The Best of Times/Not the Worst of Times
O Scale Central President’s Message
It’s a great time to be in O Scale 2 Rail! The engines and rolling stock produced today are of extraordinary high quality. Atlas and Sunset/Third Rail produce models with great fidelity to prototype and excellent mechanisms. Protocraft and American Scale Models continue to produce high quality brass rolling stock. Bachman’s On30 equipment created a market for affordable O Scale narrow gauge modeling. Uncertainty as to the future of MTH models following Mike Wolf’s retirement have been at least partially answered by the announcement from Atlas that it will be bringing sizable portions of the line under its name and by an announcement that at least part of the line will be manufactured under the MTH label.
The availability and realism of structures, scenery and accessories from companies like Woodland Scenics are light years ahead of past efforts. Atlas continues to produce standardized, reliable track and switches. Innovators like FastTracks allow quick, custom switches. Detail parts and the tools and techniques to use them continue to improve. The modeling on 2-Rail O Scale& Proto 48 Facebook group is superb. There is lots of energy and a regular parade of new modelers entering the Scale. Our friends in three-rail O continue to provide OS2R modelers with models which are easy to convert to 2-Rail and yield excellent, authentic results.
OS2R modelers now have access to the scale-wide product and service guide (oscaleinfo.com/WP/os2r-product-guide) and modelers considering switching to the Scale have access through oscaleinfo.com to user-friendly descriptions of how to get started. O Scale Trains, O Scale Resource and Narrow Gauge Gazette provide regular information on what is happening. After a long, dark, dismal year, O Scale Train Shows are starting up: Last week (Saturday, April 10th) was Cleveland. The Strasburg (PA) show is this week (Saturday, April 17th). Use the (oscaleinfo.com) link for info on the shows. And the 2021 O Scale National Convention will be held in Denver June 17-19 (oscalenational.com), with a great destination and a great program.
We have our bumps: most mass produced models in every scale, including OS2R, come from China; and production, supply chain, cost and transportation complicate deliveries. Some popular models may be in short supply and new models delayed. These disruptions are not unique to OS2R, and we have resources to help our modelers find what they need, even during uncertain times. Search for the models you want, using the O Scale 2 Rail Product Guide™. Reach out to listed dealers. They have models in stock, and they need and deserve your support. Check out train shows, particularly the OS2R shows and the upcoming O Scale National. These shows display new stock, “new old stock” and used models, generally at attractive prices. You can check the models out in person and test run them. Access the rest of secondary market: Oscaleyardsale on groups.io and eBay, for example. You can use “want-ads” on Facebook groups and on OscaleYardSale. And reach out to your friends and fellow members of the OS2R community; you can never tell what they have in their little hobby shops in the basement. The Scale is full of great models and great modelers. Treat the search for those you want as part of the fun. Lets get back to trains! Good hunting!