"Boxcar Ken" still into trains.

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"Boxcar Ken" still into trains.

Post by keyrouteken » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:36 am

In the late 1940's/early 1950's there was a gentleman in Southern California who produced O-scale freight and passenger car kits for the model railroad hobbyist.
He utilized an address at or near the old PE building in downtown L.A. known as 'Metropolitan Station' as I recall. His kits were absolutely beautiful and widely known. The guy called himself "Boxcar Ken" !! And BC kits were grabbed up by modelers every chance they could. They were very popular.

Around 10 years ago or so, two gentlemen made the trip from Fresno to Southern California to acquire the BC models (Box Car Ken) presses and tooling from the widow of Bill Cotton. Bill was the tool and die maker behind the BC kits, and he certainly was a genius in his trade. They managed to find and identify all but a few of the items needed to perpetuate the models, but one critical component was never located, that being the indexing jigs needed to properly space window and door openings in the car sides. One "feature" of all of the BC kits was the oversized truck cut-outs. Apparently, this compromise was made to allow the kits to be built and operated by the 3-rail crowd. They had a new punch and die made to fit Bill's punch "shoe" and now have the ability to punch proper truck cutouts for the car sides. All of this stuff is "old school", but the results can be quite nice.

So why do I tell you guys all this O-scale stuff in a Live Steam forum on Chaski ??

Well, to continue-- At Christmas time, in 1973, my new wife Suzie and I were house guests of the late Dick Bagley. Dick took us all over to show us the Live Steam scene in Southern California. As part of this, I was the keynote speaker at the Annual Banquet of the Los Angeles Live Steamers. It was during my talk to the LALS members during dinner, that I spotted my old friend 'Gary Kubicek' in the middle of the crowd.
Dick Bagley took us to the Riverside Live Steamers, where he had Suzie operate the "Hunter" 4-8-4 locomotive. She did very well and I captured her adventure on motion picture film. Dick then said he had someone "special" for us to meet as Dick knew I was also an avid O-scale enthusiast.
He said "Ken, I'd like you to meet BOXCAR KEN" !! WOW-- it was really HIM. In the flesh. The renowned BOXCAR KEN!!! (grin)

So, as this tale concludes, who was that 'masked man' who was responsible for the famous BC Car Kits ?? Simple... oldtime RLS member "KEN CASFORD" ...

And now you know the rest of this historic tale !! Cheers.

Ken Shattock

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Re: "Boxcar Ken" still into trains.

Post by BAdams » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:19 pm

Here's a shot of "Ol' Boxcar" and his wife Norma catching a ride behind Charlie Kennemer's Mogul on July 8th of this year.

click here


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Re: "Boxcar Ken" still into trains.

Post by WJH » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:35 pm

O scale live steam...
I received a box of goodies from another GGLS member containing a little engines Hudson in O gauge, and another model which was purely handmade with no castings. The handmade one looks like it ran at one point in time, minus the boiler. Looks like it fell off a table. Would be curious to know the history, hmm..

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