May 25, 2013
Man after my own heart. I love diversity.
RickH, I blame KATO for their passenger car sets, and some Con-Cor too. I suppose you could say I got addicted to passenger service along with the typical PRR and Reading coal hauling. ;-) Diversity it is! Gary
Ah, Yes! Diversity. Personally, I can't even decide whether I like truss rod freight cars or vehicles with tail fins better, so I plan on a scrolling era, 1908-2009. On the locale, I'm considerably more specific. Michigan's Tri Cities area is the only place I know of that was actually served at various times by the Detroit and Mackinac, Grand Trunk Western, and Pere Marquette/C&O. All of these connect with the totally frelanced Huron Central Railway at GreenRiver, Michigan, a gritty industrial city supposedly located near Saginaw. From there, the HCR heads for the middle of Michigan's thumb area and also to Port Erewhon, a Great Lakes port too small to accept commercial traffic in the modern era. It makes its living primarily by hauling agricultural products out of the thumb and switching the industries at GreenRiver. (Watch what happens to that business in 2009.) By 2009, the HCR has sold its freight operation to RailAmerica, retaining its steam excursion business based at the other end of the line at the imaginary rural community of Mooresburg, which also boasted a working coal mine prior to the depression. (Yes, coal mines were once common in the area around Saginaw bay, but the coal was of poor quality and difficult to mine, so the industry did not survive.) It's a strange set of circumstances, but one that accomodates almost everything I want to model, including my choice of the 20+ different liveries/patchout schemes found on Huron and Eastern and Central Michigan diesels, not to mention a 100 year variety of operating patterns.
Diversity. I don't like it, at all. Unless, it's prototypical for my my era and location. Pennsy engines and trains just don't look "right" running through the red standstone cliffs of Echo Canyon...something WRONG with that IMHO, just like a Big Boy running on Horseshoe Curve would rankle me. I also don't like structures that obviously belong on another road being alongside my UP mainlines, or switchstands that are obviously for an eastern road, or signals that aren't Type D signals, or lower-quadrant semaphores alongside or over my UP mainlines...
I took the big step to get even less diverse four years ago, and sold off all of my brass, all my engines, all my rolling stock that didn't fit both both the location and era of what I'm modeling. Shipping off my three Overland GTELs really hurt, let me tell ya!
However, I let other roads and trains from other eras run on the Utah LDE's during shows and until my son gets a couple of LDE's finished for his SP stuff to run on, but...they look WRONG to my eye, and I'm not smiling when I see his Daylight coursing over UP mainlines. The smile comes up when the morning mail train, pulled by a UP FEF-2 chuffs upgrade at Echo, the Weber River running alongside the track with the red sandstone cliffs high behind the Echo Station...
That makes complete sense, Bob. Even I have some scruples about that. For example, I probably would not use my model of Pere Marquette 1225 in a 1940's operating session, just because it was a Grand Rapids based engine and never ran into Saginaw until after it was restored. It could, however show up in a 2009 session, even doubleheading with NKP 765. And although it's unlikely to happen again, I have even seen the Daylight engine at Durand, Mi. on the CN (Ex GTW) and on GLC (ex Ann Arbor) trackage pulling a string of Milwaukee Road passenger cars. As someone pointed out on the other thread,"Look hard enough and there's a prototype for everything".
Now, I'm not so sure the Daylight has never been to Echo. Not being too knowledgeable about the modern Union Pacific, I'd say that calls for a bit of research. And speaking of that, in order to freelance plausibly, a good understanding of the era and locale you model is essential for the whole thing not to look wrong.
For example, it took a lucky stumble and then considerable digging (Bad pun?) to find out that coal mining was once carried out in Michigan. Today, all traces of it are long gone, but I can model it in the twenties and back with confidence that it "belongs". Strange as the premise of my layout sounds, it is, except for the existence of the Huron Central and the places it serves, based entirely on fact, and still diverse.
Hi Tom. Ex Gander here. "I was born in Saginaw, Michigan." Some of my ancestors were coalminers. The main traces of coal mining where I grew up there were the shale tailings hills we sledded on as kids. Our neighbors had an old escape shaft (flooded of course) that came up in their property that they used as a trash dump. The headframe building of Gage Coal Co. Mine #8 (aka the "Big Chief" mine) is still there though. It is in St, Charles , MI , at the Hartley Nature Camp. St Charles is (was?) also the home of the "Coalminers Festival". The only other building remnants of a coal mining operation that I am aware of in that area were near Swan Creek, at the south end of South Miller road. I believe that one was the "Garfield Mine" . It was one of the last to close in the area in the 1950's. Those structures were falling down the last time I saw them, however, which was ~30 years ago.
From 1880-1950 there were literally hundreds of operations as big or bigger than this one in that area. "Look long enough and you will find a prototype for what you want to model"
Happy Railroading, James
Thanks for that. I didn't think there was anything left. Looks like a reason for a field trip.
I am pretty sure you can visit the Gage Coal Co. at Hartley. I would call to make sure though. They have a little section of mine that you can go down in too. The local library has a whole bunch of information on the mines that were there, too. I looked on Ghoul Earth and I see a big area that is scraped clean at the end of S. Miller road though. I think that one has all been cleaned up.
P.S. As an aside: I had a friend that lived on the back side of Hartley when I was growing up. They have a good sized pond (lake) they made there and have it well stocked with Bass. We may or may not have snuck in there and helped reduce the overcrowding due to that stocking....:startled:
I started at freelancing Colorado narrow gauge and it basically sucked! After we moved, I realized that I needed something closer to home to model. I envision a double deck, single track, point to point layout based in the Midwest, with some kind of mine and decent switching opportunities. I had to rule out the KCS and MoPac since they are pretty much racetracks and found Frisco's High Line, a 193 mile branch line running between KC and Springfield, MO. Low rolling hills and enough towns that would be essentially LDEs for operations. Fortunately, the folks on the Frisco.org site share everything they have or find on-line. I got copies of track plans for each city that includes a listing of industries, a listing of every bridge, timetables, etc. Since bits and pieces suffered a slow death, I decided to do a what-if scenario and bring it to full operation in 1964 or so. The coal mine never shut down, aggregate plants still operated using rail service, the chicken train continued to run, grain mills flourished, and the local passenger operations still exists, etc. I might even run an excursion train using the Russian Decapods that were used on this branch. I can have fiddle yards at each end to make up the 10-car max trains that'll be used for the twice daily runs from the yards.
And yes, I'll have to sell off about 2/3rds of my railroad locomotives and rolling stock that no longer suits my needs. I have been an accumulator of stuff for way too long.
I model a freelance bridge RR the Missouri & Arkansas Railway used by the CB&Q & MKT. The location is in Eastern Missouri. The line starts out at Old Monroe Mo. On the CB&Q next to the Cuivre River at MO. State Highway 79, then goes west to Ethlyn then Moscow Mills on to Hawk Point Mo. From Hawk Point the main line splits with one branch goes West trough Truxton then Wellsville on to Mexico Mo to meet up with the Wabash / Norfolk & Western line. The other branch swings south along MO. State Highway 47 where it crosses the old Wabash / Norfolk & Western RR line near Warrenton Mo. This line continues south thru Missouri Wine Country to connect with MKT near Marthasville Mo. by State Highway 94. Since this is "My" railroad most places will have the "flavor" of this area but may not be perfect to the prototype. Time is pre Burlington Northern (1970). The location & time frame gives me a lot of room of the type of motive power I can use plus pre-merger freight cars from so many different Railroads from all over the country. As with many railroads built in the late1800’s they never reached all the way as planned. So they never made it all the way to Arkansas.
#1 This will be a point to point RR built on Hollow-core doors (about $24 ea) along two walls, so it will be in sections.
#2 It's going to be less track, no large yards, no switch machines, open staging, & simple engine service area.
#3 Just a few small towns with one or two sidings.
#4 More open scenery between towns.
#5 Interchange with the Norfolk & Western on the West end, MKT on the South end & the CB&Q on the East end.
Im kinda splitting the middle. Working on making the Little Miami Railroad a wholly owned, but independently operated subsidiary of the PRR running through my area. Yellow Springs, Springfield, Xenia and down to Cincinnati. I may even sprinkle in some C&X in there as well.
So i like to have real places to send my trains, but they wont be modeled accurately. And i can run all kinds of different flags over the line. B&O, C&O, NYC, DT&I... and the list goes on. But really i just like to run whatever looks good to me!
I'm currently modeling the south end of Frisco's Arthur Subdivision in Paris, TX, circa 1975-1977. With the small space I have, I'm focusing on the customers Frisco served, mostly on the north side of town. This includes the massive CAmpbell Soup plant as well. Had I the extra room, I would include the Santa Fe, T&P/MP and SP lines since I have diesels for all 3 roads. For me, it's GP7s and GP15-1s on the Soup Jobs. While I model a real place and real railroad, I find I must do a little selective compression, since the Campbell plant is so massive, but I'm attempting to capture the size of the facility as best I can.
Prototypical, based on actual locations. I have a HCD layout single track main with a single siding. Each scene is based off of photos taken on iocation. Scenery material was collected on location as well. There's a ton of scenic compression, but signature scenes can be recognized and that's the goal.
Train 718 at Tunnel 26:
Still plenty of detail and work yet to go, but it's getting there.
The home layout is a shelf layout around all four walls of a room 13 ft. square set in the 1970's on the late SP. The layout is 16 inches deep and is four feet off the floor. There is a lift out for the doorway but I usually duck under.
As did I. After Kato put out a number of passenger trains I couldn't resist. U.P.'s passenger trains, W.P. California Zephyr, D&RGW Prospector, S.P. Coast Daylight and San Joaquin Daylight, AT&SF Super Chief, El Capitan, and San Francisco Chief. I had to put the SF Chief, together with various Bachmann, Rivarossi, ConCor and Kato passenger cars.
From the Williams and Ashfork Divison, of the Howland Pacific Railroad, the San Francisco Chief. From my Proto-freelanced layout. I know no scenery yet.
If you want to be really impressed, you ought to see Jerry DeBene's, Proto San Francisco Chief. Wow!
I hope you don't mind Jerry but I just have to show it off.
From Jerry DeBene's, Prototype Layout.
This is a really great thread. There are as many ways to model railroad as there are modelers. (Since I only get home on weekends, I'm somewhat out of the loop here, so I'm going to comment on several posts) First of all, HemiAdda2d- Absolutely awesome replication of prototype scenes-Love it! Rick, superb video! (Great music, too) Jerry's layout and passenger equipment are absolutely excellent. I recognize the locale from magazine articles. Also like the "flavor" of Tomkat's layout and JBStoker, thanks for the Michigan coal mining info. Whew! There's the whole week in summary, I guess.
I have a freelance layout based on Canadian roads. CN, VIA, CP and ONR. I do run some other roads like amtrak, BNSF and eventually KCS and a DRG&W excursion train
I try to give a "right feeling" to my layout. Of course it's not prototypical but it's cool!
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One thing that might separate my layout from most is that although the years might be different, the "period" is, regardless of year, June and July only. Seaboard made this fairly easy. With a minor "slop over" of months, the "Centipedes" and FTs were gone by 1962, the GP-30s appeared t the end of '62. If the choice made is the "Centipedes" GP30s and later models make no appearance.
The months, easy to figure. Main harvest primarily tomatoes and other truck vegetables. And while there is definite traffic base, this period also gives me increased use of beer cars and meat reefers (4th of July you know). And the scenery trees, trees, trees and I can always use more. Supporting scenery, structures don't change that much over 10 years. As for autos and freight cars - minor anachronisms with which I can live. Operations are continuous based on simplified ARR rules. Cars 5 years in the "future" are just handed.