, we came across the car he had purchased after the successful attempt.  Only then did I ask hear the rest of the story: a while later the organizers obtained access to a taxi-way (or runway?) at then Lockborne Air Force base, south of Columbus,  set up a straight track and ran the train it's own length to satisfy the Guinness requirements.

Bob Bunge


Well, I took part in both attempts at the record. Northland Mall, and Lockborne Air Force  base. I also provided a C/NW FM as part of the power at Lockborn Air Force Base. 

Steu Robert's, of Columbus,  was the main promoter of the event as I remember it. He in turn had the Engines stamped with the name and date of the event for us that provided part of the pulling powered. Do not know if Stu is still alive or not, or still in Columbus. Another person involved was Bill Lott, from the Eastside of Columbus. As I was good friends with Bob Cloud, and George Taylor, I still see Mike Taylor, George's brother,  at YORK every year.

Thank you for bringing this story back to life. A TRULY GREAT MEMORY. 




Last edited by ptbarnm69
@Adriatic posted:

How long is the longest? 

750 cars, 685 feet

A more complete description of the events surrounding the two attempts was printed in one of the Greenbergs' guides covering the MPC-LTI era.


With today's electronics and remote controls for multiple engines on the same track, would it be possible to lay one mile of three rail track and run twenty five engines on that track?  If that is possible, could you have thirty cars behind each engine for a total of twenty-five 30 car trains?  If you couple each engine to the last car of the train in front of it you would have a single train of 750 cars and more than 700 feet long.  How close do you need to be to the engine to control it by remote?  John

Last edited by rattler21

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653

Link copied to your clipboard.