Who Cares Anyway....!

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Active Member
Actually, when the current era has no appeal to you, settling on a specific era is pretty simple, in my opinion. For most of us, I would think a period of time during our own life times, would be the attracting feature. It's the steadfastness to a specific date that adds the difficulty. In the April 2017 issue of Model Railroader, Tony Koester discusses this very topic in reference to the two layouts he has built. He says that Allen McClelland's Virginian & Ohio railroad influenced him, greatly. He liked how Allen attempted to emulate a real coal hauling railroad. The two became good friends and interchanged cars, to add to the realism of both of there model railroads. Although, sometimes it appears to me that Mr. Koester is so involved in thinking about his way of model railroading that he lacks the ability to see that others are not quite so strident and like a little more fantasy than he does. I still enjoy what he has to say!

What we need to be sure of is that we don't become so myopic as to loose track of the fact that this hobby means many different things to many different people!
He liked how Allen attempted to emulate a real coal hauling railroad.
Yes, He is modeling a railroad. Technically a model is a representation of something. I've always contended that it is harder to model freelance than it is to model a prototype. With a prototype there is real data to extract information for the model from. With freelance it is too easy to skip or ignore certain details because there is not a definitive reference only generalities. I did learn a lot and have a lot of fun researching believable things for freelance. Unfortunately I used up most of my really good and thought out ideas for the club's road rather than my own.

What we need to be sure of is that we don't become so myopic as to loose track of the fact that this hobby means many different things to many different people!
Or even "means" nothing at all to some, just something they do.


Whiskey Merchant
I do freelance and chose an area I know quite well, the area right where I live. I used real towns, but used a bit of modelers license. The industries are some of what was in these towns, but also what could have been in the towns if there was a railroad to service the industries. This does give you some interesting possibilities.

Freelancing does give you the freedom to run what ever locomotives you want and you can paint and detail them the way you want and not have any rivet counters try to find mistakes. I did choose a particular time, late summer of 1957 and made sure I didn't have any equipment that wasn't true to that time period. (Maybe I'm river counting).

I do connect to two other real railroads and made sure that any power from those railroads were accurate.

All of the buildings and vehicles are true to the time period also having nothing newer than 1957.

Maybe I could have wasted my time as I am a lone operator and have nobody to please but myself. Grin.gif I'm happy with it.
I have a mobile layout, 15' x 10' I can run 4 different time eras from 1958 to 1976 by changing some vehicles and buildings out. Location stays the same and of course mountains etc. I run steam in 1958, then different diesels in 1963, 1970 and 1976.


Section Hand
I am looking at the hobby somewhat like collecting cars. Why can't one have a Model A and T Ford as well as a new Roush Ford Mustang? I will do what I enjoy, within reason, with this great hobby and stay within a reasonable period of time albeit 20+ years.



Whiskey Merchant
I have been collecting cars for my era for probably over 30 years. I do have a model T as seen in the top of the photo. Growing up in this time period, there were some actually still around and running up here, plus some people were also rebuilding them. A lot of pre war vehicles were also quite common.


I do like to have as many different vehicles that are true to the era. It some times takes a lot of hunting to find them, but I may be going overboard trying to find them.

IMAG1158.jpg Always looking, but none will be newer than 1957.
All my life, I've always wanted to run trains that look like the real thing, so that's always been what I cared about and looks way cool to me. Even if some one runs trains from a different local or different era than me, if it looks like the real thing from that era and place, I enjoy watching it a lot. If people run mish mash trains that don't look like any real train that ever ran, I try to be polite I say nothing, and walk away.

Of course, people can run what they want and that seems to be what many do. If Thomas the Tank floats your boat, more power to you.
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I find that I really do enjoy accuracy to a prototype, but the discipline of saying "no" to a prototype I like is the hard part. Fortunately, most of my favorites all have some manner of realistic "intersection" so my C&O, PRR, Pere Marquette, and NKP favorites can all play together without me feeling too unrealistic.


Loveably weird
Railroads lease power from other roads when circumstances require it. I've seen more than one Norfolk Southern black stallion diesel come through as part of a BNSF consist. You can come up with plausibility for just about anything.

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