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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