There’s a Value Village thrift store in Shrewsbury that’s being displaced because the plaza it’s in–the same place I used to go to buy Commodore gear–is going to be demolished to make way for a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Whether Shrewsbury needs a Wal-Mart Supercenter when there’s one six miles away is another question for another day. [...]
Something today made me think of Johnston Electric, a legendary, long-gone train store in St. Louis’ Dutchtown neighborhood that sold Lionel, American Flyer, and HO scale trains. I was in the old Marty’s Model Railroads store in Affton one afternoon several years ago while Marty was going through a box of trains he had bought [...]
My buddy Todd brought over his dad’s American Flyer train today. It had been a gift from his dad on his first Christmas. It was from 1938.
That was a peculiar year, because it was the first year that A.C. Gilbert, of Erector fame, built American Flyer trains. Previously American Flyer had been an independent company in Chicago.
This model was a Gilbert design, and at most produced from 1938 to 1941.
After a couple of marathon days at work, I unwound on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by refurbishing an old Marx Canadian Pacific-style tinplate locomotive.
At first, its problem wasn’t obvious.
In the early 1950s, Lionel had two different standards for the couplers on its train cars. “Serious” sets used its knuckle couplers. Entry-level, or “Scout” sets, used one-piece couplers that came to be known as “Scout” couplers. My Dad had cars with both types of couplers in his collection.
Once I got Dad’s set running, I found a Marx car on eBay that I absolutely had to have–an operating Missouri Pacific cattle car. Marx used its own couplers. So how to get both types of Dad’s cars, plus my new Marx car operating together on the same train?
Enter the conversion car.
Gatermann and I spent the afternoon building a train table. I started building one about a month ago but got too busy to finish it. Today was the day I’d set aside to get some work done on it.