What line and era, and why?

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Burlington Northern- anywhere from 1970 to 1996. I like the Cascade Green paint scheme that I saw working in Seattle and W. Washington as a kid. I like Rotary beacons as well as ditch lights.
My RR is a fictional subdivision of the BN set in the Pacific NW. Lots of variety of customers- Grain trains, Fruit/Reefer trains, stack trains, TOFC, Tank Cars, Flats with Machinery, Tons of boxcars, lots of unit coal trains! Also the UP and SP run through my Subdivision on trackage rights.
I have a few friends who have contributed alot to making my RR alot of fun, including around 400 pieces of rolling stock and 30?+? Locomotives.
Oh yeah, don't forget the Amtrack Empire Builder behind modern Missles and even the sounder commuter train makes an occassional detour.
If its fun fofr me and/or m y buddies, we do it!
UP and Santa Fe in the Golden Age

Union Pacific RR is my mainstay since I started the hobby full time in 1989. First train set was 1974 NYC but since changed.
Using modelers licenses because it is what I like and want.
Various lines & scenes mixed together from North Littk Rock, Ar to Sherman Hill.:D With a little free lance work.;)
HO scale
Era is from 1935 to present.:eek:
So steam and diesels are a main stay. Time warps are frequent.:D
I do have some but very limited power of fallen flags as well. Also some EMD, ALCO & GE demonstrators.:D
I chose this RR because of the diversity of loco power and lines even before the the start of mergers... errr... acquisitions of MoPac, SP, DRG, MKT, WP and CNW. Because of these RR lines and locos acquired I became even more devoted to UP. I think like BNSF, UP became a better RR due to the merges etc. CSX though....is an unfortunate case.

I love UP and ATSF in the 40's to 60's. I say 60's because I want a whole fleet of UP Gas turbines (does anyone know of a plastic version besides the old Athearn or the disc. Lionel?).

Oh, yeah, and 60's because the ATSF had many FP45's on the roster and I love the full cowel.

I own a mish-mash of rolling stock, why stick with just reality?

I am also a fan of "modern" (80;s-90s) Southern Pacific tunnel motors so I collect SP stock too.

My latest purchase was a FEF-3 UP in black graphite from Rivarossi. Purrs like a kitten but looks like a beast!


Coal Shoveler
While technically the Hill Lines ceased to exist on Mar 1970, I do run some of their stuff with BN stuff because BN didn't repaint everything immediately. My favorite is Oregon Trunk, where the power there can be a combo SPS, BN, GN, CBQ and maybe NP or WP.




I freelance model the 1950's era in the Southern Appalachians. Southern, L&N, N&W, run the rails here while GM&O makes connections to the the mid-west (a bit of modeling license:D ). Trains run the rails from the coal mine and lumber towns in the mountains, to the cities below. It's always nice to see Ma and Pa Ledbetter on there way to the flatlands for a visit on the Southern local or the long coal haul, powered by the mighty Class "A", on the way to the steel mills.

I chose this area because of the beautiful mountains that are filled with foliage, steep bluffs, and pristine water systems. The 1950's time period was filled with excitement from both steam and diesel powered locomotives and by modeling this, it brings back many fond memories of my youth.;) :)
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It all started for me in the early 70s when my grandparents had a main line running right across the street from their house. It was origianlly Pennsylvainia, but what I saw was Penn Central forming into Conrail. My parents moved to Iowa City and behind our house was a yard that had Rock Island. Those two(crip & CR) are my main subjects of modeling. My dad grewup in Frankfort Indiana and really enjoyed the Nickel Plate so we have modeled that and the Monon. WE ended up moving to Bloomington Indiana and I saw the Illinois Central and L&N. I didn't care for those beside the trains themselves were just awesome. Today I have several railroads on my layout, PC, CR, NW, NS, CSX, Chessie System, Soo Line, Burlington Northern, and the Rock Island. The time period runs from the early seventies to the mid 1990s.
The Fun Valley Line is set somewhere between the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and Pennsylvania. You will see 1940s to 1960s depending on which way you turn. Funny thing is diesel hasnt come to the valley yet. I love steam and mountains and grades and tunnels. I have plans for 2 towns and industrial areas, farms, coal mines and 2 ports. My layout is 22x24 in a 24x32 space. I like mostly smaller rolling stock and long passenger trains. Fun Valley Lines leases whatever equipment I like from all over the country so you will see many roads. Mostly I use what I like and love a room of kids watching 5 or 6 trains running at once. I like things to scale but having a prototype for everything doesnt bother me. I guess having a fantasy railroad gives you that freedom.

Good Luck and do what you like and remember to stop once in awhile and have fun!!!!!!!!


I am free lancing a made up Sante Fe branch line it's called the Casston and Carmen River RR (the town is named after my daughter Cassie and the River is after my wife Carmen) it will be a sprawling city who's RR tycoon ,me, is found of the past but likes the current technolgy (ie: cell phones, internet, 100+ cable channels etc etc) so my loco's are all Alco RS 1 and 3's a SW-9 and eventually a 4-8-4 steam for a tourist attraction (dinner train) so don't laugh when you see my an alco pulling a 61ft bulkhead flat or a centerbeam flat full of lumber,
my industries include a Walthers/ Crnr Stn Grain Elevator, W/CS mountain saw mill, and a Pola chemical/oil refinery with W/CS piping
I guess I live in the present but my RR's in the past


What?????? I Have To Pick One????????

I don't know if I could just pick one. I have a lot of railroads that I enjoy reading about all based in the north east area of course.
But if you held a gun to my head and said you have to pick one, I'd have to say Pennsy... Wait, maybe the NYC... No, no, it would be Conrail or maybe The Erie...
By the way, would that gun be loaded??? Where is Jack Bauer when I need him!!!

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Registered Member
Staff member
Reason ??? Because I didn't know any better at the time.
Well I based mine on the local short line, reasoning it would be easier to model if the prototype was close by, so I could take some photos, go home paint and decal some locos and all would go smoothly. :) A great thought many many moons ago that didn't work out that way.
At the time, the CB&CNS Railway consisted of hauling coal to power plants and freight interchange with CN. at the Southern terminus.
I was always taken by Eric Brooman's "Utah Belt" , the neat staging yards, the idea of coming from and going somewhere. I tried many times to work Eric's idea of a 3 loop to 3 loop layout into the space I had available with a 30"R minimum, ending up stymied much of the time. My modeling time was then spent by dreaming, purchasing items and trying to come up with a plan. Actually it seemed so fruitless that quite a few times I was about to give up and go with some sort of a CN layout, in fact when it came to buying some locos I did just that.
(1) CB&CNS RR started with 10 MLW C630M's a MLW C636 and 5 MLW RS18's. At the time only the MLW C630's were available by Overland at a cost of around $700 apiece. So I couldn't afford one let alone 10. The RS 18's well they just weren't available. :eek:
(2) 3/4" plywood isn't cheap around here and I'd need a lot of it.

A ray of sunshine came with the construction of a new 4 lane close by. When the overpasses were finished anything other than a full sheet of plywood was dumped close by my place. Yep after cleaning off the cement I had enough 3/4" ply to build a layout. Building a loop to loop required shifting a few walls and I did that then started building my CN rr.
As luck was going my way an article in a Cdn. modeling magazine described how the author built his C630 from Tyco shells and Athearn drives. Again some luck just kept coming my way, athearns were selling $70 to $100 here in Canada :eek: I came across one on ebay snagged it for $30 and with a little note from the seller telling me he could sell me new ones for $24 ea plus shipping The short of it was his supplier had 10 Ath U33C's and I bought them all. Next I had to get the Tyco's. Heck they cost me more that the Atherns, but all in all six of them are finished, I had some old Life Like RS 11's nice detail except for the hand rails and the drives were worthless toys. I turned one of those into a representation of a MLW RS18 with plans to do more. You can see these models and the unfinished layout at http://www.freewebs.com/cbcnsfan/index.htm or the link in my signature.
While I was building I received much advice from this forum especially with regard to the trestle and the station http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1220&highlight=trestle
It seems to be an unfinished thread, and some photos are not where they should be but it's still ok. A lot has changed so maybe I should get back and finish it.
For the past year or so many other problems came my way and the layout remained dormant so this year with the worst of it out of the way maybe I'll get back to it. Like myself the Proto CB&CNS has had some setbacks, was looking at abandonment of a the largest section of the line when the mines closed. However there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel a new mine id about to open (metallurgical coal) a possible LNG plant and a container terminal where the super tankers used to dock so the prospects are looking good. The MLW's are gone now having beem replaced with GP's and SD's so the original RR will exist only in my basement, ( well at least my rendition of it)



Armchair Engineer
I am modelling GWWD the Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway. It will be done so that steam as well as modern era can be used just by changing a few buildings on the layout. Everything is pretty much the same today as it was in the 1930's including a lot of thier rolling stock.The station was the thing that got me hooked. It is made of red granite quarried near the Manitoba Ontario border and was built in the 1930's. It is a 100 mile long point to point industrial railway with lots of old buildings along the route. Ron


2 Freelance short lines.One set in the 80s and the other in '95-2007..This is my "excuse" road to run modern freight cars..I also have some NS units.


Not sure if this thread is still real active,

But I'm a big fan of pre-CSX railroading. When I was a kid, I lived in Uniontown, PA and while all the rest of the kids played on the slides, swings and the rest of the play ground, I'd be having my face up to the fence watching a Chessie geep switching the lumber industry right across the way. Sometimes when we walked downtown you could hear coal trains slowly rolling through town. :rolleyes: So, in the beginning seeing Chessie led trailer jets and large heavy coal drags..(sometimes 2-3 SD50's with some helpers pushing up the mountains...) was what got me hooked! I got my first train set back in 1989 and was instantly fascinated. Just recently have I started to do it again, this time obviously more than just a oval track on a 4x4 piece of plywood. I like to model WM, Chessie, B&O, C&O, Family Lines and Seaboard System. I don't care TOO much for CSX (the company anyways...) but I like running close to modern CSX equipment on my layout just for fun. I don't have alot now, but I will continue to get better at model railroading until maybe I can build my own coal mining layout based in 80's PA.

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Not sure if this thread is still real active,

But I'm a big fan of pre-CSX railroading. When I was a kid, I lived in Uniontown, PA and while all the rest of the kids played on the slides, swings and the rest of the play ground, I'd be having my face up to the fence watching a Chessie geep switching the lumber industry right across the way. Sometimes when we walked downtown you could hear coal trains slowly rolling through town. :rolleyes: So, in the beginning seeing Chessie led trailer jets and large heavy coal drags..(sometimes 2-3 SD50's with some helpers pushing up the mountains...) was what got me hooked!

I was the same way in Iowa City. I don't recall a fence, but I would just walk or run down to the edge of the hill and just watch whatever Rock Island train that would go by. I really got fascinated with the boxcars and to this day I still put on my layout a Burilington Northern, Illinois Central, and TheRock cars together. Maybe that sequence of colors sticks with me til this day. I have tried with the internet to research that yard, but get nowhere. That summer of 77 was pretty hopping for me and hooked me for life :)


GTW in the summer of 53
I have been collecting for years all stuff GTW. It didn’t matter at first, as long as it said GTW on the side, I bought it. That includes the Lionel stuff that I got when I was a kid. I reason I think I fell in love with the Grand Truck Western was because my Grandpa worked for them from 1928-1968.

But, being I was from Northern Virginia and there wasn’t a whole lot of GTW stuff to see but there was Potomac Yard, so I grew as a Penn Central and B&O fan. Those were the trains I would see as a kid and I hated when this railroad called Conrail came about and took my beloved PC away from me. So I also collected PC and B&O kits and engines.

As I got older and matured (although most would say that has never happened) I narrowed my scope and time frame down. I eventually choose Grand Trunk Western in the summer of 1953. Why? Over time I have come to have a real disdain for the Parent Company’s (CN) Maple Leaf paint scheme and since that was introduced in 1954, so I chose 1953. I get to use steam at its zenith and F units. There is an incredible variety of roads that I can interchange with and I get to honor my grandfather while he was still working in the field and not the management guy he became later.

I still have the B&O, PC and Lionel stuff in boxes in a closet but my GTW engines and equipment are on display, just above where I will soon build my small layout.


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