MODELING: A Famous Train in Model Form

The golden era of luxury passenger trains is history.   Few people alive today can remember or have experienced passenger travel on a grand scale.   One great fan of famous passenger trains is Bruce Blalock.  He decided to have few beutiful cars of his favorite railroad.   Bruce is an unabashed fan of the Missouri Kansas Texas (MKT).   The Texas Special was the road’s finest passenger train. It was unique in that it was jointly operated with the Frisco.  The train ran from Saint Louis to Kansas City and points south in Texas.

The train is celebrated in the beautiful John Winfield painting of the Texas Special stopping in Austin, Texas.

Back to Bruce’s quest for his Katy models.  He turned to master builder Dan Pantera to create a masterpiece of the trains observation the Stephen Austin.

The model was built from a Kaisner extruded car body with a ICC plastic roof and end along with a bunch of details that Dan applied to the car.  Bruce did the decal artwork nearly forty years ago hoping to have models to use them on.

This is Dan Pantera’s workshop surrounded by his work.  Customer projects range from heavyweight cars to modern streamliners like the blue Nickel Plate Road cars in the foreground.   Dan built Bruce’s observation and is currently working on another car for the Texas Special.   The fellow with the frown is none other than Mike O’Connell. The gentleman standing in the background is Dick Harley. That is Jim Wolf standing in the center of the picture.

As a sidebar, the first time I met Bruce was in 1981 or so when I visited him in the Houston area.   One thing I remember me was the license plate on his car.  It spelled out Texas Special.

Thank you Bruce for sharing your beautiful model.


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