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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was from back in 2020, but thinking about setting it up again this year. This is my 1938 Lionel OO set(using the later style track). The first year track is not compatible with what was made from 1939 till 42. Track is 3 rail with the proper 19mm gauge for OO scale. The biggest drawback is the roadbed is Bakelite, which at nearly 100 years old is brittle, easily chipped or cracked and many sections of track have warping where its bowed down in the center as Lionel didnt make the bottom of the roadbed flat, there are little "feet" at each end of a section. Even the 2 rail Lionel OO track, which is totally flat, is usually warped even worse than the 3 rail track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awsome, someone got a great deal on a nearly complete 3 rail OO set on ebay. I let it pass as it just duplicated what I already have. Hope it went to a good home. I look forward to your video.
 

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Here are a couple of pics from my Christmas layout. For starters, I didn't put it under the tree this year. It got a room of its own. The layout is a bi-level creation. The top level is built on the top of an antique sled and it is Lionel OO. The 001 Hudson is a 1938 model and it is pulling a set of 1939-42 OO cars. The lower level is an O Gauge set up on the floor. There is room for tweaking up the layout, which I will do as time passes.
Toy Flowerpot Event Table Winter
Toy Gas Wood Bumper Machine
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks great! My whole set(other than the track) is 1938. I got the later style track as eventually I want to build a much larger OO layout using the vintage track. And that 1938 track does not mate with the switches or the more common 39-42 track. Talk about a huge marketing fumble by Lionel.
 

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Lionel's entire OO Gauge venture was poorly thought out from the start. The only positive is the OO Hudson. It is jewel like and very well made. It doesn't suffer from the warpage of zinc pest like its O Gauge counterpart. I read somewhere that the OO Gauge Hudsons were cast in Italy and imported. I can't verify the veracity of that statement because very little, if any, records have ever been found. The other rumor I heard is that the OO Gauge dies were donated in scrap drives for the war effort. Again, no records exist as to the truth of that rumor. Whatever the case, Lionel was definitely operating outside its wheelhouse with the OO Gauge line. The freight cars were allegedly duplicated from ScaleCraft cars and Lionel was paying loyalties to the owner of ScaleCraft for the infringement, especially on the truck designs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, the dies still exhist, Richard Kuhn had test shots done with them in the 1990s as he had seriously looked into reissuing the OO line. So the dies are still with us. There was picture proof as the test shots came up for sale on ebay with provanance of when they were done. The OO line was cast in the USA with dies made in Italy, same as the full scale Hudson. But Lionel had mostly learned after the 1937 run of the 700e how to cast properly without the impurities that mess up the metal. Even just one foil gum wrapper thrown into the molten metal can mess it up. So very tight quality control had to be maintained. Yes, the OO line was very rushed, the whole train set is very high quality, Lionels trucks are so much better than Scale Craft's. Its fun to imagine what Lionel could have done had they came out of the WWII time with a complete game plan for OO instead of O.
 
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