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Where? What Year? Why? Or who cares?

3628 Views 23 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  markperr
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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Mid 1920s, Ohio, patterned (very loosely) after the real Ohio River Electric Railway (and Power Co,)
As pointed out on other posts, this keeps things thematically correct, although I have cheated a bit with some early steel boxcars and of course the diesel.
Obviously a link to reality isn't a necessity, but it does make things a bit more interesting, IMHO.
Posted By Mik on 04/30/2008 3:12 PM

I thought it would kind of neat to hear some of the reasoning behind people's choices of the "W"s of their layouts.

Original layout: The Chitina Local Branch of the Copper River & Northwestern Railway: real name based on the prototype which existed from 1911 until 1938 when the line was permanently abandoned. The Chitina Local Branch operated from Chitina, Territory of Alaska, mile 131 (from Cordova off the Gulf of Alaska) to and including Kennecott, CRNW mile 196.

The year I selected for purposes of re-creating the historic structures was 1917.

Why: historic family connection to the reason the railway was originally constructed.
What: The In-kopah Railroad is a fictious desert narrow gauge line serving mines and mining towns.

Where: The In-ko-pah Railroad is set in a rocky, mountainous region of the desert in Southern CA. It is named for the In-ko-pah Mountains and In-ko-pah Gorge of San Diego and Imperial counties. (The place name itself is an Indian word meaning "east people" and was used to describe the tribe which inhabited the area.)

When: Present day, mostly. However, I'm trying to avoid the use of modern structures or vehicles, so that the layout would fit just as well in an earlier era. And I'll be running mostly steam, as a "preserved, working" heritage railroad.

Why: I've always loved the desert, especially the Anza-Borrego region in eastern San Diego County. The flora and fauna are more varied than in the Mojave desert. So I've always wanted to have a model railroad set in that type of desert environment.

I also like the old mines, mining camps, and ghost towns that I've visited during my many trips in the Southern Ca deserts and Nevada. Some of those old mines were in mind-boggling locations, high on the sides of steep, jagged mountains.

I like all kinds of trains. So I would love to have had enough room to operate some modern standard gauge trains along with a narrow gauge branch line. But I have very little room, just 19x50 feet (including the pathways and stairs), on a very steep slope. I knew from the start that this would limit me to tight curves and small rolling stock -- thus I stuck with narrow gauge. But that's ok, funky little NG trains are cool!

The steep slope was a challenge but it also made it possible to build the kind of "vertical scenery" was most interested in.

That's the "real life" reason that my railroad is what it is. I've also created a brief fictional history which can be found on my website. And that brings me to, "Who cares". Well, I find that having a theme and fictional history help me create a more cohesive and believable model railroad.
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My railroad has no purpose, no meaning, and no theme. Right now it's just a series of tracks that is pleasing to the untrained eye (re: neighbors). I will eventually theme it and I still want to do something urban/interurban/traction. i'm not yet sure of an era so that's the thing that causes me to stumble about aimlessly. I shall figure it our someday or I will die, whichever comes first. (I know, that sounds a little morbid doesn't it? It's just a saying though. No real self-malice intended)

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