On May 23, 2011, at 7:52 AM, Jim Betz wrote:
Hi,JIm, many years ago the late Terry Metcalfe had found a cache of
wheel reports for the location and date he wanted to model on the
Union Pacific and was well along with the research that would have
enabled him to model specific trains. I helped him with that
research and provided numerous photos of the car series in the wheel
reports. At that time, there were fewer models available of the cars
he would have needed, but today, with the profusion of styrene and
resin freight car models that have been introduced since that time,
it would be much easier to replicate those trains exactly.
Regrettably, Terry's unfortunate and premature death brought that
effort to a halt.
I know a number of other modelers who are doing essentially what you
describe, and I'd be inclined to do it myself if I had the
documentation it would require.
Bruce Smith's objection that modeling specific trains would make it
impossible to do prototypical operation is, of course valid. but
modeling specific trains is a viable alternative for those of us who
don't have the space to build a model railroad that's suitable for
prototypical operation. My diorama is intended to be what Bruce
refers to (I hope not condescendingly) as a "railfan's" model
railroad; sit down on a stool (standing in for a pile of crossties)
and watch the trains run through a scene that is, as accurately as I
can make it, a miniature of a real place at a real point in time. I
find prototypical operation rewarding, too, but when I feel the need
for an operating fix I can get it at the La Mesa club's Tehachapi
Pass layout in San Diego or at Bill Darnaby's in suburban Chicago.
On both of those large model railroads, operations are realistic
enough that it's well worth the air fare to get there occasionally.