Your Timeframe: Specific Year, Decade?

tehachapifan Jul 9, 2007

  1. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    I've been trying to settle on a timeframe for my layout. I've always considered myself to be a modern/contemporary modeler but you can only do that so log before your locomotives and rolling stock start to become outdated. With the variety of stuff I have, I can't really model a single year with much accuracy. So, I think I have to settle for a decade (1995-2005). This allows me to have some unpatched SP and DRGW equipment as well as some newer BNSF and UP stuff too. I think I'll have to pass on any BNSF "wedge" equipment though. So, what do you model as far as a timeframe? Does it matter (to you)?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2007
  2. DaveWonders

    DaveWonders TrainBoard Member

    You could take everything off the layout once a year, weather it a small increment, and when something is old enough retire it. With locos do the same weathering, and then every few years simulate a repaint by swapping for a new shell. Oh, and if you have a city setting add a Starbucks and Walmart every few months.

    But I am totally in the same boat with you. I model CSX so eventually all of my bright future paint scheme locos will be outdated so as long as I run them I will be stuck in a time frame ending around 2010 or so. But I also run a few Dark Future locos so the time frame starts after 2005 or so ( I don't know when they started the transition, just a ballpark figure).
  3. up1950s

    up1950s TrainBoard Supporter

    I do the entire 1950-59 decade , and even with that I squeezed in the 1962 crib log cars that Atlas did some years ago . I'm the boss , so I can do that .
  4. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill TrainBoard Member

    Does it matter? Only if you let it matter. Just be happy with what you do. It is your empire.

    I like steam and early diesel. I have a chronological cutoff of 1953. Sometimes, I cheat a bit, too.

    Richie got it right.
  5. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

    Depending how I feel,I can go from the transition era up to the present. No reason to set limits on a hobby. Its for relaxing,remember?:teeth:
  6. Scott Stutzman

    Scott Stutzman TrainBoard Member

    I've been collecting SP stuff to do 1986-96. Which I have all I need. Problem is, I like the ultra modern stuff also. Hence lots of new UP and BNSF power.
  7. Delamaize

    Delamaize TrainBoard Member

    as for me I am planning on moddeling the NP tacoma division 4th sub, 1942 though 1952, because I want to have WWII troop and equipment traffic in and out of Ft Lewis Wa. and I am torn between eary diesel and late steam ;)
  8. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    My "year" has changed slightly over the years, but still remains largely the same. I started out modeling BNSF 1997 which allowed for the start of the H-II scheme. I decided to move into 1998 because that is when the production of the Trinity 5161's started. I bumped up to 1999 for a while but now I think I'm going to stick mostly with '98 as the focus, while allowing some 1999-2001 stuff to creep in. (mostly intermodal equipment, some BNSF repaint freight cars, Amtrak's Heartland Flyer, and a couple of unit tank trains) So I think if I said something like 1997-2001 that would about cover it.

    My era focus is mostly designed for money reasons...this way I don't buy everything that has BNSF plastered on it, or many post-2000 cars or pre-1995-ish stock. I already have a big collection of stuff WITH my limitations in place...I shutter to think what I'd have if I didn't practice some level of discipline!
  9. Chaya

    Chaya TrainBoard Supporter

    Ah, but then there are those of us (known as "neurotic") who can't relax if something seems glaringly out of place or--even worse--nonsensical.

    For my new layout I pinned down the summer of 1969 as the date, because it was the year that the ATSF had the opportunity to purchase GN and NP but neglected to do so. On my layout, ATSF took that opportunity. The upper deck will be ATSF in New Mexico, the lower deck GN & NP in Washington--and traffic, even an occasional engine, will appear "out of place." Goods will be shipped, for instance, from Santa Fe to Seattle. The purchase has just been made and there has been no time to repaint.

    (I also have part of the upper deck as the long-lost Chile Line. NMC made better business decisions that it really did, prospering enough to buy the Chile Line when the D&RGW wanted out. They took the opportunity to build a line to Gallina over the roadbed that the D&RGW actually built but never laid track on. Since the real NMC never made it out of the early days of steam, I get to make my own roster, logo, and paint schemes).

    That said, the other day I discovered that 1969 was too late for Empire Builder colors, which I have some of--and really like. So I bumped the date back to 1962 and have the ATSF making a very forward-looking decision indeed.

    1962 also seemed right because it was a magical year for me, when all the world seemed perfect. Maybe everyone feels that way when they're 6 years old. I thought it would be really fun to recreate that world in miniature.

    Early summer is the time because I get to add flowers to the Santa Fe landscape, the aspens are very young and brilliant green patches in the mountains, and people are out enjoying the good weather.

    I guess you can probably tell that time frames are important to me. Neurotic as I may be, though, I couldn't care less what other people want to do with their trains! :teeth:
  10. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    1976-1996 :) Of course, being a steam fan, there will be times when the clock will be turned back and steam will still be king.:) Like Mike said, this hobby is for sense in limiting that fun! ;)
  11. x600

    x600 TrainBoard Member

    My plan is to model a place. DL&W/EL Scranton east across the Poconos.
    Using a large dose of modellers license, I thought it would be interesting to try to start an operating session in the steam era and slowly transition through the years/ merger as the session progresses. That way I can run and collect/paint a wide veriety of trains and it would make at least some sense as the "years" progress. Things like vehicles would be the most noticable, but many of the scenes along the right of way have not changed much over the years. Oh yeh, the op session would END before Conrail and the decline. But it could return with DL Alcos and Steamtown! Just an Idea. I have come up with a rough plan to build Scranton from the Why to Nay Aug tunnel as 20ft of N Trak modules so I could use them until I get my train building built.
    This idea has sprouted from what has been mentioned above "Have fun, run what you want!"
  12. Switchman

    Switchman TrainBoard Member

    I'm not weded to any time frame and nothing against folks who are.

    As has been said, "it's your railroad do what makes you happy" As a freelancer, It'll run locos from the 1940s through to today.

    If I like the loco/rolling stock, I buy it.
    See ya
  13. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    It always drives me nuts that these awesome threads that have nothing to do with scale at all end up in the N-Scale forum. You guys have a complex having played the underdog for so long.

    Anyway, he conceit of my mythical railroad is that itwas a well run holding company with a number of shortlines. Eventually, they bought out a number of Genessee and Wyoming routes. During the second UP Meltdown, They convinced the STB To Split the UP. They got much of the former DRGW and The Original Donner pass route. Eventually they, with the help of the State of Washington made a successful bid to reopen the former Milwuakee through the pacificNW. Trails, back into rails. They're currently seriously looking at the NWP as a source of container traffic though nothing is for sure. And, they built a container port in Astoria Oregon.

    I'm currently modelling a section that is in the PacNW though not really more defined then that.

    Anyway, the reason I say all that, is to say that I'm tentativly modelling modern, but that really doesn't restrict me much at all. Pretty much every Hood unit in EMD's catalog is viable. I also have a "Skunk works" as it were. An online rebuilding industry that also does Hybrid/Environmentally friendly units. Because it's been a few years since they got their transcon, I can justify modern six axle power also, They run a lot of priority frieght using 4 axle units. Road slugs etc. etc. etc.

    And of course, there's run through and interchange power. And second hand units still in original paint.....
  14. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

    hah, that would be my choice exactly. No wedgies!

    heheh...the "merger era", when every dog's breakfast lash-up is perfectly prototypical. You can throw in BN and CNW as well as those you've mentioned already, and "foreign power" isn't a stretch either.
  15. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

    1850-2008, give or take a few years.
  16. davidone

    davidone TrainBoard Member

    I don't stick to a time period but i like modern railroading of the the UP, SF, BNSF, SP. But i also like UP steam so on my railroad, all steam is perserved for excursions. And besides i am President, COO and CFO of my railroad so what i say, goes.

  17. GNFA310

    GNFA310 TrainBoard Supporter

    My home layout is "Great Northern Pacific" and primarily covers GN 1950-1970. Also included is SP&S/NP & some CB&Q. This also allows me to model BN up to 1970 to mid-1980's. Lately I've taken to including some very limited "Milwaukee Road" in the same era.

    While I also have BNSF, that is mostly for trainshows that I attend with my NTRAK club.

  18. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    1987, D&RGW Secret Places Sub; Tunnel 1- Tunnel 23.
    I have large fleet of BN stuff I collected before I changed era and road to 1987 D&RGW, so I have a heavy BN influence.
    Lots of coal is the lifeblood of the modern and past Moffat Route, the same still applies to the Secret Places Sub. I also fudge the date a bit to allow the GP60's (1991/2), and a lot to include a steamer, and the CZ behind Alco PA-1's. if anyone in N scale plastic does an accurate F9, I'll then do the RGZ. The newest power on the SPS (within the era limitation)are the SD50's. I have to limit myself, otherwise, there's WAY too much to buy.

    If Kato does an accurate SP AC4400, I's likely bite for 2, just for kicks.
  19. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    For a time period I was pretty much in the 50s with some steam and first generation diesel and set in the Fall of the year when the harvest created additional shipping. Some time back I dropped most NP power from my roster, most got repainted into GN, since the NP run through presence was rare, except for freight cars, in the area of the SP&S around the Oregon Trunk.

    However I recently backed up even further by transitioning to a 1940s era with some early diesel that would have been around in the 40s. Several years ago I started this trend when I became interested in logging. Today I can say that I basically am modeling logging and mining operations in standard and narrow gauge, and the mainline of the SP&S, along with some through GN traffic runs through it interchanging with the standard gauge logging, common carrier lines, and narrow gauge.
  20. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

    My layout is set in the early summer of 1995, before the mergers, when it was still all scarlet and gray/warbonnets and bluebonnets on Tehachapi. I grew up in California, and SP and Santa Fe will always be my favorite railroads. 1995 was a great year IMHO - Lots of clean Santa Fe units & a good mix of Warbonnets & yellow/blue, and a good mix of grungy SP along with clean new widecabs, with some Rio Grande thrown in also.

    I like to limit my purchases to only rolling stock that would have been on Tehachapi in '95 -- to keep the layout 'real' and to keep my wallet intact!

    But like others have said, it's your railroad to do what you want with! My tight timeframe would drive alot of people nuts, but it makes me happy :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2007

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