Hello all .... you have all seen the Lionel 763 running with center rail pickups ... here we have an outside 3rd operation . Lionel was desperate to cut into the growing O scale market in the 30's ... the City of Portland in 34, Hiawatha 35 and the Hudson ...December 1937 .  O scale had adopted outside 3rd rail   in 1929 ... to distance it's self from the "toy train" market .  Lionel designed the 700E / 763 to be easily switched from  center to outside 3rd with the quick use of a screw driver to found buyers in both the scale field  and their home base customers .  When the 700 E debut at  it's big coming out party at the annual Model Railroad manufactures show February 1938 ...it was running with outside 3rd rail . Lionel's display showed the City or Portland, Hiawatha ( engine only) ..and the Hudson ..engine only ..the articulated COP cars were not accepted in the scale world .  It would be a 2 1/2 year wait for Lionel to come out with proper scale ( freight)  cars to be pulled by the Hudson .  Many  scale modelers bought the 763 , half price of it's more detailed 700 E brother to modify for their basement empire.  The NYC Hudson is wonderful and great ...but by the time Lionel released the 700/763  more than 10 other NYC  Hudson's had been or were still in current production in the O scale market.     Purchasers of the 700/763 would buy readily available O scale kit cars to pull behind their new engine. 

Robert Foster of East St Louis , Il had to be Lionel's best customer for the 763 .... as he modified some 20 for his Atlantic & Pacific RR ...  his work is covered in two articles found in MR and MB 1941 and 43 . 

Here you have some photos of two of Foster's modified 763"s ....and a video link to see one in action pulling a string of Foster's Walthers car ...just as it did 80 years ago ...running on outside 3rd rail . 

Cheers Carey 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBB7c1tqYVs0625190305_HDR0625190303_HDR0625190308_HDR0625191901

 

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I have always been curious as to how outside third rail layouts were built, specifically, what are the actual steps to laying the track with the third rail. I would think one would have to be a machinist to build such a layout. I have often wondered if anyone built outside rail layouts in this day and time. Years ago, the NMRA offered outside switch diagrams for sale. I bought some of them out of curiosity. Does anybody out there have a layout like that and if you do, would you post some photos and talk about the materials you used and how you built it?

Several  "outside" 3rd rail items, including an Jersey Central Train Master were displayed at the train store which was in the basement on 45th? street in NYC back in the 70's and 80's.  I forget the name of the place... maybe someone can give me some help. Memory is still great but recall isn't what is used to be.

John E. Nagurney

john in western pa posted:

Several  "outside" 3rd rail items, including an Jersey Central Train Master were displayed at the train store which was in the basement on 45th? street in NYC back in the 70's and 80's.  I forget the name of the place... maybe someone can give me some help. Memory is still great but recall isn't what is used to be.

The Red Caboose on 45th Street. Still in operation.

MELGAR

Hello all .... outside 3rd rail entered the scene about 1929 ..., it was considered the "in thing" for the scale world till 39 when 2 rail ( thanks to innovations in the HO  and OO world) took the lead.  Many established clubs & hobbyist's  with outside 3rd rail  would retain it for decades .   The 2 most prominent remaining outside 3rd rail layouts ..are Bay Side in Brooklyn , NY ...which is currently be dismantled and moved to a new location ...and the old B&O traveling layout which was rebuilt last year and operates during the Christmas season in the Cincinnati terminal station ..now museum.   At the recent East Penn traction show one of the portable layouts had outside 3rd for elevated trains .   I have outside 3rd as one of my layouts ...track saved from an old layout dating back to the 30's/40's .    NMRA set standard for the outside 3rd rail for HO, OO and O scale ... yes it was used on all 3 gauges ..for a short while ... 

Cheers Carey 0622192231~2 

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MELGAR posted:
john in western pa posted:

Several  "outside" 3rd rail items, including an Jersey Central Train Master were displayed at the train store which was in the basement on 45th? street in NYC back in the 70's and 80's.  I forget the name of the place... maybe someone can give me some help. Memory is still great but recall isn't what is used to be.

The Red Caboose on 45th Street. Still in operation.

MELGAR

Mel/MELGAR, 

"Back in the day," before the present day Red Caboose occupied the basement at West 45th Street, the store was known as Model Railroad Equipment Corporation, run my Carmen Webster. My dad used to take me their in the 1960's and 70's. 

Tom

MNCW posted:
MELGAR posted:
john in western pa posted:

Several  "outside" 3rd rail items, including an Jersey Central Train Master were displayed at the train store which was in the basement on 45th? street in NYC back in the 70's and 80's.  I forget the name of the place... maybe someone can give me some help. Memory is still great but recall isn't what is used to be.

The Red Caboose on 45th Street. Still in operation.

MELGAR

Mel/MELGAR, 

"Back in the day," before the present day Red Caboose occupied the basement at West 45th Street, the store was known as Model Railroad Equipment Corporation, run my Carmen Webster. My dad used to take me their in the 1960's and 70's. 

Tom

Tom,

Correct. The website of The Red Caboose says that it is located on the site of the Model Railway Equipment Corporation and that the location has been a hobby shop since 1946.

MELGAR

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