Saturday essay: The missing piece
For the N-scale model railroader, it is something of a holy grail. And after a more than 25-year search, “it” has been had.
Back in the 1960s, the old man ran, as part of his massive HO train platform, a rubber-wheeled trolley bus that took its power from overhead lines. When, as an adult, I decided to model in the next smaller size, N-scale, I began to search for the same kind of bus.
A local hobby shop thought it might have one — in storage — but never could locate it. But my oldest brother, Scott, did manage to find one. And for Christmas, he delivered a wonderful surprise: in its original packaging, a never-used Eheim/Brawa trolley-minibus, model “Nr. 5102” — complete with 10 power standards and power/guide wire — manufactured in West Germany. It's a lime-ish green job. And from the styling of the Brawa logo on the chassis bottom — square instead of round — a company history confirms it was manufactured in 1963.
In a word, it is exquisite. But another word comes to mind, too — conundrum. The search began for the trolley bus all those years ago with the premise of mimicking my dad's last HO platform in N-scale; it was the sole missing piece. It will be difficult to decide whether to tackle the platform of homage or incorporate it into my current platform, replacing a modern light-rail vehicle.
But as any model railroader will attest, as conundrums go, this one is not necessarily a bad one to have.
— Colin McNickle
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- For U.S. House, Pa.: Re-elect Rothfus, Shuster, Kelly & Barletta
- The Fast & Furious scandal: Sunshine ahead?
- The Paycheck Fairness Act: It’s not needed
- U.N. Watch: Gun-grabbers unite!
- For the Pennsylvania House: Ortitay, Krieger and Logan
- Monsour’s legacy: A bitter pill
- For U.S. House in Ohio & West Virginia: Bill Johnson and David McKinley
- McCaffery’s suspension: Castille’s concurrence