Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module goes West …..to New England

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Our regular viewers will know Bob Harper and his travels with his Maine style sections of his home layout. His most recent adventure has been to attend The Amherst Railway Show at the Great Eastern Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts, in January 2018. In this post Bob has written and taken photographs showing how the module is packed to withstand the rigours of airfreight and other travels. Bob’s brother, Gerald, also a keen model railroader lives in Toronto, so it is natural for Bob to travel to Toronto, and then drive down to the US venues.

Before the Amherst show, Bob & Gerald took the opportunity to visit Trevor Marshall to view his home layout Port Rowan in Toronto;-

Bob Harper watches as a freight extra rolls out of Port Rowan, and later commented
“beautiful work, and very British in concept, but sadly not portable of course.”


Gerald Harper captures a CNR gas electric arriving at Port Rowan on train M233’s schedule.

Click here to view Bob’s Franklin module and here to view Bob’s Megantic module on new browser pages.

Click here to visit Trevor’s Port Rowan blog on a new browser page.

Click here to view the Amherst Railway show website on a new browser page.

 

FRANKLIN GOES TO AMHERST

After the relative ease of taking Franklin to the Narrow gauge Convention in Augusta, Maine in 2016, I got over-ambitious and planned to do it again, but on a larger scale.

There is an enormous general railway show at West Springfield, Massachusetts, every January, put on by the Amherst Railway Society; probably the biggest show in the US, with 8 acres of hall space and around 20-25000 attendees each year. I got cheeky and asked if I could come, and was welcomed with open arms! Fans of The Simpsons will know that they live in W. Springfield! So I arranged for the layout to come with me to Toronto in late January, and we headed off again over the border (a very tedious experience this time) in my brothers truck.

There was a mighty difference this time compared to the Augusta trip in August 2016; the temperature was -10 degrees Celsius and the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers were piles of ice – great blocks built up along both banks, and the whole way across in places. That said, we were very lucky with the weather generally, given how bad it could have been. Everything generally went smoothly at the show, the layout in particular running perfectly, though we had some difficulty with general arrangements and information. Nearly all the layouts and trade stands come every year, and they all know exactly what to do; so information for new exhibitors was very sparse. As a result, we never found the Saturday evening show dinner, though we didn’t go hungry! Packing up on Sunday evening went smoothly, and then another long drive back to Toronto.

This time, rather than bringing the layout straight back to the UK with me, I decided I would leave it, and the rolling stock, in my brothers workshop in Toronto. This means that I can also take it to the Canadian Narrow Gauge Exhibition at Schomberg, 30 miles or so north of Toronto, on Saturday 21st April, and the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Minneapolis in early September.  Obviously this saves 2 round trips for the layout, and an awful lot of hassle, though I did have a bit more formality with Canadian Customs this time given that it was staying in the country for 9 months rather than 10 days. So now I’m back in the UK, with only exhibition appearances for my Great Western standard and broad gauge layouts until the Autumn.

Is it worth doing? Financially obviously not, but as an experience of a type of show completely different from a British one, then definitely yes. Although there were thousands of people there, the interest seems to be in the trade stands rather than the layouts. There were rarely more than 1 or 2 people watching any of the layouts, but those who did watch Franklin were usually engrossed for a long time. In particular, everybody was fascinated by my full turntable fiddle yard, where complete trains are turned ready for their next trip. Some people use a simple traverser, but a full rotating yard is a completely new experience. There were a good number of people manning the Maine preservation societies stands, and they made up a large part of my audience. It seemed wonderful to them that their favourite lines could actually be modelled in a meaningful way, with smooth and reliable operation and many of the features of the Maine 2 footers modelled in such a small space. So it was greatly rewarding to present such a novel way of modelling in the land of the actual prototype.

Bob Harper, February 2018.

One of the scenic boards being boxed up

Boxing up the fiddle yard, lighting fascia, and curtains

A snug fit in the Ford Mondeo Estate for the trip to the airport.

The whole layout after collection from Canadian Customs on the other side of the pond.

The layout unpacked and set up in one of the 4 halls of the Amherst Railway Show at the Great Eastern Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Note that most photographs have not been cropped and edited purposely in order to show the vast amount of space at this show and venue.

A local New Englander has a go operating my New England layout!

Although there were 17000 people at the show, it was never crowded in our hall, but there was a steady trickle of Maine 2 foot fans from the WW&FR and SR&RL Museum stands coming round to see, and all seemed amazed that such an interesting layout could be fitted in so small a space, and that everything ran so well, with smooth, slow shunting. They were also all amazed by the fiddle yard, especially when they realised that it could turn the whole trains round 180 degrees ready to go out again! So while a lot of cost, work and stress was invested getting Franklin there, it seems to have been a worthwhile educational effort, as it was a completely different concept from all the other layouts there.

One of the many modular layouts in the show; this one shows the fairly common scenic mismatch of adjoining boards.

However this vast layout has a properly planned gradation from scene to scene. Any Exhibition Manager would be envious of the space available!

A general shot showing the staggering size of the show. Remember that this is only one of four halls, though two of them were smaller.

Scenes from an On30 modular layout. The standard of scenic modelling was exceptionally high, though some of the physical details are a little unlikely! Sadly this layout suffered from a seeming inability to run any actual trains reliably, a common fault with this type of communal project.

 

This 0-4-0 2ft gauge loco from the Edaville Railway was in steam outside the main hall, though restricted its action to regular whistle blasts.

Click here to view a short YouTube segment showing this loco at the Amherst Railway show on a new browser page.

I was surprised how quickly we were able to get the layout dismantled and boxed up again ready for the open air trip back to Toronto. Normally it travels in the back of my car, with no extra protection. I’m glad we did not try that this time, as we ran into a blizzard just after we re-crossed the border into Canada.

All the rolling stock and ancillaries came in these crates, which also braved the elements in the back of the truck. The crucial piece of equipment is the power converter, which I bought in Canada. This converts European 230 volts to N. American 115 volts, or vice versa in my case. So everything on the layout (lighting, for example) was operated at its normal 230 volts. This seemed easier than trying to rig up temporary 115 volt lighting, power transformer etc. It worked very well, though got pretty warm after a full days operation. None of my UK light bulbs got broken on the flight either, though I had taken several spares just in case.

The next trips;-

The baseboard boxes and most of the rolling stock have been left in Toronto, so I can go back and do the Canadian Narrow gauge show at Schomberg on April 21st, and Narrow gauge Convention in Minneapolis, 5-8 September. I will then bring everything back finally.

Click here to view the Schomberg show site on a new browser page.

Robert C. Jones 1934-2021, Maine Two Foot Author, an appreciation

 
 
 
 
Robert “Bob” Jones, 86, of Burlington, VT passed away at home of natural causes on January 13, 2021.
 
Often considered the dean of northern New England railroad history, Bob, a graduate of the University of Vermont and Saint Michael’s College, authored, co-authored, or edited twenty-four railroad books. They included the three volume, award winning Railroads of Vermont, seven volume The Central Vermont: A Yankee Tradition, Two Feet Between the Rails, and many other books and magazine articles on Maine and Vermont railroad subjects.
 
Bob’s infectious love of the rails created a ripple effect in the lives of so many. His wife, Janet, worked in passenger service on the Green Mountain and Vermont Railway. Son Jim continues in the family tradition, having produced more than forty rail-themed video documentaries and five books of his own. Son Marc worked in four departments on the Central Vermont Railway. Happily, Bob lived to see and hear the contemporary rail tales of his grandson, William, of New England Central Railroad.
 
Bob often reiterated the story of his father Cecil’s own post-high school graduation job search. Cecil had interviews with a local bank and the railroad.  Bob was fond of saying: “Had the bank hired him, I might be speaking to a convention of bankers.”
 
Although his family mercilessly teased Bob about being born at Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, New Hampshire, his very first home address of East Ryegate made Bob a proud native Vermonter. In East Ryegate, Bob’s father, Cecil, served as depot agent. The Canadian Pacific Railroad transferred the family to the busy, international border station of Richford, Vermont at the dawn of World War II. Here in Richford, young Bobby Jones grew into adulthood, along with younger brother Bill, under the watchful eyes of Cecil and Elsie (Pangborn) Jones and several beloved canine companions.
 
For 32 years,  Bob was a high school business education teacher at Shelburne and Champlain Valley Union for 32 years, while simultaneously pursuing railroad work over a 41 year period on the Canadian Pacific, Vermont Railway, Green Mountain Railroad and the New England Central Railroad—all on an average of four hours of sleep a night.
 
Robert C. “Bob” Jones was many things; devoted husband and father, respected author, talented baseball player (and devoted Red Sox fan), Army veteran, bagpipe band drummer, teacher, man of faith, mentor, and friend. Bob left the world a better place.  
 
 
Here’s a few thoughts from members of the Maine On2 io group on his passing;-
 
From Robert Bennett;-
 
Good Afternoon All,
 
Truly a great figure in Maine two foot history. I met Bob when he visited my layout several years ago while on a trip back to Maine; a gentleman and scholar without question. I have almost all of his Maine-based books and in these troubled times, I have been reading and re-reading them time and time again. As a teacher myself, I admire Bob’s ability to have researched and presented not only the essential stories, but the sort of “hidden” tidbits that lend reality to the subject matter as well. Those of us who love the Maine narrow gauges should treasure his knowledge and contributions forever.
 
Stay well everyone!
 
Best,  Bob Bennett
 
From David Woodhead;-
 
Yes, he was an important figure in this world, and I was lucky to share a dinner table with him at the Portland Narrow Gauge Convention a few years back. He was genuinely connected to the Maine narrow gauge (and much other railroading) and I think he said he had been a pallbearer at (was it?) Dana Aldrich’s funeral. He knew it from the source, and talked about driving up the back roads many times while researching, and must have known the people of the area in a way few rail fans would have. Thanks, Bob Jones!
David Woodhead
 
From Pete Leach;-
 
I too am saddened by the news of Mr. Jones’s passing. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, his influence on my modeling focus is clear.
 
I was a mid-western modeler deep into my N scale efforts when I happened upon a book in a local hobby. The illustration on the dust jacket caught my eye: a small steam locomotive pulling a few wooden cars across a trestle along a waterfront. The book was “Two Feet to Tidewater”, co-authored by R C Jones. I had never heard of the Wiscasset line but was intrigued enough to buy it, even though it cost nearly as much as an N scale engine. I have been on a quest to replicate that little railroad ever since.
 
I am sorry to have never met him.
Rest in peace, Mr. Robert Jones.
Pete Leach
 
From Chris McChesney;-
 
Sad indeed.  His “Two Foot to Tidewater” came out when I was a teenager and it inspired me to model the Wiscasset Lower Yard and take a serious interest in the history of the WW&F Ry.  What a prolific writer!  He was a real asset to the two-foot community and will be missed.

Chris 
 

Robert Jones’ books on the Maine Two Footers are highly prized by their owners as they are a major go-to source of information, plans, vintage photographs, history and stories of the folk who worked on these roads.

The dust jacket or covers either feature original paintings showing a highly recognisable view of the subject line or may show a classic contemporary photograph of the line.

Each book is copiously illustrated with a range of photographs showing locomotives, rolling stock, personnel and structures, and often show the landscapes which the railroad travelled through. All photographs are sharply printed with decent exposures and shadow details – often they are the best print available from particular negatives.

The books usually have rosters of the locomotives and rolling stock, and frequently have a selection of plans for these items. Other items included are route maps and siding/station plans with a number of sketch and Sanborn Insurance maps of the towns and facilities served.

The acknowledgement pages of each book show Bob’s unrivalled networking abilities using various well known sources (too many to mention here) to provide information, assistance, photographs, maps, plans, stories etc to enhance his own work and provide a one stop go to source of information and reading pleasure.  

 
Here is a selection of Bob Jones’ books about the Maine Two Footers;-
 

 

Two Feet Between the Rails – The Early Years – Volume 1 – a hefty read, weighing in at 4 pounds 2 ounces. Published by Sundance Books in 1979, 416 pages, 8½ x 11, ISBN 0-913582-17-4.

 

Two Feet Between the Rails – The Mature Years –  Volume 2, another hefty read, weighing in at a tad over 4 pounds 2 ounces. Published by Sundance Books in 1980, 416 pages, 8½ x 11, ISBN 0-913582-18-2.

 

Two Feet to the Tidewater – The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway

Robert C Jones & David L Register, Published by Pruett Publishing Company Books in 1987, 269 pages, 8½ x 11, ISBN 0-87108-729-4. Weight 3lbs even.

David Register was a lifelong fan of the WW&FR, and spent the last years of his life working on this book, but regrettably passed away before completing and publishing. A short time afterward, his family asked for advice about publishing the work and were put in contact with Bob Jones, who eventually editted the text and substantially added to the volume that we see here. 

 

Two Feet to the Tidewater – The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Expanded and Updated Edition.

Robert C. Jones & David L. Register, Published by Evergreen Press in 2002, 386 pages, 8½ x 11, ISBN 0-9667264-3-X, Reprint. Weighs 3pounds and 10 ounces.

This expanded version consists of the original 1987 Pruett book, followed by an additional 117 pages of Vintage photographs and the activities of the WW&FR Railway Museum who in the meantime had re-instated the line on its original roadbed. 

 

Two Feet to the Lakes The Bridgton and Saco River Railroad

Published by Pacific Fast Mail in1993,  256 pages, 8½ x 11, ISBN 0-915713-26-8.  Weighs 2 pounds and 12 ounces.

Two Feet to the Quarries – The Monson Railroad

Published by Evergreen Press in 1998, 98-87962 ISBN 0-9667264-0-5. First Edition150 pages, 8½ x 11, weighs 1 pound and 13 ounces. Note that Evergreen Press is Bob Jones’ own company. 

Two Feet to Togus – The Kennebec Central Railroad

Published by Evergreen Press in 1999, 198 pages, 8½ x 11, 99-68177 ISBN 0-9667264-1-3  1rst Edition, weighs 2 pounds and three ounces.

 

The Maine Two-Footers –  2nd edition L. W. Moody  (edited Robert C. Jones)

Published by Heimburger House Publishing Company in 1998, 240 pages, 8 ½ x 11, weighs 2 pounds and 15 ounces. Bob Jones felt that there was a need for a new edition of Linwood Moody’s classic book dealing with all the Maine Two Footers (including their temporary sojourn in Massachusetts). He bought the rights to the Moody book and produced this larger version incorporating additional photographs.  

 

 

Top posts for 2020

The most viewed posts (*) in the calendar year 2020 were;-

#1– Maine On2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#2– Prototype Information – SR&RL Locomotives.

#3– Doug MacLeod’s LR&HS “James Wyman”.

#4 – Brakes

#5 – MaineOn2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module.

#6 – Maine On2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL.

Click on the blue lettering to visit the topic on another browser page.

While this listing may appear familiar, featuring a number of old favourites, it does have two new entries. Coming in at a very well deserved number three was the updated post featuring Doug MacLeod’s fabulous craftsmanship in brass showing his latest work. Another new entry is the posting about Brakes coming in at number 4.

Visitor activity this year has been pretty close to that of 2019 in terms of visitor numbers, total views and specific topic viewing numbers, which are used to produce these end of year rankings.

The USA still leads with some 78% of the 2020 total viewings, with the United Kingdom retaining its traditional second placing with recording 10% and Canada staying in third place with just 3.5%.  Next came France (2.2%), Australia (2.0%), and Japan (1.6%).

The blog has recorded visits from 48 different countries around the globe this year. 

The Editorial teams view of 2020

The editorial team may appear to have taken things easy for most of this year. Our normal year end internal review over the New Year 2019/2020 showed that we had accumulated, but not used, a number of extra photographs and information relating to various older topics. We eased into the year by adding these into their respective topics.

We then had a period of research to try to place a comment into its original context in order to reply to it accurately. A by-product of this research was a large number of additional pieces of information and photographs for more of the early topics (by first publication date). The research also showed that the comment had been dealt with before privately, and had also been discussed on the io group. Rather than repeat the subject on this blog, we decided that our time would be better spent by improving more of the early topics with the newly found information and photographs, and adding links to related topics not conceived in the early days. In total, some 22 topics were updated in 2020. Those interested can find more information on the What’s new? page. 
  

This systematic re-writing represented was a major change to our normal somewhat “ad-hoc” manner of updating either when we feel like it or when an older topic is about to become “sticky of the week”.

Sticky of the week – this has been posted before, but it’s worth repeating;- the WordPress blog software has the facility to post any message to the top of board, meaning that it will be the first message displayed. Within the editorial pages this is known as “make sticky”, but the public version is shown as “Featured”.


We use this facility to rotate the older topics, normally choosing to display an older topic for a week or so, before it is replaced by the next “sticky”. The change over is normally done first thing on a Friday morning, and we hope that returning viewers appreciate seeing different topics at the top of the list on what would otherwise be a static list.

In 2020, we completed the first full rotation of topics as “sticky of the week”, meaning that around 190 current topics have now been displayed as the first posting seen on the Home page. Some have been displayed more than once, as it is our practise to make topics “sticky of the week” when they have been significantly updated.

We have now started a second rotation, but to make things more “interesting”, we are now selecting the topics in the order of their popularity over the past seven years.  

Milestones:  we chose not to publicly mark the blog’s seventh anniversary but did make a small io group announcement that the FAQ’s blog received its 150,000th page view in August, noting it has been visited by more than 43,000 people.

Visitor activity this year has been sporadic and variable. On one occasion, the stats page showed that the FAQ’s had one visitor (from the UK) who methodically worked their way through all the topics in one session. On another occasion, we recorded the blog’s worst ever daily viewing figures of just four page viewings from four visitors.

Take care, stay safe and enjoy your trains,

 

 Terry,

on behalf of the editorial team (Trevor, Matt & Terry).

 

 

Top posts for 2019

The editors would like to wish all the contributors a Happy New Year and thank them for their material used in the past year. We also hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year.

The most viewed posts (*) in the calendar year 2019 were;-

#1- MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL.

#2– Maine On2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#3– Prototype Information – SR&RL Locomotives.

#4– Maine On2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL.

#5- MaineOn2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module.

#6- MaineOn2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module.

This is a rather familiar listing topped by old favourites of well built Canadian layouts which are regrettably no longer in existence. Bill Kerr’s layout had a surge of viewings following the “re-discovery” of a number of his own postings and emails describing the layout and how it was built which led to a blog update. This was an unintended benefit of Yahoo! groups closing.

Visitor activity this year has been well down on previous years in terms of visitor numbers, total views and specific topic viewing numbers, which are used to produce these end of year rankings. This seems to be a common trend of late with many other model railroad blogs and email groups showing reduced activity.

The number of viewings by American and Canadian visitors were particularly reduced compared to previous years, which caused the rankings of the nationality of viewers to revert to their usual pattern. The USA still leads with some 77% of the 2019 total viewings, but the United Kingdom at 6.6% regained it’s traditional second placing with Canada now coming in third with 4.7%. Next came Switzerland (2.1%) Australia (2.8%), and Japan (1.8%).

The blog has recorded visits from 53 different countries around the globe this year.

The editorial team took things easy for most of the year and we did not publicly mark the blog’s sixth anniversary. The notice that Yahoo! was intending to eliminate “user posted content” from the Groups site at rather short notice in the last quarter caused a rush of activity to protect some of our information sources or to download particular pieces of information. Some of this information has already been published, mostly as updates to existing topics, and some has been marked for review and possible publication at a later date.

We still have some topics and updates on the “to do” list and may well find errors to correct and additional information to add to existing postings, so keep coming back in the coming year.

Terry,

on behalf of the editorial team (Trevor, Matt & Terry).

(*) as recorded by WordPress, using direct visits to the topic/posting.

 

 

Maine On2 group now on io

The former Yahoo! Maine On2 group has now been copied across to the io platform. All former members of the Yahoo! group with current working email addresses at the time of transfer should have received an email inviting them to join the group on io.

All the intellectual assets of the group such as the past message board, photos and files etc have been copied across and are now available on io.

For the record, io appears to replicate the functioning of Yahoo! groups and has proved to be very reliable in the six months or so of operations.

Those members of the Yahoo! group with non-working email addresses and prospective new members should visit the group home page on io to request membership.

To access the groups new home page on io click here.

Update 19-12-2019: Yahoo! has now removed the past message board, photos and files from their site as announced.

Updated 22-05-2020.

temp

This is a temporary posting to support a current discussion thread on the Yahoo! group.

The question is “which car has the Grandt Line trucks and which has the Portland Products trucks?”.

Clicking on the pictures will load a larger version.

 

All discussion to be on the Yahoo! board please.

 

Bridgton line doors – a temporary post

To illustrate a current thread on the Yahoo! group;-

View shows two scratchbuilt doors. The freight door is Evergreen scribed styrene sheet, and the accommodation door is built from Slater’s Plasticard (or similar) plain styrene sheeting. The white framing on the accommodation door was cut from .010″ sheet in strips.

 

Seen at the Mickleover Winter meet 2019

The following “new to me” parts were seen at the UK 7mm NGA Trent Valley local groups “winter meet” on the 26th January 2019 at Mickleover, near Derby, and may be of interest to Maine two Foot modelers, particularly those who follow the Bridgton line.

This picture shows the Grandt Line part number 3629 (left), placed against a drawing of the Hetch Hetchy part #8601 from the Portland Products catalogue.

Apart from not having a central mullion dividing the lower panel, it appears to be identical to station doors used on the original stations on the Bridgton line. For the Bridgton modeler it is a relatively simple matter to add this piece compared to scratch-building a complete door and frame.

This picture shows the Grandt Line window part number 3762 (left) described as 30″ x 56″ 6/6 double hung compared to the Tichy Train Group window part number 2006 (group of three) described as double hung window, 38″ wide x 66″ high, with glazing & shades (not shown).

The Grandt Line item is a standard choice for the Bridgton line modeller, but the Tichy part will be a useful addition where larger windows are required.

 

 

 

Top posts for 2018

The editors would like to wish all the contributors a Happy New Year and thank them for their material used in the past year. We also hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year.

The most viewed posts (*) for the calendar year 2018 were;-

#1- MaineOn2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#2– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module.

#3– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module.

#4– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module – Goes West – to New England.

#5- MaineOn2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL.

#6- MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL.

Click on the blue lettering to visit the topic on another browser page.

This is a rather different listing compared to those of previous calendar years, but it still has a familiar look, with Trevor Marshall’s now dismantled layout topping the list again. This is the first time that all six top places have been filled by layout posts.

Activity this year has been down on previous years, with fewer new topics posted and visitor numbers being slightly down on last year. The overall viewing and specific topic viewing numbers, which are used to produce these end of year rankings, are both significantly lower than those of the last few years.

The nationality of viewers had been pretty stable over the previous years, has seen some ranking changes this year. The USA still leads with some 77% of the 2018 total viewings, but Canada came in second with 4.7% and the United Kingdom slipped to third place with 4.2%, reversing their previous rankings. Next came Australia (2.8%), Switzerland (2.1%) and Germany (1.8%).

The blog has recorded visits from 55 different countries around the globe this year.

We still have more topics and content in-process and may well find errors to correct and additional information to add to existing postings, so keep coming back in the coming year.

Terry,

on behalf of the editorial team (Trevor, Matt & Terry).

(*) as recorded by WordPress, using direct visits to the topic/posting.

Farewell to Grandt Line

Grandt Line was a major supplier of injection moulded parts for US Outline Railroad modelers in various scales for nearly sixty years, but was closed by the existing family members in the Fall of 2018. Fortunately for modelers, the tooling, production machinery and rights to make parts were sold to The San Juan Company.

This post will focus on Grandt Lines activities and parts to support O scale Maine Two Foot modeling.

The company was started some 60 years ago by Cliff Grandt, an exceptional modeler as well as a toolmaker, who had a hankering for narrow gauge prototypes. From a recent search through the early issues of Finelines and Slim Gauge News, it seems  that one of Cliff’s first Maine Two Foot items was the SR&RL Railcar pedestal axlebox introduced in 1968.

In 1972 following the exit of a previous supplier a couple of years earlier, Grandt Line plugged a major gap in vital materials when they introduced their Two Foot wheel sets to ¼AAR standards, shown below.

Note the Boston lettering on the face of the wheel.

Whilst the majority of the items produced by Grandt Line for retail sales were injection moulded plastic, the company also produced some items in brass mainly for trade customers, such as the door and window sets some of which are illustrated below, which were commissioned by Custom Brass for use in the manufacture of their imported  brass passenger car models in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have subsequently been offered to the retail market in both brass and plastic.

 

In 1982 Grandt Line produced a generic Maine Two Foot freight car truck, moulded in Delrin, and which is still available – one of the staples for many Maine On2 modellers over the years.

 

Other parts produced specifically for the Maine Two Foot rolling stock modeler were the 4 rung ladders for the B&SR boxcars, stake pockets suitable for two foot flat cars and the large nut and square washers used on the ends of truss rods by the SR&RL and WW&FR with scale reproductions of the company lettering.

 

In addition, the company acquired the tooling of the Hetch Hetchy Scale Models concern and re-introduced a number of Maine Two Foot specific doors, windows and other architectural details.

The company employed a number of family members and they decided that on their  retirement in 2018 that they would prefer to close the business as Grandt Line and offer the tooling and production rights for sale to another supplier.

In the Fall/Autumn of 2018 the Grandt family announced that the production rights and tooling had been acquired by The San Juan Company in Colorado. Confirming their acquisition, the San Juan Company made a general announcement of intending to continue to supply parts in the future.

Some two years on it would appear that the San Juan Company have made great strides in re-introducing the parts. A brief scan through their O scale model railroading parts listing suggests that all parts for the Maine On2 modeler apart from the On2 wheelsets are currently available. To visit the San Juan Company website use our side bar link.  

We have retained our side bar link to the Grandt Line web site for the time being as it still contains much useful information for the modeller.

Updated  27 September 2019, 17 Jan 2019 & 15 May 2020.