HO scale aluminum passenger cars

Discussion in 'Passenger Equipment' started by Joseph Toth, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    www.okengines.com is a company located in NY state who has manufacturered aluminum passenger cars in HO scale for years. They will also stamp ANY window design working from plans for an additional reasonable cost as well!

    They include Pullman-Standard streamline cars in their line as kits, ready-built or as mentioned, special orders, to stamp specific cars. Not sure about the roof designs but their prices are reasonable and with aluminum bodies and metal trucks. a modeler can have a train made up of any Frisco or Katy car including the Texas Special.

    Their costs are compeditive with the current plastic offerings and a lot less than brass. A look at their site is worth taking a look at.

    Joe Toth
  2. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    i looked on the sits and do not see many photo's. Joe do you have some of these cars? How do they look?
    Bill Jackson
  3. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Frisco.org Supporter

    Weren't those the cars that were called "Herkimer" at some point in time?

  4. mktjames

    mktjames Member

    Those are the old Herkimer cars. I think the company is run by the grandson now. I started the same project about twenty year ago and got one coach done. It is an old fashion kit with fiberboard wood floors , you make all the underside detail from wood stock, I used central valley trucks and cut up an AHM interior to make the seat floorplan. It took me about 6 weeks to do one car. I later bought the Hallmark set and since the fluting is different, it became a NYC car. MKTJames
  5. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Many years ago I had one of these (Herkimer/OK) cars, and they are just as described in the previous post: extruded body shell with sides and roof, cast ends and a fiber board floor that sort of slides into slots in the extruded body. They are just like the old Tyco/Mantua cars except they come in a variety of lengths. They are okay, but lack the detail of the more modern plastic equipment. I would say if you spend enough time on them, you could end up with something pretty nice, plus there would be an element of nostalgia to it not present in contemporary offerings. I once bought a "blank" body shell from Mantua and cut in the windows myself to custom build an RPO car. I was a lot of filing, but it turned out fairly well.

  6. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member


    The site certainly lacks photos! Like the rest of you mention, they are not anything comparable to the new plastic models. They will stamp any window design from plans so a modeler "could" make up a Texas Special or a specific Frisco streamlined car but it would still probably lack some of the details. I am not too sure about the roof designs either. My late friend in Florida had a set back in the 60s and for their time were better than the Athearn and Mantua/Tycos. OK still offers the shorty and 80 footers in their product line.

    Bill at www.preownedtrains.com has three 80 footers on his site now listed under the original Herkimer name at $7.50/each. He lists a diner, sleeper and observation. He probably has more that he hasn't placed on his site yet. He has two photos up of each car (both sides) so you can see what they look like. Are there any brass passenger cars other than the ones that were imported as Texas Special models that have been imported that can "pass" as a car close to any simular TS or Frisco cars? I notice a lot of brass cars, some that are plated, on consignment at Caboose Hobbies, The Caboose, and Chuck's Brass Trains that are reasonably priced from time to time.

    Joe Toth
  7. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    FMIG Newsletter #25 (March, 1980) has a superb article by Ken McElreath on Frisco Passenger Car Modeling, which references using the "OK Herkimer" cars for some of the Frisco's streamlined cars:


    In short, Ken recommended using OK Herkimer coaches with some window filling for Dormitory Coaches 1095-1096, 1250-1258 series coaches and 1650-1652 buffet-lounge cars, and OK Herkimer observation cars for the 1550-1551 dining-observation cars. He also included some of his modifications in terms of detailing.

    Prior to these newsletters being digitized, Doug Hughes was kind enough to set me up with a copy of this newsletter. It still resides in my files, along with copies of most of Tim Cannon's originals that he lent me in the early 1990s.

    Best Regards,
  8. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Thanks for the info Yardmaster! OK will stamp any window design for any of their cars so it appears that at least some Frisco streamline cars can be produced in the $50 range. Perhaps others can be modified to come close as well. With the brass import jobs costing what they do and the fact they aren't 100% in regards to details this sounds like a good way to add some cars to the roster even if they are generic in nature. If pro-painted and super detailed they should still make up a great looking train to at least get the feel and spirit of Frisco cars and perhaps the Texas Special too.

    Joe Toth
  9. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter


    If you look into the Kansas City - Florida Special 105/106 Thread, I have posted there several color photos of the coach and 14-4 sleeper that I made using the OK/Herkimer coach kits, Walthers wood floors and underbody details/wood shapes, and doors cast from an Athearn coach kit.

    The car length is five scale feet short, causing a little adaptation in the window arrangements, but I am very satisfied with them. They shout "Frisco" to me.

    Ken McElreath
  10. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Great Work! Beautiful Train! Have there been any articals on the KC-FS? My step-father moved the family from Dallas to Tampa in 1959. I got to visit my grandparents during the 1960 summer vacation and wanted to take the train to KC and then ride the Texas Special to Dallas. I got stuck on a 3 day Greyhound instead. That really was a bummer! The train has always facinated me. Your thread mentions the fact that some TS cars were reassigned to it without the removal of the TS letterboards. This is what makes modeling these trains and the Frisco so cool! Thanks for the info and pix!

    Joe Toth

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