Prototype or Freelance?

SD40E2 Apr 9, 2016

  1. SD40E2

    SD40E2 TrainBoard Member

    I have a decision to make with my new railroad,I have always admired the Seaboard Coast Line,and was modelling it to an extent in HO scale until recently,when it has become apparent that a pending move will leave me with less space than I would like, but since I am Bi-scale,the new railroad will be in nscale,to be built in a small room, So here is my "problem".I have always been an admirer of modellers such as Lance Mindhiem, and Tony Koester,so when I see nice railroads such as Mr. Mindhiem's CSX Miami downtown spur,it brings back memories when I was a conductor on NS, and loved working switchers and locals, contemplating moves and making those moves,only this time on a smaller scale,which I would enjoy much more than mainline running.So,I am considering just getting a small fleet of GP38-2'S, maybe 3-4 to run in pairs and either coming up with my own roadname, or maybe SCL geeps and building a railroad that will begin in staging,or "interchange" and rolling over a branch to a small town to switch industries enroute and return to staging. Any input or ideas, from other members would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.
  2. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

    I do both. I have modeled the Sunset Route as it appeared in 1951 for a section west of Houston and I build up accurate trains for the era that ran on those tracks. I also have a fictitious railroad that I have fun running over the same tracks. Whatever floats your boat.
  3. SD40E2

    SD40E2 TrainBoard Member

    That sounds like fun, SCL can drop cars, and local freelance power can pick up and switch, SCL can pick up outbounds.
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    It's your empire, so just have fun. Your NS experience should be a good help in the designing.
  5. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    There are pros and cons to both. You have to decide what will allow you to enjoy your trains the most.

    I'm a straight up prototype modeler. I love it, but I know it's not for everyone. Play around with some plans and you'll find you gravitate toward something good for you.
  6. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    In honesty, I think even the most devoted prototype modeler makes compromises based on available space and selective compression. One of the phrases I used to hear a lot was proto-freelance, where people consciously strove to follow the general practices and designs of a real road while adapting to the space they had and the specific "druthers" they wanted to incorporate.
    SP-Wolf likes this.
  7. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

    I like switching myself more than long distance running, so when I started my N gauge. layout I had that in mind. At the time I built it 12 inches deep by 14 feet in length with a double ended visible staging yard, four yard tracks, an arrival and departure track a single main track, a small engine service area and a time saver type of industrial area. Switching cars at scale speeds and assembling a train, switching the industries, returning to the yard, breaking up the train and returning the loco and caboose to the service area, all movements at scale speed, took at least an hour to complete. This beginning part of layout is included in my around the walls shelf layout in a spare bedroom which allows continuous running as well as switching which must work in conjunction with each other.
  8. SD40E2

    SD40E2 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks guys, I think the proto-freelance is the way I will go, that way I still can run my favorite road. Retsignalmtr pretty much nailed what I was looking to do, so now it is off to paint a pair of GP38-2's in black and yellow and run those while I wait for ATLAS' SCL GP40's to arrive, more to come!
  9. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    At arms length it's all prototype and sometimes the real thing. ;)
  10. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

    This is exactly how I am doing my layout. Since I cannot model my chosen area exactly as it is. I have taken artistic license with certain things (I added a turntable to Oxnard's yard). I back dated Oxnard's depot. I also added a depot at Montalvo. Basically I gave names to the towns and yard for switching purposes. What I will be striving for is the feel of Southern Pacific. I have the series of SP standards books. And, will be using them in the construction of line side details and SP owned buildings. My track plan is completely fictitious. Bottom line -- it's my little empire and I am having a blast with it.

  11. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    I've haven't even built a layout yet, but I really like to research. I find this to be one of the best parts of the hobby. I would use selective compression to show the results of my research. I find proto-freelance to be my best option. If you have a modular club near you, a switching module could bring some interest to their layouts.

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