Hegge Tribute: CML 1952

Bob Hegge's CML photo Hegge-CML_zps6cd235c8.jpg

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:
CML 1952 photo CML-1952-01_zps7239915d.jpg

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…

11 thoughts on “Hegge Tribute: CML 1952

    • Hi Rich:
      As noted, the outside brake rigging was done on a single-sheathed wood car. But since…
      1 – Hegge’s line was freelanced
      2 – Hegge’s line was an interurban
      … I think I can get away with attempting something like this on the CML steel box I have. It’ll make for an interesting conversation piece.

  1. Trevor
    Bob Hegge and his friend, Bill Clouser, portrayed a different form of railroading. I remember a photo published in Model Railroader of Bob’s yard at night. Markers, headlights and switchstand lamps were shining brightly. It was an image that has stuck with me for many years.


    • Hi Gene:
      If I recall, Hegge was a professional photographer. That probably has something to do with why his images had such an effect on modellers at the time, including me…

  2. Bob’s articles on his CML were some of the best inspirational work back in my early modeling years as well. Still have several Oscale trolley poles in my parts trove waiting for just the right inspiration.

  3. Trevor,
    I have two of these Sunshine kits in my “yet to build” collection with the supplemental instructions on the PE brake rigging. What is your email (in an personal email to me at the above address) and I will scan and get to you on the 20th.

  4. An older friend gave me a couple of RMCs in the early 1970s featuring Bob Hegge’s CML and there are many times I go back to what he did. I wish that I had kept the issues featuring his layout through the years, but my memory still serves me well.

    Every now and again I think of selling off all my HO equipment (Rutland, GMRC, Steamtown…) and building an O-scale interurban based on the Springfield Terminal and Claremont Street Railway, but basing it in Bellows Falls.

    My friend Bob Nimke (deceased) had a beautiful O-scale pike based on the Central New England set in 1918. No worries about “making a hitch” or electrical contact with O-scale!

    • Hi Romey:
      Thanks for the note. I too have thought about the Springfield Terminal in O scale. And at one time, I modelled the B&M Claremont Branch in HO, including the connection to the Claremont street railway (with their “one-car-at-a-time” policy for freight switching through the streets). So I know exactly what you mean about the allure of O scale under wire.

  5. Just this past week, I finally found one of these cars in ‘N’ormal Scale and was very happy to add it to my collection! It’s great for me since my road is located in Washington State, and the CML was likewise a PNW line, so it’s a lot easier to justify then my V&O hopper!

    However, I was just watching WB video’s Milwaukee’s Mighty Electrics, and in one of their trains, there was a Virginian hopper, so since the big boys could do it, so can I! No, not really, the more ‘stuff’ you have to explain, the more realism suffers to my way of thinking. I would, however, still like to find an Alturas and Lone Pine box car….

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