Re: Why not model actual train consists?

Tim O'Connor

I concur with Richard -- and I do find Bruce's description rather
condescending. Nowadays a home layout can run into 10's of thousands
of dollars, not to mention requiring space in one's home (which costs
a whole lot more). And many operating venues -- clubs and modular
layouts -- are not amenable to traditional "operations" where you can
leave your equipment, and know it won't be tampered with, mistreated
or even stolen. I like realistic operating too, occasionally, but it's
not my main focus. But I do like to run the trains that I build. If
you're lucky enough to find a consist you can model, it can be very
rewarding to model it, and know with certainty that this train really
did exist!

Tim O'Connor


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.

Richard Hendrickson

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