My Museum Monday: 6

I have always been a railway enthusiast. My peripatetic life has given me the opportunity to be a a train spotter, nor have I ever managed to create a model railway. I guess I’ve really been interested in the history and archaeology of railways, and rather than travel on heritage railways I’ve preferred to explore the traces of long-abandoned routes in whatever country I’m in. Being a “grown-up” has meant that I’ve acquired a few relics of past railways, though mostly in miniature. 

O gauge (top) and HO gauge model “switchers”.

This week’ s artefacts are two “switchers” as they are called in North America – large shunting locomotives. My two examples are in O and HO gauges. The 70-year-old Lionel O gauge locomotive is missing its bell and an exhaust vent. Replacement parts will cost just a couple of dollars, but unfortunately the spares source in the US has a $40 minimum order for shipping, so repairs will have to wait until some future opportunity. The HO loco is a modern model. I doubt I’ll ever get to operate the Lionel model, which is sad because it has a built-in bell. It also weighs a ton!

More trains next week…

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