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Can you remember when you played with trains on the floor?

The John G. Hubbard Restoration Collection Part 2, Display and Operation

By John S. Halajko, TCA 84-20653, and John G. Hubbard, TCA 72-4610

This is the second of two TCA e*Train articles about the Restoration Collection of John G. Hubbard. The first appeared in the Fall 2020 edition. Unfortunately, Mr. Hubbard died on June 25, 2020 before he could contribute to writing this Part 2 article.

Hubbard used white walls and shelving to display his colorful collection of restored Prewar pieces.

The tremendous diversity in Prewar Lionel comes to the forefront in this photo.

The colorful collection includes many restored Prewar pieces in his former bedroom at Homewood. Can you name the three electrics on the top shelf? The orange Ives train is a Hubbard Special. He painted the passenger cars to match the engine.

You can clearly see an original pantograph married to a fresh paint job.

Hubbard would frequently tell others that all steam engines should be black, but his favorite Prewar engine is the Hiawatha above. Go figure that one?

Once more the diversity of Prewar Trains is a feast for the eyes.

Hubbard was instrumental in bringing about the Williams Ives 1694 Electric shown above. His copy has a JH over the IL logo on the locomotive side. I believe that Jerry Williams may have presented this as an award to Hubbard for his dedication to the project. As some of you may already know, the Williams' Ives Electric cab is made from five pieces of sheet metal, four sides and roof. This was done to simplify the cab roof painting. The original Ives version used only three, one for the body sides/roof and two for the end pieces.

Here are some Prewar electrics with passenger cars.

Note the red Lionel Box Electric on the second shelf above the floor, and how much more detail it has compared to the earlier Lionel red train just above it.


Here is a closer view of the items.

Hubbard chose to convert his master bedroom to a train display using the floor to maximize space and minimize setup time. (See the title picture above) This happened when his friend, Andrew Lockhart, TCA 70-3161, who helped him build his Severna Park Layout was no longer able to help.  Trains on the floor are less subject to damage, like dropping off the track onto the floor! You just need to be nimble afoot. Lionel O-Gauge track does not bend when it is stepped on!

Hubbard's father, Thomas F. Hubbard, started the tradition of building houses and buildings out of inexpensive materials for his three sons. John continued the tradition and you can see the small red barn and farmhouse on the upper left- hand side behind the water tower. That is the home of Farmer Brown who sold off his land for this real estate development.

Hubbard started the tradition of Farmer Brown when we built his layout in Baltimore. He carried it over to Severna Park and to Frederick, Maryland. Brown's farm in Baltimore was exceptionally large and somewhat protected because the surface was in the background and somewhat hard to reach. Once relocated to Severna Park, real estate development for a Trolly Barn and other buildings lined Farmer Brown's pockets.


As you can see there are lots going on in Hubbardville.

 

 
Wonder what Farmer Brown is having for dinner tonight?

Hubbard used the aisles around the floor display for visitor seating and used an MTH Z-4000 held unit to control the trains.  This is what can be done using a floor layout and inexpensive building materials. Hubbardville is now a memory. For those of us who visited Hubbardville, we take with us the fond memories of Farmer Brown, the city hospital, and the collection of trains on the walls.

Consider using a Farmer Brown on your train layout or garden. Remember that you can always blame Farmer Brown for letting his animals escape captivity, causing derailment.

Second Decade.
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