model train set on track

Keep on Truckin’

e*Train Issue: Oct 2003   |   Posted in:

By Mike Stella

While it may be true that “HO” stands for “Half O” in physical size the fact remains that hundreds or maybe thousands of items have been offered to the HO modeler that the “O” gauger can only dream about.

Most of us are content to make do with what ever the manufacturer will provide. Plasticville houses still find their way into our Lionel cities. But what does the model empire builder do when he desires to add a building he has often seen in “HO” but never in “O”? Simple! Get out your scale rule, that “HO” model building or set of plans, and BLOW IT UP to 1/4″ size.

I had been thinking about this for some time. Foam board makes an easy medium to work with. A classic cardboard “HO” building from the 1940s or 1950s can be quickly recreated in “O” scale and suddenly hundreds of buildings that are not available as ready to run structures can be added to your pike.

My experiment in “Blowing Up” a structure started with an “HO” AYERS Truck Terminal offered in the early 1950s. Using a scale RR ruler makes it easy to measure “HO” parts and expand them into “O” gauge parts. The results were very satisfying as I hope the pictures will show. My next project involves an “HO” Blast Furnace I’ve had my eye on.

Here’s the complete “HO” kit (collector’s item?) ready to be used as a pattern for bigger things.
Boxcars with LCL freight are unloaded into the terminal.
LCL freight can now be reloaded onto local delivery trucks.
This entire project took just a few hours and provides one reason my railroads existence.