In What Era is Your Model Railroad


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We all model in one era or another, early steam, modern steam :D early and late diesel and sometimes a mixture of both. I believe the difference in our choice is what makes Model Rail photography so interesting. If we all modeled the same era and the same urban or rural scenes, I would imagine interest in the photos would soon become sort of humdrum.
My layout is not fixed in a specific time yet, but it will be first generation diesel and some steam :eek: ( on occasion) because I have them. The CB&CNS was formed in 91, and the locos they purchased were Century 630's. I wanted a coal mine but in this modern day there are no mines so that was the reason for backdating to 60's and 70's, the locos were modern and coal was king.
Thats my story and it would very interesting to hear yours, as to what era you model, and why you selected that era. :)

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When I first began modeling I was all over the place. But one of the big draws was to recreate what I missed. But the more I modeled the less this satisfied me. I found that the more specific I got on prototype the more fulfilling, but even then, it wasn't "mine". So I moved forward into the modern era and began to model the PNWR in the late 1990's. I found modeling what I was familiar with became a lot more satisfying.
I model the late 40's early 50's of the Boston and Maine as it ran thru rural New Hampshire and occasionally, the late 50's early 60's depending upon the engines i put in service. As a kid,still growing up :D I enjoyed seeing the rail traffic in that area. Now all is see is Tourist service. Obvisouly poetic license comes into play when you try to squeeze 80+ miles of trackage in an 14 by 24 foot room.

It is a switching layout and usually can keep 3 or 4 people quite busy for an evening.
Reasonably modern - call it post-98. Although I've got a couple of SP diesels that may show up from time to time.
orig. posted by abcraghead
When I first began modeling I was all over the place

I know what you mean by that. When I first started in the late 60's I wanted a big layout but wasn't sure of what it would be. The result of that was I ended up buying anything and everything with the end result now that I've decided on what I want, I have a lot ( and I mean a LOT ) of surplus buildings ect. Oh! well I had fun assembling them and can chalk it up to a learning experience.

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Since mine is a free lanced model RR and I run what I want when I want it is still supposed to be fairly modern. I have a lot of older engines which I run under the pretense that my maintainence crew can fix anything and eveything.
You could call it the Portland & Western and be pretty near right - they've got some SD9's, GP9's and a GP7 that they some how manage to keep in running condition.
Well, my simple trainset is the Florida East Coast in 2001, when I first bought it. That was what the trains running by my sister's apartment by US1 right by the FEC mainline looked like. And the passenger train from the old days I pretend is a restored trainset, still in immaculate condition, used as a hotel for railfans. :)
I'll probably get clobbered for this statement, but the way I see it is, the fun is in building and running the trains, and the scenery just makes it more interesting to watch. I don't have any FPA's or F9's for passenger service so I'm going to use freight loco's on the passenger trains just an FA-1 and a F7A, close enough for me.
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I'm doing mid-'60s SP, because that was what I saw as a young boy. I clearly remember seeing up to 5 F7s at a time, and even at age six knew about B units. Getting a wave from the cab and caboose was a real thrill.
The older I get (31 now), the more I lean toward Keith 55's rationale of "that was what I saw as a young boy." I grew up in Watauga, Texas, which was a T&P town located today on the UP's Choctaw Sub. When I was a kid with a skateboard as my only transportation, I went to the closest tracks to my house which were then operated jointly by the MP and MKT. I adopted MP as my road of choice because my neighbor, a fellow train watcher and modeler whose initials are MK reminded me daily that MKT stood for MK's Trains.

I moved around a bit, so I was also exposed to BN, SF and NS over the years. I now model each railroad I saw around the time I saw it: MP/MKT in the early 80s, BN in 1991, NS and predecessors in the late 80s early 90s and SF in the mid 90s. In theory, I can change eras and locations based on the locomotives and rolling stock.

A few years ago, I inherited my grandpa's train collection, so now I'll have to get around to modeling N&W, SF and NYC in the steam era. But I'm not there yet.

Then there's the 70s era Cotton Belt/SP that has grabbed my interest and won't let go....

So much for trying to narrow things down. ;)
I will eventually be set in the late 50s or early 60s. I grew up in the early Burlington Northern era at the end of the former NP Central Washington branch. Saw lots of early geeps and f units. Never actually saw a BN predecessor painted loco, but that is what I would model.
Ahh! the 50's and 60's, what a wonderfull time in life, WW2 was over and things were never going to be the same again. Actually I didn't live too far from the S&L Freight Shed ( Sydney & Louisbourg ) other reporting name ( Slow & Lazy ) which was all steam till sometime in the 60's. They interchanged with the CNR. The first mainline diesels I saw was a CNR FP9 ABA set in the sharp green and black livery, which I was boarding to join the military summer of 58. In the mid 40's I had a ride in the cab of an S&L steam loco I was probably 10 at the time, I never forgot it. Well I intend to run some steamers once in awhile because I have them and I like them but the norm on the layout will be diesels, ALCO's gotta love em. Although the CB&CNS was incorporated in 1991 and never had any steam. It's place in time on my layout will be back in time when the area was prosperous, and when I was young. Besides that way there arn't too many around that will be able to contradict what I'm doing :D
Cheers Willis
I am modeling modern japanese railway (JR) lines with a few private rail companies thrown in. I just finished the benchwork, and am waiting for my wife to let me buy the track :rolleyes: !! It will be a modern representation of a subway/surface line with 2 levels, and about 3-4 different stations.
Hi Doc, that sounds like quite an interesting layout. The only subway I was ever on was in the city of Toronto Ont. and that was a long time ago. On that subway all the stations were underground and accessed by stairs from street level. I remember there were areas where we were in daylight for a while then enter the tunnels again. After reading your post that came to mind and I thought it would be interesting modeling the underground stations that you could see through openings in facia board, with the city scenery above them. Just a rambling thought from a brain parked and idling, tell us a bit more about your ideas for your layout and it's size, and the type of bench work. Good luck with the finance dept. sweet talk helps!
Cheers Willis
I always liked the wild west, So I model the 1880-1900 era. I don't have to worry about smog and OSHA rules to run my RR.
I always liked the wild west, So I model the 1880-1900 era. I don't have to worry about smog and OSHA rules to run my RR.
Hi Tiny, well it's your railroad and you can have it anyway you want, if you substitute a me for your and it's close to what I tell the nit pickers
I was looking at your photos in the large scale section, it's nice now , should be super when it's finished
Cheers Willis

I was planning on posting photos of my work, but my pc's power supply burnt up. Once I get my new one in the mail, I will upload all my pics of my completed benchwork (bottom layer only so far). As for the subway, I will have the staircases and such. My subway will be like the keikyu line (if anyone is familiar with it). It will start as a subway in the metro area, then come out of the mountainside, and flow like a normal suburban japanese railway. Thanks for the interest, and I'll keep ya posted! :)
Sounds great Doc, I'm not familier with the keikyu line, I like the concept of the subway and coming out out in the open, sort of what I was visioning, can hardly wait for the photos so I'll be watching for them, be sure to post them as soon as you can.
Cheers Willis