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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I'm not a gold member or whatever, I can't post a poll, but I thought it would kind of neat to hear some of the reasoning behind people's choices of the "W"s of their layouts. :) If for no other reason than it might help somebody else struggling to find their pike's identity.

Since I brought it up, mine is centered around an old coal "company town" in Western Pa (along what is the old Allegheny Valley branch of the Pennsy, which in my alternate history was never absorbed...)somewhere between Kittaning and Parker. It is always a nice afternoon in early June of 1959 there.

As for the "Why" -- We spent a lot of time in a little bump miles OFF the road called Conneration, which was just up over the hill from the no longer existing village of Catfish (Where we got the name of my business from) it's a beautiful place that STILL hasn't been overrun by developers and yuppies. (Don't bother to look for it on a map, though...the closest place that MIGHT show up is Rimersburg, where there used to be an Archway cookie plant) I picked 1959 because it lets me run steam (or the occasional diseasel), and the "newest" model car I had already bought when I started to actually start THINKING about an era happened to be a 1957 Bel Air....

As for why Pooh, Tigger and the brontosaurus are there...life is a mystery. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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POC primary criteria:

1) Freelance RR, the POC is the prototype.
2) Location here in Oregon where I live. This dictates scenery and type of commodities handled just as on a real RR located here. Also puts some control and limits on what I can do and still be believable thus avoiding a hodge podge (already been there, done that).
3) Names of towns and geography taken from real locations in the area. Even the RR name, Port Orford Coast RR, reflects the local area.
4) Totally owned lackey of a medium sized lumber company but a common carrier with legal responsibilities to the communities served. If it wasn't for the need to legally steal the needed right of way from those reluctant to part with it the RR would be strictly a private carrier.
5) 1940 chosen as nominal era because the line is a steam era shortline (narrow gauge is just incidental) in a time before US was officially involved in WWII. This allows a fair amount of traffic even for a rural line but without the hustle bustle of a wartime RR. A bit more laid back than say 1942.
6) Point to point configuration on raised benchwork to emphasize operation.
 

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I don't know what mine is any more. I think the junction of some fictitious shortline and the Southern. The time period is the 30's. Some have said, "2:15pm July 14, 1936."

Why? Well. Umm. I dunno. Just seemed fun at the time.
 

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I'm sorry, I apparently didn't get the memo. I didn't know there were supposed to be reasons. I'll go study the insides of my eyelids for a while to see if I can find some reasons.
 

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Big Springs & Jackpine RR
Big Springs was a bar restuarant right next to Big Springs ( kitchitikipi- Indian name) of a spring that we went to all the time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were we used to have a cottage(Gods country) it was a crack in the fissue and sent out 60,000 gallons of water a minute, always went there when we were snowmobiling, it would never freeze, you could see 60 ft down, ice would form on the trees around it, sun would hit them in the morning ( Gods country) absolutely beautiful. You can look it up online, its a state park.
Jackpine is named for Jackpine Lodge and Jackpine lake, both in the UP, caught my first fish there, spent a lot of time in the bar with good people. I have named a lot of stuff on my RR from places in the U.P. where we were, I had a great childhood up there, spent a lot of time up there.
tom h
 

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Hmmm...

...mine has a bit of a 'split personality'. It was inspired (more or less) by watching the 'Polar Express' movie a few years ago. Several things in that movie really leaped right out at me, like that nifty triple spiral climb with the bridge afterwards, as well as Santa's industrial complex at the north pole. When I started looking at Large Scale stuff, I noticed there was quite a bit of 'North Pole & Southern' stuff out there (or close varients thereof); hence that became the name of the line. I see it as part mundane railroad set somewhere/anywhere in the northern hemisphere - with a spur that takes straight off into fantasy-land (the line to the north pole).

I suppose the closest thing to an actual 'prototype' (and it ain't very close at all) would be the old CN (?) line to Church-Hill on the western shore of Hudsons Bay, with an imaginary extension going a few hundred miles further north to the vicinity of the north magnetic pole, which would at least give Santa dry land to build his workshop on and raw materials to build the toys with. But thats still way far out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Posted By Semper Vaporo on 04/30/2008 3:58 PM
I'm sorry, I apparently didn't get the memo. I didn't know there were supposed to be reasons. I'll go study the insides of my eyelids for a while to see if I can find some reasons.




Charles, there is no "Have to" on reasons...but many people simply DO. As one poster wrote, if nothing else it can save you from having a mismatched hodgepodge of scales and eras (nothing exactly "wrong" with that either, if it's what makes you happy). But, to me at least, the "stories" of the people and places is often the best part. The toys are cool, but the imagination and rationale that fires them are truly fascinating. And, as I said, it might just help a newby.
 

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Who: Well, umm, that'd be me.. With regards to my railroad that would be the Lone Peak and Western. See it's webspace here.. www.lonepeakandwestern.bravehost.com

What: Originaly the LP&W was set up as a fictious shortline railroad servicing the timber and mineral extraction industries along the Wasatch Front near Salt Lake City Utah. Once I started acquiring more modern diesels I reverted back to my childhood and began to tinker with the idea of modeling the Illinois Central/ Illinois Central Gulf RR, specifically the old St Louis division in Southern Illinois, primarily focusing on coal and freight traffic.

Where: The Illinois Cental's St.Louis division. Division offices in Carbondale Illinois. The division encompased trackage from Cairo Illinois at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers north to Effingham, a line traversing east to west from Shawneetown Illinois to St Louis Missouri, numerous spurs and short lines to service coal mines and light to heavy industry.

When: No particular time period. We can run IC equipment from the early 1900's steam era to current day CN equipment (once I gather enough $$ to buy all that stuff). We primarily focus on mid 1960's to late 1980's.

Why: Ahhh now the hard questions..

Why do I have a garden railroad? It's fun. I share it with my son (He's 9) and I wouldn't trade that time with him for anything. It's a total departure from what I do at work so it keeps me sane..

Why do I choose that railroad and era? I grew up with the IC. My father made a career with the IC as did both of my grandfathers. I grew up in Southern Illinois near Carbondale and still have very vivd memories of the railroad as I grew up. I can recerate those memories in my garden and share my family legacy with my kids.

Plus.... it's fun.
 
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Where?
somewhere west. or southwest or so...

What Year?
about a century and a half ago.

Why?
why the layout? - because it makes me happy.
why the time? - like old style country music and i don't like modern trains.
why west (or so)? - i like towns, that would be fitting for Rooster Cockburn.

Or who cares?
i care. and rule 8 for the rest.
 

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Where: The Cabbage Patch Railway is situated on the East Island of New Zealand -with a land bridge over the Pacific to Napier on North Island. (There was one there -until 8 million years ago)...

When: The period is current -however the Cabbage Patch Railway is a Preservation Railway chiefly interested in 2 foot and Cape gauge locomotives and rolling stock. Its collection of locomotives has been chosen to be capable of running on the typical track work of the period 1880 to 1930. This is Edwardian Bullhead and Vignoles rail. It has recently branched out...

Why: The name comes from the original test track used by England and Fairlie which was called the "Cabbage Garden Railway" -mine was smaller so it was a "Patch". Also I liked the idea of telling people that there were "Fairlies at the bottom of the garden"....

regards

ralph
 

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The Pine Needle & Stump Pile Railroad...

We live in the back woods of Washington State! What more needs to be said?

Rick Brown
Pine Needle & Stump Pile Railroad
Port Orchard, WA.
 

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I care a lot. I find a "history" to be extremely useful for continuity and consistency -- two things I value, not to mention preventing expensive impulse purchases.
Some finer points of my line's history have come and gone over the years, but the essence is unchanged.
 

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Pete, to my mind, akes a good point. If the line has a "history," even if it's fictitious, and the things you do on the line conform to that history, it'll make more sense operationally and visually.

But I'm a historian for a living, and I'm not interested in any kind of perfect fidelity. There's a famous Borges story about a King who sets out to make the world's most accurate map, and he hires all the greatest geographers and cartographers and they work at it for years. The map ends up being exactly the size of the thing it depicts and so is useless as a map. In obscure corners of the kingdom, goes the story, people can be found living under pieces of the map. The point of the story, as I take it, is that there's an important difference between the thing and the imitation of the thing. So I don't go for too much fidelity.


I grew up taking the train into Philly (the Reading) and that decaying industrial landscape is what I think of first.
But my layout is done in partnership with my wife, which makes it more fun but less consistent. It's loosely modeled on the late 40s early 50s, the demise of steam era,and makes a few nods to an old rickety line that used to run near our house, the Washington and Old Domonion. It will eventually have a semi-copy of the local commercial street that serves our neighborhood, so people walking back from the hardware store will see a version of the hardware store. It will have a bumblebee Bachmann Annie running as an excursion train for tourists, because someone gave us a bumblebee and my wife finds the yellow cute and cheerful. She won't even let me weather it!
 
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why-for the kids, for fun and to teach.

when-back then...when life was harder but much more simple and enjoyable.

where-Foothills of SC to Mountains of Western NC..

what-Mine: coal, logging, shortline pass., Kids: whimsy-whatever rolls-works

who-Us.

how-funding yet to be determined.

cale
 

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Over the years, and in my garden railroad books, I always noticed a tendency for people to name them after local features or historic lines. I thought about using the local town name, but realized buying "used and cheap" leaves you with a lot of stuff that has no common thread. And I could not afford to recreate any real rail line. So I settled on "whimsical", kind of like many Lionel O scale layouts. My next section will be an amusement park, since it allows me to use just about anything I like (besides I have a five year old who likes to play in the layout).

I remembered an old television series called "The Prisoner", where the location was never really clear, but the scenery was festive, somewhat timeless, and bordered on whimsical. If you remember the show, you will recall they lived in "The Village". Once you arrived, you never left. So I started calling mine "The Village" and it stuck. Thus, the trains are simply known as Village Rail. How's that for coming up with a theme, with no real theme at all? ;-)
 

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The Lakeville Amboy & Conneaut is a totally ficticious narrow gauge shortline that takes place in the Greater Ohio area in the 1930's.

Originally the Lakeville Ry served this area and the Ely Thomas had rights to the rail line to transport their lumber. (I use an Ely Thomas Lumber Co. Loco, so that is the logging co. i know they weren't in this exact area) The Lakeville Ry busted shortly after it's conception due to poor management (my first RR didn't go so well). So, the Ely Thomas Lumber Co. took a gamble, and bought the abandoned line. Businesses were in need of the rail service to move their goods and the lumber company was set up to run. There is still a bit of a dispute over the purchase. The Ohio Tank line was interested in the line as well but was not entertained due to the fact that they wanted to privitize the line for their personnal use.

The Lumber co. made a decision to split the logging co and railroad due to business reasons. The railroad was named the Lakeville Amboy & Conneaut Railroad. Thier loco fleet was too slow, having only geared locos and one small articulated loco so when the line quickly boomed they bought a used reconditioned 2-8-0 coal burner. Business keeps growing and growing and the trains are getting longer and more frequent and they are working their poor connie to death. The LA&C RR is looking into the purchase of a used K-27 but have heard it has a lot of problems so they are waiting.

The LA&C RR continues to grow. They are currently redoing the line to Conneaut in hopes to speed up service and make it more dependable.
 

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Who Cares?
My first garden railroad was named after the street I lived on: The Aunt Patty's Lane Railway Co was formed in 1992, with ground being broken in 1993. That existed for five years until the property was sold. Tracks were taken up and a new line was built in the spring of 1999, but that railroad never flourished and was removed in 2001.

The Millersvillanova Railroad was created for our 2003 wedding. Combining the names of our respective colleges, Millersville U and Villanova U, I came up with Millersvillanova. We created a wedding train consisting of 3 cars and a 2-8-2 steam locomotive. All of the APLRy stock was transferred to the new railroad, and a new line was constructed at our new house.

Where: The railroad is freelance, but with strong ties to the New Haven railroad. There is also some other roads, but three locos, two cabooses and a snowplow have been lettered for the Millersvillanova. I just got a boat load of MRR decals, so expect to see some more stock in the future.

What year: Good question. It is 2008, but we run just about anything. I tend to stick in the mid -50s, with 40' boxcars, steam and diesel. The latest loco on the line is an 1876 4-4-0, but we hope to add a new aristo 2-8-0 in New Haven and a new aristo RS-3 New Haven.

Why: It is all for fun. Also, I try and do things to include my wife whenever possible. Case in point, the paint scheme is black and yellow with some silver. Same colors as the Pittsburgh Steelers, her version of my train hobby. I also bought her a USA trains F3A in PRR colors since her great grandfather worked for them way back.
 
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