Well, that was a nice surprise ………
In my model room I have a plan chest. Some of the drawers have drawings in, some have models in and, clearly, some have hidden treasure in them.
Having decided that my flirtation with 0n30 wasn’t going any further as I concentrate on the 0n3 layout I have been selling off some of the 0n30 stuff lurking in that drawer. This Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose was lurking in the 0n30 drawer.
The Goose was produced by an outfit called Precision Craft Models in the USA and I was the UK importer for them. They were actually the same company as Broadway Limited in all but name(the original one, not the current incarnation). Originally, BLI were set up by the company that introduced QSI sound decoders to bring their decoders to the market by hiding them in models. For narrow gauge modellers their first loco was a C16 2-8-0 with a QSI decoder in them. Even for the time the models were a little crude with moulded on pipework like an Airfix loco kit but the sound was excellent. This version of BLI was located in the north of the USA. The ploy worked, fantastic for its time, everyone now wanted QSI decoders in their models.
Having done what they set out to with BLI they no longer needed a model business and QSI sold the company. They were canny though, they managed to sell it to an outfit based in Florida and sold it with a tie to using QSI decoders but with no priority in the supply chain. Most of the original BLI staff left not wanting to move.
The new BLI found itself with models in production, a tie to use QSI decoders and no decoders. The answer was Precision Craft Models. It was basically a parallel company, all the details and staff exactly the same but no tie. Several HO locos were produced under this banner but the only 0n30/0n3 item was the galloping goose. The PCM models all had Loksound decoders in them.
BLI/PCM went through some weird times. In the following years they continued to have decoder troubles trying to bring their own out which were rubbish. They also lost most of their dealer network. They were so hand to mouth that they had to sell all their stock to finance the next project so having sold to dealers at a standard dealer discount and having only just done so they’d dump all the remaining stock on the market at a retail below dealer cost. Initially they did this to a couple of large US hobby shops but then to a company called Factory Direct Trains which by some amazing coincidence had the same address and the same directors (just in a different order). On those terms most dealers would have nothing to do with them. They have changed now but have stuck to HO & N models.
The Goose was produced in 0n30 & 0n3, in a passenger and freight version and in several prototypical liveries and some fanciful fictional ones.
Its not been produced since 2005 and is now a quite sought after model.
The Surprise? Well, the model that was in the 0n30 drawer didn’t fit on the 0n30 test track. Turns out its 0n3 and would therefore fit on my layout.
The Dilemma. When it was thought to be 0n30 I was selling it. Now I am undecided.
It doesn’t really fit with my layout but it would sit in my larger 0n3 collection but I could really do with the money its sale would make for a current project.
I thought writing about it would help me make my mind up. It hasn’t!
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