How did you decide on your Road/Theme?

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What kind of road did you choose?

  • Freelance

    Votes: 28 24.1%
  • proto-freelance

    Votes: 57 49.1%
  • prototype

    Votes: 27 23.3%
  • still can't decide!

    Votes: 4 3.4%

  • Total voters
    116

bn-1000

Member
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this hobby, and I guess one of the popular reasons why many of us are involved in it, is how many memories from our childhood involve the railroad in some way. For me, it's standing on a rickety wooden stool built by my Grandfather for me, to see over their farm fence and to watch the local freight trains pass by. I can still recall being as young a five, counting the wagons as I leaned against the top railing of the oil-stained fence.

All these years later, I would get so much enjoyment from recreating moments like these from my childhood, with the same locos and wagons, the same fields and bridges, the same farm fences. This hobby allows many of us to escape to a simpler time when many of us experienced some happy railroad memories like mine.

I like the freedom I can have with freelance, but I do like the effort which goes into prototypical modeling.

My next layout (after my current N scale layout), will be a combination of many elements including locations and scenery from my childhood and locos and rolling stock from my local area and brachlines, both of which are now long since gone.
 
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marclyng

New Member
I have been a fan of the Chicago & Northwestern ever since I was younger and now that I live out side the country I like seeing the world Chicago in the logo hung on my wall. I grew up in the western sub-burbs and will never forget my Metra rides into the city and train watching along the west line. I also have to give lots of credit to the Chicago Great Western... it may have been before my time but it ran downtown in my city and must of looked grand when it did.

I will model many roads and build just about anything but I only keep C&NW and CGW for myself and only if it was something that reminds me of home. So in response to the question very prototypical for me.


Oh one last thing Kudos to the Union Pacific for realizing how important their patched locomotives are and going ahead and refusing to re-paint many SP and the 2 CNW units to keep us rail fans happy.
 

Tygrr

Member
Layout scheme .. Ummm .. I was born in 1950, so I can still remember seeing some big old steam locos back when I was real young, so I decided to go pure steam .. mid 1920's to mid 1930's. Besides .. the new stuff, while the operational statistics (horsepower, maintenance, cost to operate, etc) are really impressive, they look like a box with windows, sitting on a flat car that magically moves; but w/ steam, you get to see the drivers, etc.

Road lines .. Umm .. I was raised in N.E. Ohio, so that is where I wanted to set it. The problem is, 3 of the 4 engines I have bought are the wrong road names, but I couldn't pass up the price I paid for them. I wonder how difficult it will be to remove the old decals and rename them .. sigh
 

N-gauged

Off The Rails
I'm not sure if I understand the definition of the choices but I'm doing a layout loosely based on the Rio Grande California Zephyr from the 50's.

I selected freelance because I'm sure by some of yalls standards I don't qualify for the proto part of proto-freelance.

 

Scordicus

Member
I'm not sure if I understand the definition of the choices but I'm doing a layout loosely based on the Rio Grande California Zephyr from the 50's.

I selected freelance because I'm sure by some of yalls standards I don't qualify for the proto part of proto-freelance.


The quality of your modelling skills has nothing to do with it really..

You say your building a layout loosely based on the Rio Grande California Zephyr from the 50's. If the stock/buildings/vehicles etc.. Is what was used on & around that particular railroad at that particular time but the track layout/plan is your own, then that is a prototypically freelanced railroad.. If however you then decide to run stock that is much older/younger, or stock that just wouldn't be seen on the same lines because there wasn't an interchange etc.. Then that would be totally freelanced!

Hope that helps...
 

OCN Guy

Member
I wonder how difficult it will be to remove the old decals and rename them .. sigh
There's a couple of threads here on how to do that... if you want to bring the shells down to nothing and paint from scratch, many are recommending 91% alcohol from walmart.
 

B&O Sam

Philly Branch in HO
Having the B&O freight line less than a football field away made it easy for me.
But I can understand if people aren't sure which line to model. Especially if you didn't have a railroad all that near.
 

B&O Sam

Philly Branch in HO
I travel through North Jersey quite a bit. Through Newark. It may do your heart good to know that I've seen many Chicago & Northwest Geeps still working hard up there.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Here's a thread which hopefully will get some good conversation going - how did you decide on your theme and prototype/proto-freelance/freelance road?
Was it a RR you grew up near, or just liked the paint scheme, or did you choose UP because of the massive motive power or...?
I don't know that anyone really wants to hear how I got to where I am today, but if it was just a matter of choosing any one of those things listed I might actually have a layout by now.

All the things I love most do not exist on a single railroad, in a well enough defined area, nor in the same time period. sigh.
 

kbkchooch

"retired" conductor
I don't know that anyone really wants to hear how I got to where I am today, but if it was just a matter of choosing any one of those things listed I might actually have a layout by now.

All the things I love most do not exist on a single railroad, in a well enough defined area, nor in the same time period. sigh.

See, thats the beauty of this hobby, it's YOUR railroad!!:D
 

tomstockton

Tom Stockton
Iron Horseman,

I, for one, would like to hear your story. We all have stories -- and it's interesting to find out many of us took different pathways and yet ended up at the same place.

Regards,
Tom Stockton
 
lets see I went proto-freelance as I assume thats a mix of both, my road (along with my friends) is a mixture of real life railroads (as far as teh big players like CSX and UP) but our railroad companies are just made up things that are our creations, altho we are trying to simulate some realism as far as "buying" trains, pas cars, ect, ect (one thing at a time and all that) but we are kinda making it up as we want, like our Euro-American town, a mixture of German buildings and theme with an american city type setting...for the most part every thing is american, only german things we are using so far are the police and fire stations/brigades and vehicles we do have one small american fire house thats being used for a vollunteer station, filled with 3 german type vehicles and one american fire chief vehicle...so yea ours is a smattering of every thing.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
See, thats the beauty of this hobby, it's YOUR railroad!!:D
Well, I tried the freelance route and thought I did a better job of it than most. But even if one is very careful it is easy easy to fall into the mind set of "just do anything I want" and end up with a very toy like unrealistic layout.
 

kbkchooch

"retired" conductor
Well, I tried the freelance route and thought I did a better job of it than most. But even if one is very careful it is easy easy to fall into the mind set of "just do anything I want" and end up with a very toy like unrealistic layout.

Never had that problem, just stay away from the Hotwheel cars, rubber dinosaurs, chrome plated locos etc. that are toys!:D
 

tomstockton

Tom Stockton
Karl and all --

Another in the "stay away from" list -- please forget about the crashed UFOs! Funny once... but only once. After that -- annoying at best. (No offense meant to anyone who has one of those, but this is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.)

Oh, and no more cows laying on their side in a pool of bright red paint in the middle of the road. Unless you can figure out how to tie the "dead cow" with the "crashed UFO. That just might be interesting! :D

Regards,
Tom Stockton
 

U-3-b

GTW in the summer of 53
Having my grandpa work for the GTW for 40 years and having him take me around and show me shops and yards when I was 4 made me a life long Grand Trunk Western fan and that is why I model 1953 on the South Bend Subdivision. The funny thing to me is that I have never lived anywhere near the GTW. Prototype all the way for me.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Iron Horseman,

I, for one, would like to hear your story. We all have stories -- and it's interesting to find out many of us took different pathways and yet ended up at the same place.
Ok, Let’s start with early childhood influences.

As a small child we lived near Pueblo Colorado. There were three viaducts over the Arkansas River into downtown. Along side the river were all the railroad tracks, so my favorite thing was riding across those bridges looking at all the trains. Santa Fe, Rio Grande, Missouri Pacific, and Colorado Southern. I also had constant exposure to the Rio Grande main up the Arkansas River Valley to Salida.

Similarly out in eastern Colorado my Grand Parents and Uncle both had farms right on the Santa Fe main line. One of my fondest memories is working the irrigation tubes in the field and having the parade of Santa Fe transcons pass by. The more interesting trains were not the Super or El Capitain but the Chief, Grand Canyon, and Mail & Express. With mixtures of heavyweight and streamlined equipment.

But we had no money for trains so my exposure to model trains was two Marx units a non-descript green 4 wheel switcher and a Rock Island F3. The Rock Island unit colors imprinted on my child brain. It became synonymous with a “train”. It is still one of my favorite paint schemes. With a parental divorce there was less money, so I modeled the Rock Island from 2nd grade through 4th. During this time my only exposure to Model Railroading was the book/magazine Practical Guide to Model Railroading. I memorized it, and in the process wore the cover and first few pages off. From this book I learned about locomotive classification and what a “railroad” really was.

In 4th grade my big present for Christmas was an AHM 4-4-0. It was #11, the Reno of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. I found myself a V&T modeler, by a random decision by Santa I could have just as easily been modeling Western & Atlantic. Thus began my first research into prototype railroads. I got out the encyclopedias and looked up the map of Virginia. I went to the library and got books on Virginia. I spent hours trying to figure out where that railroad was. For a 4th grader this was very frustrating. I did however begin to collect V&T rolling stock and equipment. It was not until the 6th grade I discovered that “Virginia” was not the state but a town in Nevada.
 
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I chose BN and CNW because they are local to me and thats what I saw when I grew up. However, I also modeled Santa Fe because I liked all the Warbonnet colors they had. Red/silver or the Yellow/blue. It didnt matter to me. But they never made it this close to the midwest for me to see them in person. I was only familiar with them in the photos of ATSF stuff ive always seen. Then when they merged with BN in 1995 I was glad about that because now I had a prototype reason to model them without having to have double the equipment. Not long after that, I got to see Santa Fe equipment live in person running up here frequently and was even more exited. So now I model BNSF because I also feel like ive grown with it as well. But it wasnt all fun and games. Thanks to the UP for taking away my beloved CNW. But I figure ill just use my modelers license and build current locomotives painted for fantasy CNW as if they still exist. So currently, I model CNW as if it exists today and the BNSF.

The line I am modeling is the line GN built from St. Paul, MN through the rockies to Seattle. Which also goes through the Cascade Tunnel. All my cities and towns will be freelanced instead of the actual prototype towns just so I can keep an open modelers license open to change things as I see fit without detracting too far away from the prototype. I do however plan to build a model of the Cascade tunnel.
 
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Greg from Mi.

Greg from Mi.
I'm doing the DM&IR in Ho scale. I picked this when I was new in the hobby. I picked it because I wanted a RR that touched water so I could also have a great lakes freighter. I enjoy the DM&IR but they don't make a lot of models for them
Greg
 
The East Central Indiana HO Scale Railroad
Like many model railroads, the ECI has been built and rebuilt several times. There have also been those times when there has been no movement at all. Indeed, now the railroad has begun to move back in time to be able to run NYC, PRR and PC cars.

The ECI is a 1970 short line operating out of Anderson in North Central Indiana southward over the ex-New York Central (CCC&StL) Michigan Division/PC North Vernon Secondary purchased from Penn Central. The ECI runs through Emporia, Rushville, and Greensburg and teminates in the Southern Indiana town of Westport.

Connections are made with the Central Indiana & Western (CIW) at Anderson, the Chicago, Emporia & Evansville (CEE) at Emporia, and the Chessie System at Rushville. The ECI and CEE share trackage between Anderson and Westport under control of the ECI Dispatcher working out of the South Anderson Yards.

The majority of customers are small industrial companies (pipes, plastics, autoparts, etc.) as well as several heavy grain operations and one small stone quarry sending occasional shipments off line to dealers nationwide from their quarry near Westport.

Although the line is not truly prosperous, it is making money and has outstanding Service Facilities with a maintenance crew devoted to rebuild and maintenance with tender loving care. This is attested to by the E7 ex-NYC Unit that has been placed into service pulling an Excursion Train consisting of refurbished passenger cars running from Anderson to Westport monthly during summer months and the NYC GP7 and rebuilt 0-8-0 that now do the major freight work on ECI trackage. ECI's GP38-2 is handling the grain operation at Westport.
 
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