Transfer Turn Table

-click photos to enlarge-

Check out this wild project from the early 1950s! Ray Downs of Bay Shore, New York won first place in Railroad Model Craftman's 1952 Model Building Contest. The December 1952 issue of RMC has all the details, but in summary Mr. Downs wanted to get maximum efficency from a small area in building his HO layout. Boy, did he!

-pictured is the builder's son, Ray Downs Jr.-

The primary material for the entire structure was white pine painted silver. Ultimately his plan was to have 52 tracks feed from his oval-shaped pit. Though not all trackage is complete you can get the idea of what his intent is. What a way to display all your motive power! For all those guys with an overabundance of MTH, Atlas and Lionel locos this may be the ideal way to not only display the collection but operate it on-demand as well.

That giant gantry in the background operates to service the engine house. Wow!

More pics and text in the Dec 1952 RMC issue. See if there's a copy here!


A Special Treat!

The cloak of mystery is beginning to unveil.

Some of you know that I've been asked about Burplaspa Tunnels made by the Don Shasteen Studio. What little I did know was previously reported in an earlier post. Since that time I've been fortunate (or just darn lucky!) to have been in touch with one of Don Shasteen's grandchildren, Charla Fraley. Charla kindly provided a few photos that not only offers a look at Mr. Don Shasteen but also a glimpse of his factory and scope of his offerings. Take a look (and click the photos to enlarge):

Don Shasteen. What a dapper gentleman!

Company truck with person unknown at the Shasteen factory located at Miami and Jay Streets in Toledo, Ohio. Note the panel truck reads in part "Display Signs & Posters; Toys & Novelties"

Don Shasteen in front of his factory. Note the sign proclaiming the studio as manufacturers of "Baby Grand Golf Courses." Miniature golf was a big fad beginning in the 1920s with its popularity lasting into the mid-1930s.

Very special thanks to Charla Fraley for sharing these photos with us!