HO in the 70's

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by diesel, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    No...it's desintegrated. I believe they call it "zinc rot". The metal is (was..??) an alloy of zinc & tin which just falls apart after some time. What's surprising is that the 4-6-2, made of the same stuff (I think), is still good as new...
  2. jcrowell

    jcrowell New Member

    I started in 1968, when there was a "classic" model train store about a block from our house; it was about 15 feet wide. I used to walk over there on Saturday mornings and look and the stuff. Then I saw a RMC with a John Allen article on the cover! OH WOW!!!!

    I saved up and bought an Athearn PA-PB set... I still have them, and some day they are going to run. Our home in Hawthorne, California was really too small to do anything, although I fooled myself for years thinking I actually could do what I wanted in a small bedroom.

    Four years ago, we left the big city and moved to rural Indiana. My basement is larger than our old house, although, I will admit, it's a very long walk to the beach, now.

    Although I've had open heart surgery, spinal surgery, two car accidents (both totaled, and one was only ten days old) all in the last four years, I'm slowly moving ahead, selling old aircraft kits to pay for the BLI and Walthers passenger trains... good for Ebay!

    I have about 100 Athearn blue-box diesels, same amount of Model Die Cast old timer cars and Pullman Palace cars (they used to be just down the street from us, also), some Train Miniature cars, about 20, and some European trains that I bought when I went to France... those cars are beautiful, and just as nice as the new stuff now.

    I also have a good number of the old Campbell kits... I used to have a number of FSM, but I sold them to rebuild the engine in my son's 70 Dodge Challenger, which ten years later, now, is worth about $100,000. Now, that's nuts... but cool, because we have one...

    I have a boatload of Rivarossi passenger cars, that I bought while attending Loyola University in Los Angeles during the early 70s... they were about $3 to $4 at the time, but looking back, where probably about $25 worth today, given the cost of gasoline as a marker.

    Anyone interested in buying some brand new Rivarossi passenger cars?
    SP, UP, NP... Concor in there also for WP.

  3. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Can they run on 18' curves?
  4. jcrowell

    jcrowell New Member

    Rivarossi cars

    Yes, they can, although they ARE full length cars (so to speak) and don't necessarily look so good doing it... 22 inches is usually the "suggested" length for all these new passenger cars from Walthers and such...:eek:
    The couplers are truck mounted, which gives them the extra movement necessary for 18 inch radius track... they do make coupler replacements for these cars so that you can have the new standards.:thumb:

    Hope this answers your questions, feel free to ask me more.

  5. rlundy90

    rlundy90 Member

    I started with a used Lionel set I got for Christmas around 1964. In the early 70s I bought 2 used Triang sets(a transcontinental passenger set and a freight set with a few extra cars).Later went to tyco and model power.Still have them all except for the Lionel which had a meltdown shortly after I got it. Can still remember the smell you used to get when running those old sets. Kinda smelled like like the old toaster we used to have. The old Triangs still run beautifully even though they need thier own track.Ron
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    CNW and steamhead: The metal alloy you're talking about was called Zamak in the US and Mazak in the UK. I'm not sure if it's the same as what was called "white metal". It was great stuff if done properly, but if the mixture of preparation was even slightly wrong, the castings would "bloom" or just fall apart after a number of years (sometimes a small number).
    It was used for drivers, loco frames, and car frames, plus a bunch of small detail parts.
    Zamak's other property was resistance to soldering.
  7. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    As with a lot of you, my first train set in 1962 was a Lionel "complete - ready to run" set No. 1131. As a 2 year old, I am sure the trains were run more by Dad and his buddies than me. He was also into Tyco slot cars, and RC airplanes during my childhood. He was known to take over my Hot Wheels cars and track as well! In 1972, my Mom felt sorry for me because Dad played with my stuff more than me, so she bought me an N scale Bachmann set with a GP40 diesel and 5 cars, all of which are part of my layout today. I still have the boxes and instructions for all the above, plan to be buried with it all!!!!
  8. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    I had American Flyer S as a little kid, just an oval of snap-track (yes they used to make S-scale snap track) a 4-4-0 and a couple of cars, then I had an early N scale set in the late sixties that didn't last too long.

    At 13 (1971) I got a Tyco HO set for Xmas, my Dad was the mailman for Woodcraft Hobby Shop in Minneapolis and got it there. Actually the UP 4-6-2 ran pretty well, the problem was the brass track that wouldn't stay clean. After a year or so I gave up and would have quit the hobby, but for $3 I bought a friend's c.1957 Lionel train set. I set that up and it ran great. I then spent 15 years as a three-railer before going back to HO in 1987.
  9. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    70's? You young kids, honestly... I got my first HO equipment in '58, including a little Tyco 0-6-0T switch engine than ran and ran and ran until I took a temporary (for about 40 years) leave of absence from the hobby in 1966. Ah, those were the days ... brass track that had to be cleaned every 20 minutes of running time, horn-hook/X2f/NMRA couplers, 4% grades the standard, cork roadbed that got brittle and crumbled like styrofoam. A lot has changed for the better since then & I'm really glad I got back into this hobby a couple of years ago!

Share This Page