Since we Muffins entered the hobby from HO, we are most interested in the scale sized models, running on three rail track. Thus we're often referred to as "Hi-Railers." By scale, in O Gauge, the models are 1/48th scale - or 1 inch equals 4 feet.
Generally, we prefer models of equipment that ran during the height of railroading from before to just after World War II. This era includes large steam engines and the early diesel engines. There were lots of railroads in existence, as the major rail consolidations had not yet taken place, so there were plenty of paint schemes to model. Passenger equipment was also still in use. As our collection concentrates around this late steam - early diesel era, we have lots of 40' freight equipment and Madison, or Heavyweight, passenger car sets.
I also concentrate on Eastern Roads - we have to draw the line someplace! So if it ran in the east, maybe even all the way to Chicago - we're probably interested in it.
We also have been able to collect and enjoy over 100 of the recently offered steam engine models by 3rd Rail, Lionel, MTH Electric Trains and Weaver Models.
In addition to the steam engines, our collection includes over 300 diesel and electric engines, mostly from Atlas O and MTH, with a few from Lionel and 3rd Rail.
We hope you enjoy this short summary of our collection - thanks for looking!
Our Collection Summary
The Atlas Model Railroad Company has offered O gauge scale rolling stock for many years. Sometime around the end of the 1990's, Atlas reorganized this effort, started Atlas O LLC, and began offering highly detailed O Gauge rolling stock in both 3 rail, for us hi-railers, and 2 rail versions. In May, 2000 they began to offer their models of the 40' woodsided billboard refrigerated box cars - in short - "reefers". These models were representative of the old woodsided refrigerator cars that were used across the US for transporting perishable merchandise, including meats, cheeses and beer. Since their introduction, I have worked diligently to build a complete collection of these reefers and had at least one model of each design. To our knowledge, we had one of the few collections in the country that included all of the reefer designs.
In early 2003, just as we were reaching the completion of our Atlas O reefer collection, Atlas announced a new series of reefers in the 36' length. These 36' reefers predated the 40's as they were in use in the late 1800's. Ouch. Unfortunately, the 36' reefers are as wonderful as the 40's - so we have been collecting them too, and are adding pictures of those reefers to our website as we acquire them.
At this point in time, we have at least one of every design of the 36' reefers that have been issued - 128 in total. While we haven't succeeded in recollecting all of the 40' reefers again, we do have over 320 40' Reefers with the new issues and buying up some of the old ones that we liked when the prices are affordable.
A couple of years ago Atlas O began offering 53'6" Wood Express Box Cars and we have been able to collect them as they have been released. The latest run includes Lehigh Valley lettered cars and we were really excited to get these.
As we described earlier, we were first attracted to O gauge as a result of seeing a demonstration of the electronics available in today's O gauge model railroad engines. The sounds, the smoke and their ability to move at such slow speeds make today's models the finest ever offered.
To date, we have over 100 steamers from all four O Gauge manufacturers - the 3rd Rail Division of Sunset Models; Lionel; Mike's Train House (MTH) and Weaver Models. Almost all of them have command control capabilities, so we can run them with other engines on the same track. I have some upgrades to do to finish the rest.
Our collection includes many of Lionel's largest steamers, for example, their Century Club Empire State Hudson and Niagara; the C&O 2-8-8-2 H-7; the C&O 2-6-6-6 Allegheny and the B&O 2-8-8-4 EM-1, plus a few of their recent Berkshires: Nickel Plate, Erie and C&O, including the Pere Marquette Berkshire #1225 - the engine from the "Polar Express."
We also have MTH's Premier Triplex in Virginian and both Erie's; a pair of Western Maryland Challengers; the C&O 2-10-4 Texan; C&O 0-4-0 and 0-8-0 Switchers; and the C&O 2-8-4 Kanawha plus a pair of Greenbriers amongst others. Most recently we picked up 4 of the Premier NYC Mohawks and a 2-8-0 Consolidation in Western Maryland, Pittsburgh and Lake Erie and Reading liveries. MTH released in the Fall of 2009 5 different versions of the NYC Mohawk. Between Jimmy of the Homer City Poor House, and several friends, I ended up with 4 of them. Not bad since they were all sold out and I failed to preorder one! (This just in - got #5 for Easter 2010!).
In 3rd Rail we have a pair of Greenbriers and an Allegheny in C&O; a pair of Empire State Hudson's and a NYC Dreyfus Hudson plus an L3b Mohawk; a PRR T-1; the Erie 0-8-8-0 Camelback and the Norfolk and Western Y6b.
In Weaver, we have a pair of the NKP Hudson's; a Milwaukee F6a; a Milwaukee Hudson; a Milwaukee Northern S3; and the Lehigh Valley John Wilke's. Weaver is now installing TMCC upgrades in older conventional steamers - we need to send the John Wilke's in for that upgrade. It is our oldest steamer having been originally issued in 1994.
I don't understand how, but as we have been concentrating on acquiring steamers, we still managed to add about 300 diesels to our roster. The majority of the engines are from Atlas O including their ALCo road switchers, RS-1's and RS-3's; EMD SW's; Alco's and Erie Built's all in assorted eastern roads, plus several of the Trainman U-23b's. In addition, we have scale diesels from Lionel, like the Alco S-2 in Lehigh Valley paint, their U-Boats in EL, Reading and D&H and the Century Club FM Trainmaster pair. We also have several MTH EMD and FM ABA consists including PAs; FAs; E-6's and E-8's.
We have quite a collection of electric engines from the Pennsylvania GG-1's in at least 9 different liveries, to the large New Haven EF3b and EP3's and Milwaukee Little Joe's to the Milwaukee EP units.
Almost all of our passenger car sets to date have been from Mike's Train House (MTH), in both the heavyweight or Madison variety, or the streamliners - included the ribbed and plated cars. In addition to the MTH sets, we have the latest Madison car sets from Lionel in C&O; B&O; NYC; and Milwaukee, and have started to collect some Golden Gate Depot sets in C&O, Lehigh Valley, New Haven; Milwaukee, Erie and Lackawanna, plus all 12 of the 1938 Dreyfus streamlined passenger cars and the recently released NYC Empire State Express sets. From our inventory, we have over 80 sets of passenger cars - I need to sell some of these - what were we thinking!