Review by Dan Munson/photos by the author
I believe in full disclosure when reviewing a product. That being said… I have been a big fan of Allen McClelland’s legendary Virginian & Ohio railroad for years!
I hope that many of you have heard of the HO scale Virginian & Ohio (V&O) built by Allen McClelland. He conceived his proto-freelance railroad in the early 1960s, long before the phrase “proto-freelance” was coined. Allen wrote extensively about his V&O as he was building and designing this operations-based model railroad. Many of these articles appeared in the pages of this magazine. His work became an inspiration for many model railroaders, including me, to create their own road. The V&O has since become the standard for proto-freelanced model railroads. Sadly, Allen passed away last year. He did leave us a great legacy in his writing and photos of the Virginian & Ohio.
Over the years, a number of authorized Virginian & Ohio rolling stock releases have been offered for sale. These Tangent tank car models sold under the Home Shops brand are some of the most highly detailed cars offered for the V&O. One of the last projects Allen was personally involved with was the creation of these cars, based on the GATC 10,000-gallon tank car from Tangent Scale Models. Chris Palmieri of Home Shops, LLC, worked with both Allen and his son Brad on this project. Four different numbers are offered, each sporting a unique stencil for different shop and engine facility locations on the V&O, including Afton, Va.; Gallipolis, Ohio; West Carrollton, Ohio; and a West Carrollton re-stencil. V&O 408, the West Carrollton re-stencil, reflects the prototype practice of changing data and destinations on cars due to reassignments, especially on company service equipment (and to take it a step further, “West Carollton” is the real-life suburb of Dayton where Allen lived and the layout resided for many years).
These gorgeous tank cars are designated to carry waste oil. This allows the cars to be waybilled and shipped to any facility that handles waste oil, which are located all over the country. This creative planning by Allen, Brad, and Chris allows the cars to travel anywhere in North America, meaning these cars can plausibly be seen on any model railroad (even yours!), and not just on the V&O’s home rails…