Hello O scale world .
We return to the Museum of Science and Industry layout .... opened Jan 1941 built by Minton Cronkhite ( and helpers) laid out in Q gauge .
Passenger trains numbered two ... heavy weight set and the Chief pulling the streamlined cars made of Montel metal ( looks like aged stainless) . Minton had montel cars on his home layout as early as 1938 ...also used on the SF Treasure Island layout in 1939. The Montel cars are lovely with operating vestibules .. ( akin to Crovan passenger cars ...as Minton was one of the initial partners in Crovan) . Montel passenger car set was run as a 7 car set due to passing siding lengths. (freights trains limited to 15 cars).
Post war Bob Smith provides PA's to run in the layout as Santa Fe (owner of the layout) wanted to keep up to date with actual equipment being used on the railroad . Unknown if passenger cars were changed as this time . MRC article from 1950 covering the layout uses old stock photos and description of layout ..so of little use.
Bob Smith rebuilds the layout to O gauge 1952/3 ... adding FA's ... ( All Nation ? or his own? ) running as ABA .....now pulling 8 cars ... so passing sidings may have been lengthened or eliminated/not used ? ... Two postcard exist from this era ... yes taken from 50' away ...but you can see two sets of ABA pulling 8 passenger cars each gleaming under the spot lights. Note the length of the passenger cars compared to the FA's could those cars be 17/64ths?
As a kid in the mid / late 60's -70's ... fond memories of the glorious layout with the shiny Santa Fe passenger cars that reflected like mirrors in they passed .... refer back to the postcard images you can see the high glow of the cars even at 50' .
Last passenger cars on the layout included double decker type cars also of the high shine finish .. no photos that I've found yet ...
Last week an unusual collection of passenger cars was found ....including 4 of the Montel , 3 Exacta in chrome finish , 9 Exacta's paint silver , and one Pomona car similar to the Minton set found in the San Diego museum.
Bob Turner in a prior posting mentioned that Bob Smith had plated the PA's .... so would it make sense that the passenger cars they pulled would also be plated? CLW produced the PA's in 46/7 ... high time when Exacta was ramped up to provide their 90% correct cars in both 1/4" and 17/64ths ... the PA's that ran on the MSI layout were lashed up as a ABA ...and are bigger then the later used FA's ...so would the choice of 17/64ths be a better match ? ...Has anyone ever measured the CLW cast bodied PA's to see their actual scale ?
Hopefully in time more photos will surface from the millions of folks who saw the layout over the decades...to help fill in more details .
Cars were found without trucks .... so cast Lobaugh trucks on the cars as shown are all wrong ... but better than dragging the cars around the layout without wheels at all . The cars are built for commercial use and have signs of heavy wear ...