I’ve made no secret of the fact that while many of my contemporaries in the hobby were salivating over layouts depicting West Virginia Coal Hauling Railroads, it was the heavy interurbans on the O scale Crooked Mountain Lines layout built by Bob Hegge that struck me like a bolt of lightning.
At one time, the National Model Railroad Association offered a series of Heritage and Living Legends Cars in multiple scales – and Hegge’s CML was honoured on Car #14. These are no longer available from the NMRA, but I was fortunate to stumble across and acquire an unbuilt example of the S scale version:
As the photo suggests, this was a custom print run of a Pacific Rail Shops boxcar (actually, Gold Coast Models according to the instruction sheet, but the two were related.)
Given that the “prototype” for this model was an interurban railroad, I may even modify the kit by adding the unique brake rigging employed on some boxcars owned by Pacific Electric. As this Sunshine Models flyer explains, the brake system was rigged to the outside of the trucks in order to handle the PE’s sharp curves. (I would love to get my mitts on a copy of the instructions for the now-discontinued Sunshine kit. It would help me perform the necessary modifications.)
While I consider myself a prototype modeller, I’m not so tightly wound that I can’t pay tribute to a hobby hero by running a freelanced railroad’s boxcar on the layout from time to time.
I’m sure Bob Hegge would’ve approved…