Goodbye to the V&O

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by conrailmike, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    Not sure if any of you heard about this or not, but the legendary V&O (Virginian and Ohio) that was built by Allen McClelland is no more. This would be the second version of it, the one the book was written about was dismantled back in 2001. On this months Scotty Mason podcast he interviews Tony Koester and Tony says that Allen and his wife have bought a smaller home in a retirement community and are moving. Sorry to see such an awesome modeler leave the model railroad community. :(
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    The V&O was THE Model Railroad when I was a teen interested in the hobby. I also miss his friend Jim Payne's Durham and Southern, all part of the so called "lichen belt".
  3. Sarge_7

    Sarge_7 Member

    The very first event my local MR club did after I joined as a teen, was to go on a road trip to see and operate the original V&O.:mrgreen: Sorry to see it go, still have plenty of memories of working the hump yard and running a long freight:cool:
  4. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    In the interview Tony talks about how he was really the first person to come up with the "beyond the basement" theory. He says before that, every model railroad was pretty much what you see is what you get.
  5. abutt

    abutt Member

    I think losing the V&O is almost as important as losing John Allen.
  6. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Any links? I have read and seen pictures, but would like to hear more info.

  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    It is more than just losing a layout - it is a realization that another generation of model railroaders is reaching their golden years. In a way, the V&O can be considered a "second generation" model railroad...

    I look at it this way - in the early days of the hobby, people were trying to distance themselves from the stigma of "toy trains". But it was still a kit and scratchbuild era, disposable income was less, and therefore layouts small, and the focus was on trains going around in circles. Locomotive control was poor, and details were crude.

    The V&O falls into a second generation - power packs had gotten better with transistorized controls and walk-arounds. Detail was better and there were more products on the market. People soon started building their layouts as a "slice of the real world", and operating their layouts accoordingly.

    Now we are in a third generation - detail is ten times better than 20 years ago, the amount of products available to us is huge, people have bigger houses, and lots more money to spend (or just more cretit). DCC has invaded, and people are designing layouts to utilize this new technology.

    In that sense, the dismantling of the V&O is the end of an era.

  8. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    Kevinkrey, here's some pics - some of the original and some of the one he had been working on these past years.
  9. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Can you send a link to that pod cast please.

    Yip, I'm also very sad to hear it go. I saw an article in the '90s in MR about it- it was so inspiring and I found it amazing how he always updated his layout!
  10. IandOFan71

    IandOFan71 Member

    It's truly sad to see the end of the V&O. I got the pleasure of meeting Allen and watching his original layout in action many years ago and it's something I'll never forget. I was a young lad about 12 and meeting Allen was at the time one of the greatest and most embarassing moments of my young life. The greatest is for obvious reasons, but the most embarassing was because I shook his hand and told him how great I thought the layout was and the second sentence to him was, "can I use your bathroom?" I had just met one of the greatest model railroaders ever and my tiny bladder left me with no option but to ask to use his bathroom. His house was nice though. Still, it was a fantastic layout and continues to inspire me.
  11. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    Madhatter, it's in itunes. If you search in itunes for The Scotty Mason show, it should find it. I believe he also has a website. It's a two-part interview, part 2 will be next month. Tony Koester sure can talk.....
  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    iirc, the local NMRA just visited his layout recently...wish I would have gone/been a member so I could go.
  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    what do you do with a layout like that?
  14. Run stuff everywhere AND THEN SOME?

    Where exactly is this new layout? It's been two more years since the last update, think they're just about "done" with their current plan?

    If they're close enough to me, I might just drop by one day to haul a nice long freight!
  15. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    The layout is no more, the last update is all I could find out about it.
  16. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    well does all that just get thrown out or do they just go and sell it or what?
  17. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    I wish I knew. All I know is the podcast for March was recorded on like the 27th of Feb. (Scotty Mason says something about it on the podcast) so I'm sure the move has already happened and the layout is probably going, going, gone.... :(

    I know when he dismantled the original layout (below) back in 2001, part of it went to the NMRA Museum in Chattanooga, TN

  18. River Run

    River Run New Member

    This is a shame, we never really got a look at the new layout.

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