My Northern Pacific Butte Montana Layout.

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
Per Iron Horseman: "Well yeah and I believe I have all those things, but when the paint line is already 63 items deep, it might never come to the top of the list."

Well, yeah! We pays our money and we makes our choices!
 
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NP2626

Well-Known Member
I've been thinking about what I am: A Prototype Modeler; or, a Freelance Modeler. Although I have chosen a prototype to model, the Northern Pacific, I just can't think of myself as a Prototype Modeler. I model the N.P. but the countryside my railroad runs through is a totally fantasy. The town on my model railroad is called Butte Montana,; but, in reality looks nothing like the Real Butte!

My definition of what a prototype modeler is, is someone who not only models a specific railroad, but also models the specific country side the prototype runs through. To my way of thinking, this would be far to restricting, only a tiny portion of the real railroad can be modeled, maybe only a few hundred feet to maybe two to three miles of the right of way.

My definition of what a Freelance Modeler is, is someone who may; or, may not model a prototype. His layout might; or might not include real locations. Their layout would probably have far more points of interest: Bridges, Tunnels, Mountains, towns, other, than hundreds of miles on the prototype.

I think at best my layout could be considered Proto-Lanced.

So, what is yours?
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
So, what is yours?
Now that is a topic I fought with and thought about for almost 50 years. I have experienced other people's layout that run the gambit from a toy train type of anything goes to a person who modeled one area exactly as reality down to the length of the prototype sidings and size of structures. Personally I've been to the full freelance and back to a protype focus back and forth a few times, but neither to the extreme.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
I would have really liked to have modeled a prototype railroad, but my choices were the Northern Pacific and the Milwaukee Road as I wanted to model right here in my back yard, but with the space I had available, I really couldn't have done justice to even part of a subdivision of either railroad.

My choice was then to freelance and connect to both of the railroads mentioned. I chose real towmns and industries that either did exist or could have exisated if a railroad was there to serve them. Connecting to the NP and the MILW gave me the opportunity to have their power show up on my layout using a bit of moldelers license.
 
My Chicago, Milwaukee & Northern (CM&NR) is loosely based on the Milwaukee Road in Wisconsin. I have largely Milwaukee, SOO and C&NW motive power, but also includes any railroads that operated in Wisconsin in any shape or form like the DM&IR, the Northern Pacific, Algoma Central (SOO), Wisconsin Central and the MN&S since I am addicted to collecting locomotives. The era modeled is broadly based from late 1970's to early 1990's and then some.

The locations on my layout are actual towns in Wisconsin, like Poy Sippi, Omro, Waupaca and Saxeville, but are not modeled like the locations they are named after, but are mostly building flats or just locations having a feature like a quarry or junk yard.

The CM&NR has several leased locomotives and with trackage rights the line runs from northern Chicago to Upper Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a varied terrain with rocky buffs along the western parts of the state to flat-lands and even what could be called a small desert.

Yes, the layout is largely free lanced, but yet the layout could be an actual railroad in-spite of a coal mine in Wisconsin (again modeler's license).

Don't look for the CM&NR on any map because you'll never find it.

Call me a Freelancer....just having some fun!!!

Greg

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
I would have really liked to have modeled a prototype railroad, but my choices were the Northern Pacific and the Milwaukee Road as I wanted to model right here in my back yard, but with the space I had available, I really couldn't have done justice to even part of a subdivision of either railroad.

My choice was then to freelance and connect to both of the railroads mentioned. I chose real towmns and industries that either did exist or could have exisated if a railroad was there to serve them. Connecting to the NP and the MILW gave me the opportunity to have their power show up on my layout using a bit of moldelers license.
Chet, Everything you said is completely understandable! Modeling two roads makes sense as we've agreed that stuff for the N.P. is pretty sparse.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
The locations on my layout are actual towns in Wisconsin, like Poy sippi, Omro, Waupaca and Saxeville, but are not modeled like the locations they are named after, but are mostly building flats or just locations with a feature like a quarry.
Using real names can greatly enhance the believability of a layout set in a given region.

Yes, the layout is largely free lanced, but yet the layout could be an actual railroad in-spite of a coal mine in Wisconsin (again modeler's license).
Must be a lens of coal that was drug down by the glaciers.

Don't look for the CM&NR on any map because you'll never find it.
As a child I looked and looked at maps for the V&O railroad. I also looked all over maps of Virginia for the Virginia & Truckee. Never found either.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
The Virginia and Truckee is in Virginia City, NV.

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We have ridden on it a few times while attending bowling tournaments in Reno, NV.

Mark - Here are all of the NP locomotives that I have been able to come up with that would fit the time period I am modeling, 1957.

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Two not shown are brass locomotives that wouldn't have shown up in the Bozeman area. A Z-5 Yellowstone couldn't have passed throughthe tunnel at the top of Bozeman Pass because it was too larger to go through tthe tunnel and I also have the 2626, which spent most of it's time in Washington.

I recently had this F-9 converted to DCC to use at the club in Livingston. My Atlas RS-1 which is an Atlas DCC unit with sound is quite a wimp on the two and a half percent grades at the club. The F-9 is a Stewart offering and it is quite a horse. I can handle 20+ cars on the grades without breaking a sweat..

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By 1957 the NP had pretty well phased out most of its steam, but I couldn't pass up the little consolidation. There is one of them sitting in front of the Butte Civic Center today in Butte.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
I've been reading a book entitled "The History of the Northern Pacific Railroad" written by a Eugene Smalley sometime in the 1880. The book explains that the Northern Pacific route was the first transcontinental line that was thought about; or, put forward, even though it was not the actual first route built. Essentially, the route described for the railroad was the same route that Sacajawea helped Louis and Clark go on in their endeavor to get to the Pacific Ocean's coast. The route was described as flat lands, gentile valleys, with the lowest passes to the Pacific.
 
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NP2626

Well-Known Member
The above book contains the story of an Idea that was a long time coming. There where many false starts going back to the 1840s with people who became enthralled with the idea of a railroad running from the Western boarder of Wisconsin to the mouth of the Columbia river and to Puget Sound in Washington state. The northern Route was touted as the shortest route with the easiest land to pass through. As the crow flies, the distance between Mpls.,St. Paul to Seattle is around 1410 miles, whereas the distance between St. Louis and San Francisco is 1730 miles.
 
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NP2626

Well-Known Member
The false starts mentioned above for the Northern Pacific lasted for 20 or so years before the idea was cemented into a proposal finally agreed to by the House of Representatives, Senate and approved by President Lincoln in 1864. What was different about the N.P. Railroad's proposal was that the government was not going to fund any of the road with any moneys except the land grants. The Central Pacific and Union Pacific which started building their railroads in 1862, did receive money from the U.S. Government to help with the building and land grants to fund the line. Why the difference in how the two lines where handled by the government? As is the case today, there is politics involved. As was stated earlier, the northern route was the best route to the west flattest country and the passes over the mountain where the lowest. There was even less snow and better weather on the northern route. However, when powerful people become involved in a project, the project will follow the powerful politics. No difference today!!
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
The false starts mentioned above for the Northern Pacific lasted for 20 or so years before the idea was cemented into a proposal finally agreed to by the House of Representatives, Senate and approved by President Lincoln in 1864. What was different about the N.P. Railroad's proposal was that the government was not going to fund any of the road with any moneys except the land grants. The Central Pacific and Union Pacific which started building their railroads in 1862, did receive money from the U.S. Government to help with the building and land grants to fund the line. Why the difference in how the two lines where handled by the government?
The central route was the quickest way to California. It was important to link the rest of the US to the "new" state of California and keep them a close child before they decided to go back to being the Republic of California. The Union would probably have not won a war to keep them from seceding, as was done with the southern states. Side thought - James Polk is unappreciated for his contribution of bringing California into the Union.

On the other hand the Oregon Territory to be served by the "northern route" was just that - territory. A wilderness of unknown potential. Nothing urgent there.

Years later the Great Northern built their transcontinental with no government aid, not even the land grants.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
In 1864 Oregon was not a territory, it became the 33rd State, on February 14th, 1859! Although California did become a state 9 years earlier. Not having been around back when these decisions where being made it would seem simple enough to put emphasis on California becoming a state ,what with the late 1840s Gold Rush and all. That the Central Pacific/Union Pacific got the nod is pretty easy to understood.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
Years later the Great Northern built their transcontinental with no government aid, not even the land grants.
So, if Great Northern could do it without Gov't funding or land grants, would this mean that the GN is far more admirable than the N.P. or C.P/U.P? It would seem to me, that is what your driving at. Businesses will attempt to procure funding in what ever way they can. It can be the difference between life and death for a Business!
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
So, if Great Northern could do it without Gov't funding or land grants, would this mean that the GN is far more admirable than the N.P. or C.P/U.P? It would seem to me, that is what your driving at. Businesses will attempt to procure funding in what ever way they can. It can be the difference between life and death for a Business!
I don't know that I was driving at anything, it is just a fact. I think the real difference was one person, James Hill. He was actually interested in building and running a railroad rather than just being a robber baron trying to make money from buying them, robing them of all liquid assets, and then selling them (as Cooke, Crocker, Drew, Fisk, Gould, Vanderbuilt, Villard, etc).
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
After 5-6 chapters of the book on the Northern Pacific Railroad discussing the prehistory of the railroad, I am finally at a point where construction work is actually beginning on the railroad. The book outlines the prehistory of the line from when the Louis and Clark's expedition took place in 1804, to 1864 when the House of Representatives, Senate and President Lincoln signed the Northern Pacific Railroad into existence and construction actually began. There where many attempts to get the ball rolling, all of which simply failed! The book, as was stated, was written in 1880. However, I have found the book to be completely understandable and readable. Given that the book is more than 100 years old, it appears that how people spoke back than, still makes sense in today's world. I found the book at Amazon.
 
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NP2626

Well-Known Member
I just got to thinking about Jack Parker and his Logan Montana layout. Jack was the owner of Central Valley Model Works. I believe that Jack passed away a while back and Jack's son is now the owner of Central Valley Model Works and is keeping Jack's layout up and operational. Here is a video:
 





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