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Hello all ..Walthers was quick to pick up on the Doodle Bugs of the 1930's . Walthers first introduced the Doodle Bug in 1938 and the improved A power truck in 1940. Walthers offered the Doodle Bug , painted RTR for $45.00 in 1940......this was 10 more than Lionel's scale switcher and 7.50 more than thr 763. 

Here we have perhaps a factory built Doodle Bug with outside 3rd rail, from the early 40's .

Cheers Carey 

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I have built several three-railed and bashed gas electric kits, but have not built the Walther's, although l have the kits.  However, l did some research and found that several other roads than C&NW ran very similar cars, so l should get at it. America Standard Car Co. made a kit with a list of roads included, but Keilty books showed other roads used this EMD car, so l found decals and whipped out a Mopac one.

prrhorseshoecurve posted:
jjscott posted:

Terrific. Thanks for posting. It's too bad Walthers no longer offers kits like these.

But you can still find a pleathura of unfinished kits on Da Bay! Even the American Standard doodlebug kits as well! You just need some time and patience.

Yup.  Pretty readily available stuff; lots of good kits ended up in basements, attics, garages, and closets, and were never built.  Good fun and play value at very reasonable prices.

I had a nice collection of O scale Walthers cars in the 70's. They even made shorty heavy weight cars with tinplate trucks for the Lionel folks. The gas electric came in a short  and long version. They made tons of freight cars kits, most in the five dollar or less range. I also collected some Walthers catalogs that are fun to look through. Steam engine kits were available in two or three rail, AC or DC. I noticed the 1940 edition intruded trucks for tin plate track for the first time. DonWalthers coverIMG_0339 copyIMG_0340 copydiesel electricgas electric

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mwb posted:
AGHRMatt posted:

 Scale City Designs just got hold of the American Standard mold masters so we may see those kits again. I didn't see the Gas-Electric listed on their site.

Saw that note on their web site.  Getting drives for the Gas-Electric might be a bit of an impediment?

I had looked at the NWSL "Nose Hung" drive as a possibility. They're essentially truck-mounted traction motors. I'm not sure if the drive will be available from the new owner.

AGHRMatt posted:
mwb posted:
AGHRMatt posted:

 Scale City Designs just got hold of the American Standard mold masters so we may see those kits again. I didn't see the Gas-Electric listed on their site.

Saw that note on their web site.  Getting drives for the Gas-Electric might be a bit of an impediment?

I had looked at the NWSL "Nose Hung" drive as a possibility. They're essentially truck-mounted traction motors. I'm not sure if the drive will be available from the new owner.

That's what the original kit had in it or you could order - had 2 magic carpet drives.  Real issue then becomes getting the actual correct truck side frames.  To get those you'll need to get the entire assembly from Q-Car as he discontinued selling sideframes and truck parts w/o drives a few years ago. 

Hello ALL

I believe I have a similar one  of those Walther' s Gas Electric Doodlebugs as is topic of this discussion !  However,  my Walther's version's passenger-section is noticed to be two  windows shorter (7 windows instead of 9 on Carey's model) ..but otherwise similar type of a Combine Car !

Some of you may know me from the SUBWAY -TRACTION forum on this OGR site.  I moved from HO Scale NYC Transit  equipment and layout modeling over to O-Scale starting in late 1984 -- and started getting and constructing a few O-Scale 2-Rail Railroad rolling stock pieces, but mainly started building O SCALE 2-RAIL NY City Subway and Elevated passenger and work cars, and a huge O Scale 2 Rail "EL" layout to run them on.  OK - so that should serve to identify me.

Well, about 1985 I found a DOODELBUG railcar kit by Walther's  (unpainted, un-assembled, etc) for cheap somewhere at a train show, or maybe a hobby shop. I think this was a 1950's era production item.

As I was just going into O-Scale since mid 1984 -- I bought it as an O Scale construction project.  I did the usual research for the project  - I wanted it to be a PRR type Doodlebug unit -- but ALSO wanted it to be able to run in reverse "in service" and not "blind" (heh).   SO -- it needed a "Control Trailer" companion passenger car to run with it. 

I think some railroads created same for some of their doodlebugs for rail lines that had no reverse or turn around facilities / loops. Regardless,  its my creation !

Anyway -  -- I found an old Walther's O Scale Commuter coach I had also stumbled across some time earlier -- and finished up and put the two cars together as a Doodlebug, umm,  "Bride & Groom" type set (remember those HO Scale MU sets from the 1960's ?)

Well, its been part of my EL Transit layout since 1985 -- and here BELOW are some photos of the two cars seen on my layout... in my Elevated train layup yard area.  The photos start with the Cab Control Trailer Car and progress to the Doodlebug Car.

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BELOW is the head end view of the Cab End of the Control Trailer Car

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BELOW - a 3/4 view looking to the Cab Control end of the Control Trailer Car

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BELOW - Broadside of the Control Trailer Car Coach - and its mate Doodlebug at right

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BELOW - Control trailer Cab car  at left with its Doodlebug car at right, both coupled at their "blind ends".

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BELOW - The Cab and business end of the PRR Doodlebug Gas Electric Combine car

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BELOW -- more views of the Doodlebug I did up as Pennsy

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Well, I think its the same car as the one Carey writes about -- and this is one of my favorite of the number of O-Scale 2 Rail Railroad Passenger cars I have.

PS: I have a large around the train (39' x 15' rectangular) room HO Scale railroad layout which I run my fallen flags passenger long consists of PRR, Reading RR, LIRR, NYC RR, New Haven RR, Central N J RR,  B&O RR,  Amtrak, some SEPTA and some Metro North .  Heavyweights and Streamliner's, and various paint schemes for some of the road names mentioned.  Also run some freight.  Using a mix of diesels and steam engines.

Regards - Joe F

The Main page of my O Scale (and HO) Layout photos

The PHOTO ALBUMS page for photos by topic / subject of my O Scale & HO layouts

The Favorites page of photos of my and other traction-transit modelers work

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Last edited by Joseph Frank

Joseph, I think Walthers made the doodlebug into the late 60's early 70's. As in their heavyweight line they made short and long versions. The short of course had tinplate trucks and couplers. I have most of my Walthers O scale catalogs packed away so can't look it up now. For sure they made the heavyweights into the 70's. I had a string of them. They also made lighting kits and interiors for all these cars. You could even get parts from Walthers. Some where in my parts I have cast metal fronts for the doodlebug. I had plans of using a old Lionel Madison car to make a "bug". Your pictures make me think how hard it was in those early years to try and make a good looking layout. Lionel was pulling way back and we only had Walthers, General Models Corp. and a very few others. I was lucky to have a real train store in our small town that carried a ton of O gauge kits. Dongmc10th

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ABOVE - Local Station platform view across the "EL" tracks to an approaching  train headed by a LIRR MP-54 MU car I created using Walther's ends and body panels - and a wooden roof I milled and created. The car has full interior.

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Hello Bob 2 ( as in "Turner" ??)

Thanks much - glad you approve of the finished results.  If you "are" the "Bob Turner" I knew from long ago in our connection with O-Scale News 48:ft -- well,  I always admired the scratch built and re-built locos and cars that were "Turner" done in2 rail O Scale. And following the threads of the very long ago old era locos (Lobaugh, etc) and related discussions with  Woody Mathew,  Bob Schildt, Walt Hulsweder, etc, all of who I know (or knew) - as well as others.

On the subject of old Walther's cars and kits --- here BELOW are some more of my Long Island RR MU scale cars I created back in the mid 1980's from Walther's body panels and some parts.

Regards - Joe F

BELOW - a standard Clerestory Roof LIRR MP-54 MU car at left and an LIRR MP-54 Arch Roof (aka Ping Pong Car) I created using Walther's partrs.  The Ping Pong Roof I created totally from scratch myself - both cars have full interiors and I painted and decaled both.

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BELOW - Aerial type shot of the "EL" with a train of BMT EL gate cars at left at the Local Station while a train of LIRR MU MP-54 cars is stopped at right.  The rear car is my scratch built LIRR MP-54 Arch roof Ping Pong Car.  I modified the cast metal car end faces to mate and line up with curve of the arch roof

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BELOW - a 3/4 trackside view of my scratch built Arch Roof  LIRR "Ping Pong"  MP-54 MU car at rear of train stopped at an EL station as an express of BMT EL Gate cars is about to pass by.

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BELOW -- overhead view of, at left, my kit bash created LIRR MP 54 Clerestory Roof MU car with, at right, my kit bash created LIRR MP 54 Arch roof (Ping Pong) MU Car -- with behind it, an MTH Trains LIRR MP 54 Clerestory roof car - seen on my EL" tracks.

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Hello Scale Rail

Thanks for the comments.  I use to look thru the Walther's Catalogs (I still have a number of those very THICK ones from the 1950's-1970s years)  and enjoy looking at all those O Scale Interurban and Traction and Railroad Passenger cars.  All I could do back in that time was look and enjoy - as I had NO living space for any decent or large size O Gauge or O Scale Layout.  Which is why I started in HO Scale.  Yes, I had some old 3-rail Marx tinplate (windup and electric) back in the 1951-52 period -- and graduated in 1955 to a set of American Flyer trains - an Alco  PA Diesel with some streamline cars and one AF maroon heavyweight baggage and an AF "Osgood Bradley' FLYER passenger car.  Some track and a power pack -- setting up the trains on the floor !  Went to HO Scale in early 1960's. I miss those huge Walthers catalogs - glad I have a few remaining to look thru for nostalgia from time to time.  There was a decent amount of 2 rail O Scale back in those days to avoid going the LIONEL way...  but so much of it you had to be skilled somewhat at kit-assembling, painting, finishing, etc.  I had a Walther's customer account thru the mid 1980-'s thru late 1990's which I ordered a lot of stuff by using.

Regards - Joe F

Last edited by Joseph Frank

In the Walthers catalog, those were listed as gas-electric cars, not "doodlebug"  Railroads referred to them as gas-electric or motor cars.  Look at a timetables 20's through 50's and you will see them listed usually as motor train.

Doodlebug is a railfanism that came along later.

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Hello mlaughlinnyc

Yes, you are technically quite correct and I have seen the gas-electric car term used frequently in official (and Walther's) writeups, rosters, etc..  But I have been in this hobby 60+ years I recall "Doodlebug" used more, and informally so,  in the rail hobby and modeler realm and in many publications of prototype & modeling venues. Where "Doodlebug" originated, I  have no idea myself.  I used it on my replies above to equate with the use of it in the Subject Title of the thread.  I also seem to recall Doodlebug used as an informal description of Gas Electric cars going way back to IIRC, the 1950's.

Regards - Joe F

rex desilets posted:
mwb posted:
PRRMP54 posted:

You could probably find built-up Walthers 'bugs floating in the 'bay or at train shows for not much more than the un-assembled kits sell for.

Or less!  But some are that price because they were not assembled all that well,

Some must be re-kitted...

Your optimism is refreshing......for some that might be possible and some that were visibly nailed together are, well, dumpster fodder.

Joe almost single-handedly saved O Scale News back in the 1980s.  It was almost all we had.  We did have O Scale Railroading - a really slick magazine, but OSN was lots less formal; even "folksy."

Agree with Martin - some Walthers kits cannot be salvaged.  Those tin plated sides could not tolerate nailing or other distortions.  Even bending one almost renders it unusable.

Joe almost single-handedly saved O Scale News back in the 1980s.  It was almost all we had.  We did have O Scale Railroading - a really slick magazine, but OSN was lots less formal; even "folksy."

Agree with Martin - some Walthers kits cannot be salvaged.  Those tin plated sides could not tolerate nailing or other distortions.  Even bending one almost renders it unusable.

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Hello Bob !

Thanks for the kind comments and your support re: O Scale News Magazine. 

Over a period of 18 months from July 1986 thru Dec. 1987 I wish I and the staff could have kept it going after Dec. 1987, but YOU were in the inside-info-loop then and knew the inside story - (I am sure I informed you by mail then) - and why we (myself and staff AND the printer Crusader Press,  Joe Johnston)  had a meeting and we all decided to pull out.  And Dan (OSN Owner) was forced to sell the Magazine after the Jan. 1988 issue.  The rest until it closed for good, was a sad history over 2 following final owners. 

I had a lot of support and tremendous help and guidance and input from the writers (the "staff" I proudly called them) including yourself --  and a number of the AD people - because of the situation dealing with Dan (owner) per his June 1986 major massive stroke which caused more than just severe mobility and speech problems for Dan.  I was extremely sad about the gradual downward spiral - after we resigned - over its final few years.  I know for prior decades when operating solely under Dan, - and then also during my 18 month management period with the magazine up to Dec. 1987,   that OSN faithfully got 6 annual subscription FULL issues a year out and pretty much on time.  After that, what was it, 2, 3 issues a year ?   Well, Bob, its history.  PS: I speak to Bob Schildt frequently.  Walt is deceased. How is Woody Mathews ? 

regards - Joe F

Last edited by Joseph Frank

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