BM Modeling by fate, a tale of Potter Place NH and N scale.

Discussion in 'Fallen Flags' started by Jim Wiggin, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Did I get your attention? Good! Most on TB know I was born and raised in the Granite State although Illinois has become an adopted home. Still NH has been and always will be "home". When I was three years old, my dad loaded up the Mercury Capri (How many remember those?) and took my mom and I up the road for a surprise. We lived (and still do) not too far from the Boston & Maine Northern Line and any time we went north on 3A I would strain to look out the window for the big blue trains. Yes, I remember this stuff at this age. I have a vivid memory of seeing a SW with a few PS1 boxcars painted for B&M and a buggy run on this line. My dad pulled up to a station not far from the house. A small town named Potter Place. At the station was a beautiful steam engine and a series of streamlined cars with big windows and things inside the windows. Unfortunately I don't remember too much of the cars or steam locomotive, I was too excited to see the B&M engine in red, white and blue. Yes, it was the American Freedom Train we saw that day and this is the station it was stopped at.


    Potter Place was a town at one time, now it is just a part of Andover NH. This station has become the topic of modeling on my own N scale railroad that has been a stop and go process for the past 10 years or more. I'll be sharing with you how I will model Potter Place in N scale in approximately 6 feet. It will be as it was from the time frame of 1976 to 1983, pre Guilford. I may even back up that date sometimes to early 1960's so I can run passenger operations and flashy maroon F Units.

    I'll be up there this Friday and Saturday doing more research, so if you see a Green Jeep with Illinois plates, stop by and say hi.
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Aha, I knew "Potter Place" sounded familiar, but I had to look at Google Earth to jog my memory. I remember driving from Laconia over to Claremont in the early 50s, obviously going through PP, otherwise ya can't get theah from heah. Hope you have a great time researching and reminiscing, today's snow should be well plowed by Friday.

    BTW, try to find a Life-Like E7 Minute Man Maroon & Gold for passenger traffic in the late 50s, early 60s. Mine has been a great runner for over 10 years, nice and slow with DC, and looks fine with 5-6 maroon heavy weights.
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Hi Jim, how'd your weekend research go?
  4. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Wow, what a beauty that station is. Thanks, Jim
  5. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Hi guys, didn't get any research done this last time as we were busy helping my brother install a hot water heater. However, when that picture was taken, my dad and I, carefully measured elements of the town. How many feet from the edge of the road to a switch stand, distance from siding to freight house and so on. I'll be updating with pictures soon. I has been a huge help as to planning the town in N scale. The only tool I need now is time.
  6. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

    Yeah, and all the online stores are out of stock. :tb-tongue:
  7. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    They say time is the essence in which we burn. Little line from a Star Trek movie. I have been super busy with all things editorial. Each month is a new deadline with the magazine and this month I had two reviews I had to get done. Not only that but something model railroad related has been taking up a lot of time and believe it or not, it is NOT B&M but N scale. Hopefully you'll see it soon enough. Christmas seams to take way to much time as well. I'm putting the last few touches on a friends project and then I hope to get some modeling done!

    I have:
    1. Data from Potter Place, measurements from grade crossing to distances of buildings and track work, pictures of buildings, even paint samples.
    2. All track needed for the work plus a new soldering iron
    3. All paint needed
    4. Camera to document my work
    Just need one last thing TIME. I move back home to Illinois in less than three months so two more research trips are in order while PP is only a six hour drive and not an 18 hour drive!

    Stay tuned.....
  8. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Quick update. I updated my blog explaining my logic as to why and what on Potter Place in N. Feel free to check it out. Tonight the MOW equipment came out, track was cut, wire was routed. Hopefully by tomorrow the main will be operational again.
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'd offer to sell you one of my patented 25 hour days, but the elves are way behind in production... :(

    Love that depot. Wish I could see it in person.
  10. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Dang! I could use it too. Wanna know a secrete? I built a time machine. Problem is it only takes me five minutes into the future and it takes me five minutes to get in it and start it up.

    Would love to give you a tour of it, the main line turned bike path is cool too. Thankfully the state left the ROW in good shape with most artifacts still there.
  11. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Update time fellow lovers of the Minuteman. Last weekend, I was able to not only visit Potter Place, but got in touch with Pat, the watchman of this town. We spent over three hours looking at pictures of Potter Place, from 1870 until present day. I now have a photograph of the station from each decade. We found the original map, and got the extensive tour of both the passenger station and freight station.


    Here is a view of the office, and believe it or not, most of these artifacts were here after the railroad left! Pat has become an incredible resource and a huge help in my layout. A few more measurements with the help from my dad and older brother and I was all set.

    Unfortunately, all the track I had put down a few weeks earlier interfered with the new measurements I had gotten last Sunday. So yesterday, the cutters came out, track plan was updated and now I need to work on hiding the curve of the model main line while making the prototype mainline more in focus. Seems fitting that I will have to be an illusionist since the founder of this town was one in real life!


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