View Full Version : Fantasy Railroads

2nd Mar 2004, 10:19 AM
I use prototype as a guild for certain areas of a layout and fantasy to transition from one to another and to fudge things where space is a problem...

2nd Mar 2004, 10:52 AM
Even tho I am trying to represent the Conrail Pittsburgh Line to the best I can, I just dont have the room, so some features of the layout are "fudged."

I have also replaced the RJ Corman shortline that interacted with Conrail on the line with "TABCO." TABCO is "Tabatha Corp" is named after my wife. The locomotives are red with silver writing, like RJ Cormans, so you can still identify the shortline with the real area, and yet add a little personal touch.

Pittsburgh yard on my layout!? Never been there..so it is really fudged, but I m tying to create a look of a PA City to the best I can in the space I have.

2nd Mar 2004, 12:39 PM
... I m tying to create a look of a PA City to the best I can ...

For me there is going to be a lot of kit bashing and fudging, since there is nothing commercially available for the prototype I'm modeling... I'm buying engines and rolling stock that are close, then adding/removing detail as appropriate before re-painting... similarly, I'm collecting kits of buildings that are essentially the right outline and re-detailing them to get closer to what I want... there will be certain key buildings that I will have to scratch-build...

2nd Mar 2004, 12:56 PM
Bryan, what are you modeling!?


2nd Mar 2004, 01:07 PM
I'm modeling W.A.G.R. prototypes (Western Australian Government Railways)... it will be a mix of things spanning an era from the 50's to the 70's...

There are some Aussie suppliers with some products for the eastern Australian states, but not for W.A. ...

2nd Mar 2004, 01:13 PM
Yeah...I guess you are SOL!


2nd Mar 2004, 03:44 PM
When I first started in N back in the late '60s I prefered steam and still do. To model any prototype RR would have been hard because of the limited selection for specific RRs. Ther was not any steam that I can recall for the D&RGW. To this day there are very few locos that are avalable that will qualify. I am working on a Micro-Ace 0-6-6-0 to reprsent a Grande 2-6-6-0 right now.
My main focus is my own road name that very roughly follows the D&RGW. This way I can use a wide variety of products and have the freedom of building what I desire but still do a little bit of protoype once in a while. My inspiraton when I first started was John Allen and look at the name of his RR, The Gorre and Daphetid. It was run like a real RR in a lot of ways. In my area there seems to be a lot of emphasise on prototype RRing, there is even one magazine that will only publish model RRs that are modeled after a prototype RR (Model Railroad Journel). I think this approach limits one's fun by making it to serious, another set of rules to follow. The kid with the Christmas train and a loop of track can have a great time because his imagination has that train running through countrysides, mountains, and cities. As we grow older I think we try to justify our hobby by being serious about it and lose that view the child had. I try to follow prototype pratcies in general and I try to make my layout look as real as possible but no matter what I do the model RR is still just that, A model RR. That is why the bigest bridge on my layout (see below) would probably not be practical on a real RR but it reminds me to lighten up and have fun.This is just my opinion and those who are having a good time following and modeling a specific prototype, more power to you.

"Over the Royal Gorge in N Scale"

2nd Mar 2004, 04:30 PM
JohnW, that's why bashing is going to be a big part of the fun for me.... I see a steam engine with the generically correct profile and drivers but not leading/trailing bogies, tender, railings, etc, and then I see a loco with the correct tender, so I collect all the bits and morph them into what I want...

2nd Mar 2004, 05:16 PM
My shortline East and West Overshoe Lines is a completely fictitious shortline that operates in a generic, hilly area of Pennsylvania. The Overshoe name is a tribute of sorts to my late father who used to refer to these generic Pa towns as 'East Overshoe'. It is set in the current timeframe, and I freely run NS, Conrail and CSX equipment, and since alot of this state looks like it did 50 years ago, I could just as easily whip out a Pennsy K4 (if I had one) and not feel guilty about it, not that I would feel guilty about it anyway.

I have nothing against the prototype folks, but to me, half the fun is making you own reality and integrating it however you want. It can be believable or far-fetched, whatever you want. Just have fun. When it gets to be work, then it time to re-evaluate the direction.

I think I'll go run my CB&Q E6 that I bought just because I liked the paint scheme :D

2nd Mar 2004, 05:18 PM
I'm trying to build a D&RGW 2-6-6-0 but all I can find is photos and not very many of them, and none that show me both sides of the same loco. That and NO plans. I know that what I come up with will not be correct for a specific engine but maybe representive of the type. I would probably never get this done if I waited for enough information. It is still fun doing it. The Micro-Ace locos that I have like this will all be done for my own road name following American prototype which which be good enough for me. Sounds like you are enjoying your approach to it and that is what it's all about.

2nd Mar 2004, 05:30 PM
Like John, I started in N scale in the late 60's and, it was almost impossible to get the right prototype equipment to faithfully model a prototype that wasn't one of the "biggies" (and even then, equipment decorated for one of them sometimes never saw that particular paint job!). So, I did what I could to model the B&M, MEC, and BAR but, to give a good reason to buy locos that the above didn't own and that I really "had to have", I developed a "bridge" line called the Danville and Rigby Junction RR ( a twist on some real place names here). Although I am trying to be more faithful to the prototype with all the new locos coming out, I still have a few decorated for the D&RJRR. It just adds to the fun.


2nd Mar 2004, 07:05 PM
I'm doing a set of t-trak modules which are from whatever region, era and bit of scenery I'm taken with at the moment, often combining a few. And there's a huge hit of whimsey, I have a model railroad to recapture some of that sense of wonder at vast landscapes and ridiculous juxtapositions and neat gadgets that struck me as a child; I've got the animated carnival scene, I'll probably run 1890s steam (I've got a half-built two truck scratchbuilt Shay that I'm modeling after the earlier ones) alongside 1940s steam (Kato Mikados) alongside 1960s diesel.

But as a couple of people have pointed out here, I don't want "fantasy" to mean "undetailed". I want to understand the reasons behind all of the superdetailing I attach to my engines, I want paint schemes that weather and deteriorate like paint schemes would in the real world. Just because it's a fantastic world that only exists in my head doesn't mean it's unrealistic.

Or maybe that should be that the rules are consistent. Much how in movies and stories, it's okay if the rules of reality are ignored as long as there's an internal consistency to the story that's scrupulously obeyed.

2nd Mar 2004, 07:14 PM
The two main reasons for my being in N scale (gauge) are; you get a lot more track in a given area, and you don't need extreme detail to get a realistic look (prototyped or not)...

2nd Mar 2004, 09:09 PM
In my mind fantasy is different than freelance. Fantasy says cartoon colors and Disney inspired design. That isn't a negative, it's just what the word means to me.

Freelance = protoypical elements used to create a ficticious locales or lines.

Prototypical = prototypical elements used to recreate real locales or lines.

Fantasy = Anything goes.

Thats is how it works in my wee little mind anyway.

2nd Mar 2004, 09:26 PM
I can definitely go along with those definitions, Todd...

People often use different words to relay what they're trying to get across (especially if from different geographical areas)... I knew (thought I knew) what Steve was getting at by the other options in the poll... the other comments in the thread also seemed to support this, so I didn't bother saying anything because everyone seemed to be on the same page... your comments certainly add clarity to the discussion for others though...

2nd Mar 2004, 11:22 PM
:lol: Todd: You hit the nail on the head. Like Disney or even Thomas the Tank. That is exactly what the Hokie Pokie Railway Line is all About.

As mentioned earlier, I am building with Ken Cooley's Shape Master Modules - 100% I have 3 modules that are 3 different mountain areas named the Hokie Pokie Alpine Villages. These have Fiber Optic lights throughout and one even has a motorized Santa in his sleigh. I am just about done with the Hokie Pokie Foggy Canyon and yes it has real fog coming from the canyon and crossing over the Kato Double Track bridge. Hokie Pokie Alpine Village and Hokie Pokie Foggy Canyon is part of -- Yep you guessed it -- The Hokie Pokie National Park.

After I finalize the logo work and text lines, I am seriously thinking about coming out with a series of HPRL rolling stock and a few Power Units. I cannot wait until I get some photos up to show you all.

So - anyone else doing the Fantasy Railroad?

2nd Mar 2004, 11:31 PM
:shock: .... and John W. I think that Royal Gorge Bridge can stretch from your railroad all the way to the Hokie Pokie.

Have you visited the Royal Gorge? When I once upon a time lived in Pueblo. Colorado it was not that far of a trip to vist the Royal Gorge. That bridge use to swing back and forth when crossing it.

Great Job and terrific phote of that bridge.

3rd Mar 2004, 01:28 AM
Yes, I've been down to the RG bridge a few times. I live in Denver so it is not that far. When I built my second version of this bridge I wanted to make it stronger so I took a lot of photos and measurements down at the gorge and then used them to scratch build the new bridge ouy of brass.

The definitions are right on. I have been known to have Thomas or James setting next to a shop waiting repairs and then there is the little green dinosaur hidden in the trees.

3rd Mar 2004, 01:44 AM
Must be age catching up with me... I just assumed the word "fantasy" in the context of this forum meant "free-lanced"! :lol:

3rd Mar 2004, 11:23 AM
I want to weigh in on this.

When Steve the Toolman O'Toole started into his T-Trak modular
layouts he started with a Warsteiner beer distributor module theme.

Then he branched off into Hokie Pokie Railway Line which is a total
fantasty place with no ties to anything in the real world. That doesn't
mean anything goes, it means you have a specific theme to start with
and stick with it. Steve's is the Hokie Pokie Railway Line.

Perhaps his Warsteiner looked just like the place he works or the headquarters for his offices in Ohio but perhaps not as much fantasy
as the Hokie Pokie is.

You see what Fantasy Railroading is, is much like fantasy football or
simply dreaming up a theme and running with it for either one module,
two, many or the entire layout.

I have an over all copyrighted theme of "the DayShaVoo line" with tag lines of "been there, done that" and "we go round in circles" and "we deliver your freight again and again and again".

I will add to this over and over and over. hehe.

The point is gentlemen and ladies, is that our railroads need to relax and enthus us not make us tense and tight. Have fun with your railroad. You can count rivets if you want to but you might go blind doing it.

With our modules systems (whether you build your own or buy mine) you can have themes to each module or set of modules. Then take them to your work place to stimulate interest in our hobby. Let's grow our hobby together. Build a few modules, show them off and join a club with them.
You don't have to build an entire layout with them if you don't want to.

But I think after you begin to have fun you will want to.

I'll be back to rattle this idea on the boards more.

Soon my Coca-Cola themed module will be done. Then my red-neck welding shop module, then my lost in Tennessee module.

Man are we having fun,


3rd Mar 2004, 11:42 AM
One more thing to add.

Fantasy is a term. Freelance sounds too boring. Too sterile
and too old fashioned.

Perhaps Fantasy will turn folks off thinking that stupid things
will join with real neat detailed and weathered pieces.

It doesn't have to be that way folks.

Fantasy simply means you are not locking into a prototypical
place in particular.

Now, you might find Thomas the Tank engine taking a spin around
a T-Trak layout at a show to please the children (and adults I might add)
but at home you run only the best and those items that fit your era.

My theme is an over all theme for my personal modular railway line.

I will have topical modules that address different schenes or themes
I want to convey. All for my pleasure and the pleasure of those who
view my layout and modules.

With our the miniature modules you can do one with a theme and set it
on the shelf knowing full well you can run trains across it.
Then you buid a few more of a different theme.

Snow scenes, desert scenes, mountains and such all on different modules
yet all can be locked together in a nice flow that says more to a viewer
and perhaps to you then what a permanent layout will.

Ever want to make a statement? Ever just want to see a neat snow scene
but you modeled south Florida?

I want flexibility in my layout. Heck my rolling stock certainly is flexible.

And believe me, no one enjoys detail more than I. I got into N because of the detail. With N scale it seems you can have great detail that looks
even more convincing then it does in HO. Anyone agree?

I don't want to tick off the HO folks but heck they shouldn't be hanging around here anyway.

I'm just kidding.

HOer's are always welcome. Some of the best N scalers used to be HOers.

Let's continue the discussion on fantasy railroads.

Keep in mind fantasy football isn't stupid it's just like the war games or other fantasy stuff. I wouldn't say fantasy war games of the Civil War were off detail or inaccurate. In know they take great pains in staying true with history. Ours can too.

Let's not let the other hobbys have all the fun!!!


Come visit us at ShapeMaster, click on the T-Trak and N scale Railroading button and sign our guest book. You need to win a ShapeMaster Module.

3rd Mar 2004, 11:49 AM
Sorry but I gotta add one more note to this discussion then I'll shut up.

Our friend Tim Savaglio who needs to be on here posting, hint hint,
has a great idea and it's all him.

He wants to do milepost modeling. You take a ShapeMaster modules (little advertizment there) and layout and scenic as a place in history
in the real world as it is or as it was.

Then you run a train across this module and as it passes over the milepost
you are seeing the scene or setting as it was. Then the train enters the
TrainSIM on your laptop and you see the train traveling through miles of other areas on the computer as it was but you don't have room for it in your house.

Then as the train enters the next small town or city it enters into the next module (ShapeMaster I hope) and you see (and so does your family and friends) all the detailed work you've done on the module that looks like or similar to the the area you wanted to MilePOST model.

So, you model certain mile posts along the railway.

NOW, that's NOT fantasy railroading but it's another cool way to benefit from modules.

Again, Fantasy doesn't imply Toy Like or bright colors and Disney stuff
necessarily it means Themes that are not from the real world however they may bear a resemblance to them but not particularly intentional.

Better go,


3rd Mar 2004, 01:25 PM
First,John W.,that is a beautiful bridge!!!!As for my RR,I have a couple of fantasy engines on it.I have 2 SD-80's in Erie Lackawanna,a SD-60 in EL,a SD-40 in EL,& a P-42 in NJT.It's all part of the funny of having your own RR. :D It's my RR,I'll do what I want!!!!!!!!!! :wink: Mike

3rd Mar 2004, 01:47 PM
Always remember folks........
there's the:

Right way, Wrong way and the Railroad way

If the Railroad could hang on doing their way even
if it was stupid and sent them into bankruptcy,
why can't we!!!!

Bottom line is have fun and enjoy good clean modeling.

Again I say, if the railroads found creative ways to solve problems
why can't we?



3rd Mar 2004, 01:54 PM
Thanks, glad you liked the bridge, here is another shot of it;

3rd Mar 2004, 02:12 PM
John, that bridge is just fine!
Your trains don't end up in the bottom of the canyon, do they?... so even if your safety factor in its design wasn't as big as some may have used, it does hold up and look the part... must be the unobtanium used in the structure :P

4th Mar 2004, 12:15 PM
How about some basic instructions on that bridge and how
you built it. I would love to put one of those together.

Looks good.

What are the dimensions, the type of track used and etc.



4th Mar 2004, 10:38 PM
Just not inclined to use the term fantasy for my railroad. Fantasy has implications that just don't fit what I do. Prototypical doesn't either. Proto-lance is not a word. So I am sticking with freelance.

4th Mar 2004, 10:58 PM
No problem.

I understand.

I suppose a less provacative word or term should be used.
But it needs to be a new term not one that is already used in the
train layout world.

Freelance is too open a term for me but it does say it well.

What Steve come up with is the concept not the term. The concept
is to have fun with your model railroad and not get caught up in rivet
counting and everything having to be perfectly prototypical.

After all, no one's layout is perfect and nothing is untimately prototypical
anyway. We all know that. Either something the manufacture does or
something we don't do makes the track, train or layout not to scale or not
as believable.

Oh well, it's about having fun. Let's get on with it.


4th Mar 2004, 11:11 PM
Don't worry be happy.

We've had some good discussion on the General
boards regarding "Fantasy Railroads". I'm thinking that the
term "Topical" layout makes good sense. It's Topics
we are talking about not primary colored Disney Toys.

I like the term that Toolman came up with for his modular layout
"Fantasy Railroading" and he calls his line the Hokie Pokie Railway Line.

He's on a roll and enjoying himself.

We should never take ourselves too seriously in this hobby. I've seen folks implode while doing it.

I Know a fellow who is one of the best R/C scale plane builders in the
U.S. get all mad and stomp his planes into the dust when they didn't fly
the way he wanted. How much fun is that to destroy a $4,000.00 plane
in front of other top notch pilots and modelers?

If we can't have fun how can we ever convey to others the joy of model railroading and encourage them to get in.

Moreover if we are a part of a club and lose our tempers or micromanage
the club we end up pushing folks away.

I suggest that we have fun, build small but simple and enjoy our hobby.

Life's too short to be all wacked about a layout design.

So, my thoughts tonight are to unwind, back away and look at the work
you've done and just enjoy the items and accomplishments you have so far.

Best to all,


5th Mar 2004, 12:26 AM
...After all, no one's layout is perfect and nothing is untimately prototypical anyway. We all know that. Either something the manufacture does or something we don't do makes the track, train or layout not to scale or not as believable....


One of the reasons for my liking N gauge (apart from getting more track per sq') is the fact that you don't have to be as cognizant of the fine detail... a generic outline, wheel arrangement, and paint, will get you most of the way there... sure the ultra fine detail can be appreciated, but for a general "look" and to have fun it's not a necessity...

5th Mar 2004, 01:13 AM
:lol: Founder, Owner, Operator, CEO and CFO of the Hokie Pokie Railway Line here. One thing for sure, I did spark conversation here and it does appear that everyone is having fun. Hey! We are all on Page 3 now with a lot of views and a lot of discussion.
Regardless what anyone says, When I am through and a laughing all the way to the bank because some manufacture bought my Fantasy Railroad and Orion Films makes a multi-million featured movie of the Hokie Pokie, you will all wish that you jump complete in my fantasy RR instead of putting you left foot in and turn yourself around (he he).

As Chief Financial Officer I will say that the Hokie Pokie Railway Line has made some major investments. We have just purchase a SW9/1200 locomotive, a 40ft and 50ft boxcars and a steel caboose. All are undecorated and we will be placing the Hokie Pokie Railway Line Logo Decal and lettering on them. Does anyone want to provide their input for Color of the base unit prior to me adding decals? Here is your chance to part of the paint scheme. You will say

5th Mar 2004, 10:49 AM
[quote="Toolman"]:lol: All are undecorated and we will be placing the Hokie Pokie Railway Line Logo Decal and lettering on them. Does anyone want to provide their input for Color of the base unit prior to me adding decals? Here is your chance to part of the paint scheme. You will say

5th Mar 2004, 11:29 AM
:lol: Hey Joe!!! with B&O. I like your idea of the choc brown. You gave me another idea. I am going to take my newly purchased items and bring to to a custom rod paint shop. I will have them painted in such a way that the change color as they pass the viewer. I will allow that custom paint shop advertising as one of my sponsors.

One good thing about America is the right of free speech. Nothing wrong with anyone trying to get his or her money back for helping the hobby along. Believe me, I have witness first hand the investment Ken has made tooling the Pods and the Modules. He ain't going to be buying a muli-million dollar home from this. I have personnally gone with Shape-Master items because you can not build a unit like he offers at the price he offers. No one can do it. Shape-Master, Inc. http://www.shape-master.com

Joe - I am trying to get Todd to make this Fantasy section perminent because we can all dream what we want. No one mentioned my 1st attempt at my Logo. Ken helped me with that coming up with the woodsie look and the timber in the background. I think the choc color look would go great with that.

I think my poster for Chantilly will include the names of all those who contributed to the looks of Hokie Pokie Railway Line

5th Mar 2004, 12:04 PM

I sincerely hope my advertising on this web forum doesn't offend

In my mind I wish more folks like Atlas, Kato, Life Like and others would come to a site like this and talk personally with other modelers.

I am different in that I am a modeler in N scale who fell in love with N.

Then I fell in love with miniature modules and wanted to bring a mass produced affordable unit to the market place that will help not only busy
modelers like me (an experienced master modeler) but also others who
are young and those who have never modeled railroads, train, scenery,

It was my contention that T-Trak was a great idea for a layout not only
for clubs but also for your home layouts.
The problem I saw with it was that far too man folks don't have the woodworking tools to build the wood module or the ability to do it with the repeat accuracy required.
That's where our product line would meet the needs.

I am in discussions now with Todd our administrator and the owner of this site to enter into a paying agreement for advertising on this site.
Todd had mentioned that he was considering shutting down the forums and
that there was cost of time and money involved with no revenue coming in.

He didn't gripe about it just was honest. His intention was for this site to be the best resource on the net for N scale. He is well on his way to providing that for us. I want to help.

So, in the effort to help defray his costs and to perhaps keep him interested in the work I am offering to do something tangible in the way of adverstising.

Please dont be offfended by my references to our product lines.

Thanks for your support (Bartels and James)



5th Mar 2004, 12:55 PM
I know that I don't have a problem with you airing your enthusiazm for your new project/adventure, and documenting your progress here... 8)

But if you're bashing us over the head with it on a daily basis in 12 months time, we might be gett'n a little browned off by then... :lol:

5th Mar 2004, 01:16 PM
Browned off, I like that, can I use it?

Sounds like an Eddie Murphy comment.

As for bashing, I'll try real hard to not make you guys
feel I'm prostituting myself or our products here.

Thanks for mentioning it, I truly don't want to come
off gratuitous.

Take care,


5th Mar 2004, 04:21 PM
Fantasy = FUNtasy. As long as one gets enjoyment out of what their are doing and it doesn't harm any one, then have fun doing what you enjoy!

5th Mar 2004, 06:49 PM

I sincerely hope my advertising on this web forum doesn't offend

Please dont be offfended by my references to our product lines.

Thanks for your support (Bartels and James)



My reference was with a smile and a wink. I'm certainly not offended by you promoting your products. You are providing a means to obtaining things that the vast majority of us modellers cannot make on our own without extensive and expensive equipment.

5th Mar 2004, 09:07 PM
:lol: Ok Guys & Gals -- as of 3:30pm today - a bomb fell on the Warsteiner Warehouse & Transfer company. I will be vacating that lot and building the Hokie Pokie Corporate office. There are always good side to these stories and on this note, I will be be able to post more here and maybe finally after all the boasting -- get some photos on here.

It was brought to my attention that a good airbrush artist could probably do a better job that a custom auto shop custom painting my railroad rolling stock. Any thoughts out there. I still like the chocolate idea. With a good painter it would be nice to see the a swirlas the Hokie Pokie Railroad goes by. Hokie Pokie Railway Line owes the track and the real estate; while the Hokie Pokie Railroad ownes the equipment.

OH NO! :twisted: Could this be the end of the FUNtacy and FANTASY; Am I starting to sound like Corporate America.

PS: Presidental Canidate Kerry wants to rent my Railroad to do Whistle Stops across Hokie Pokie Country campaigning. On the other hand Bush wants to use it for on one way ticket to Mexico.

Tune in this weekend when the recking ball clears out the Warsteiner Warehouse and Transfer Company. Instead of the HPRL Corporate Office we may be constucting the M. Jackson Sleepover Hotel or the Hokie Pokie Celebrity Penitentiary. Won't mention any convictions lately or future guests as we could get closed down. Heck, with the way it is going, I will need a train to haul them all in. (Did you all get the witticism) :wink:

This is a very, very busy thread here. Tune in.

6th Mar 2004, 12:44 AM
So far I haven't had anything go off the bridge, if it does it is about five feet to the floor, ouch!

The total length of the bridege is about four feet long, between the towers is about 34 inches. After taking measurements of the real bridge I drew out a plan of the towers and then took one of these and glued it to a piece of pine. On this I made a jig so that all the sides would come out the same, you have to make two sides for each tower and then join them together to crate the other sides. I then used different brass shapes after scaling them down to see what would be the correct sizes. A resistence soldering unit was used to solder everything together. When the two sets of towers were finished , they were joined together on top of another plan to ensure the right spacing on both sides. The two towers have different lengths as per the real bridge. I built the deck out of brass. This was all mounted on a assembly of pine boards layered on each end to fit under the towers and a center board that was attached to the two ends. This held everything together while I strung the cables and dropped the steel lines down to the deck and got that all soldered together. If I remember I used some code 55 flex track glued to the deck.
Once the bridge was complete I screwed the two ends into the benchwork and removed the center piece of pine.
I probably have made this as clear as mud but the main points are that a bridge this size had to be made out of something strong, the reason for the brass and being a suspension bridge made for some problems as I did not want to try to asemble it in place on the layout so had to come up with a way that it could be built on the workbench and then moved to the layout.
Here is a shot of the Eastern side, notice the difference in height of the two towers, same as the real one. The other side the towers are the same height.


6th Mar 2004, 01:49 AM
:!: JohnW: You should really enter the bridge in a model contest if you have not already. Not only the bridge but the photes. too. I cannot remember where I saw your bidge before. Atlas? or just a web search. I was looking at the detail you put into it. Again, nice job.

6th Mar 2004, 02:04 AM
Thanks for the nice words. I used to enter contests at one time but have gotten lazy and just build for my own enjoyment these days. I have posted photos on the Atlas forum in the past and I have a album at RailImages, it's on the first page so it is easy to find. The bridge is anchored into the layout so I could not move it if I wanted to.

6th Mar 2004, 10:43 AM
Wow! John, I am very impressed with that bridge. There is nothing in this area of the country to compare, other than the Macinack Bridge, but that's for auto traffic, not railroads.

Most of the bridges I've seen crossing major rivers are truss or variations of truss.

I wouldn't doubt you'd win the grand prize if you entered the bridge (photo) in Model Railroader's Photo contest. From what I understand, it's something pretty good, like $1000, or so I remember.

Question: I take it that the cables that drop from the main cables are steel - how did you attach them to the underside of the roadway?

I probably have more questions, but I know that I don't have the patience you obviously have in building this bridge. But, I'm getting better :wink:

6th Mar 2004, 11:03 AM
JohnW:Haven't I already seen this bridge in a publication?

6th Mar 2004, 12:14 PM
The real Royal Gorge bridge was built for auto and foot traffic and probably would never have supported steam locos. It serves as a reminder to not get to serious, it's just a hobby. All the other bridges on the layout are more like the prototype ones found on the real RRs.
The steel wire was used for the lines that drop down because it stays stiff, They were soldered to little turnbuckle type castings which were then soldered to the deck. The top has a little band of brass that raps around the main cable and then is soldered to the steel wire.

I have a album at RailImages, that might be where you saw it unless you have an old copy of Model Railroader, Jan. 1977. The first suspension bridge I built was in there. This one is a much improved version.

6th Mar 2004, 03:51 PM

Wow! Nice bridge.

More pictures please?!

I want to build the Pecos River High Bridge.

As I figure in N scale to be about 13.5 feet long
and 24" high.

Tallest bridge in the world at the time.

Thanks for sharing.


Catt (RIP)
6th Mar 2004, 06:14 PM
Ok my turn to weigh in here.You all are welcome to call your railroads "Fantasy Railroads" I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever.

But my Grande Valley RR is a "Freelanced railroad .... thats spelled "FREELANCE " :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: and has been since August of 1978.The GVR does interchange with several prototype railroads and they are treated accordingly (ie- if its a CPR,CSX or NS locomotive it is as exact as I can get to that road's locos.

By the way I also interchange with several freelanced roads belonging to other members of NARA -http://boylerwerx.0catch.com/nara.html one of which is actually in Sweden .

6th Mar 2004, 06:18 PM
Catt, it looks like you and I are the only freelancers here. That's ok though. There is room for all of us.

6th Mar 2004, 06:53 PM
I'm not familar with the Pecos bridge but that would be something to see modeled at over 13 feet. It could even be compressed and still be impressive.

You asked for it, so here are a few more shots;

This next one is a panorama that I did touch up in the computer. There is water below where the floor is and I added more clouds;

This one is a still from one of the little cameras that is mounted on a flat car which I taped a video of. It's a alittle slanted because the camera had shifted on the flat car.

6th Mar 2004, 07:28 PM
:roll: OK everyone - someone within this forum must of known that it would eventually try to set the record straight. And wouldn't you know who that would be.

Now, I happen to be mayor of Hokie Pokie Village and I went to the local Hokie Pokie Library. Let me Quote a few words from the Hokie Pokie Merriam Dictionary.

Freelance = synonyms (self employed, temporary, irregular, casual, ad hoc) Merriam-Webster indicates

Catt (RIP)
6th Mar 2004, 11:30 PM
Steve? Did you forget your meds? :mrgreen:

6th Mar 2004, 11:49 PM
Hey guys,

Free lance is something you do on the side.

When you work daytime at a job and do the same thing
on the side for extra money at night, that's FREELANCE.

Free spirit or FANTASY is what we mean. :lol:

thanks guys for entering into this fun discussion.

I really love those bridge shots, how bout the rest of ya?

I'll post a Pecos River High Bridge photo sometime soon.


7th Mar 2004, 08:08 AM
:lol: Catt: I think the problem with me right now is I have too much time on my hands now that _arsteiner out souced my job. Who knows -- Can one make money living in a FANTASY World?

What was that saying "Yes you can", yes you can", yes you can" And I saying this looking in a mirror. What do I see :arrow: :lol:

I wonder if the developer of the happy face ever got his/her money for the icon. "Can you hear me now"

Sorry there was no entry into the HPRL Diary last night. Well -- EXCUSE ME :!: I fell asleep. Too in later today - I will get something in.

7th Mar 2004, 03:24 PM
Steve O,

Don't you remember, it was Forest Gump who invented the Happy

So, do Warsteiner drinkers have to speak Spanish now?

Call me,


8th Mar 2004, 12:10 AM
:P From The Diaries of the Hokie Pokie Railway Line
March 7, 2004

Hi all: Today we had some major occurrences along the Hokie Pokie Railway Line. As owner/operator I am very particular about uniformity. My entire Hokie Pokie is being built on Shape-Master Modules. Well, I had a couple already built based on my own constructed wood units. Hokie Pokie Lake was one of those dioramas built on wood stock.

Major construction group (re: Corp of Engineers; 52nd Engineer Group, US Army) came in and deployed all their skills on actually moving the entire lake scene and Tracks over to a Shape-Master Wide Berth. After the transfer all open areas and gaps were filled with spray foam. While waiting for it to solidify (fumigated, light headed, and feeling completely wired) :roll: I though what the heck! Spray some more foam! :mrgreen: No! I shaped the overflow of the foam. This was the first time I use spray form. Not knowing what to expect I was careful not to use too much. I heard other indicate that this stuff expands 4 to 6 times it original volume.

The Hokie Pokie Lake off County Highway 4774 is now relocated. The need to have everything look the same was worth it the excavation. Matter-of-fact, I believe the module is about 5 lbs lighter. Anyway, I need to put some finishing touches on the surrounding area of Hokie Pokie Lake so the module can be used at the Division 7 Swap Meet next Saturday in Cincinnati, OH.

Lesson herein: Modeled below the track line on a T-Trak spec module using a Shape Master Module, foam was used to fill gaps, reduced weight or the original module -- An easy Transition.

Direction to Hokie Pokie Lake: Head South Southwest out of City of Hokie Pokie on Hokie Pokie County Highway 4774. Hokie Pokie Lake is just a little north or at the mouth of the Hokie Pokie National Park that leads into the Hokie Pokie Alpine Village.

puddington (RIP)
8th Mar 2004, 01:08 PM
Aren't we all creating a fantasy railroad regardless of the scope or "prototype" details we add..? After all, I'm not 5/8 tall, weighing 1/8 oz and with painted on clothes..............LOL

8th Mar 2004, 01:56 PM
In my mind fantasy is different than freelance. Fantasy says cartoon colors and Disney inspired design. That isn't a negative, it's just what the word means to me.

I'll buy that; I think occasionally about doing a super art-deco scene, taking the 20th Century Hudson and melding it with something like the SP cab forwards, with appropriately chrome passenger cars...

My only point is that on my own railroad, while I'll happily have Disney-esque colors and scenes, even if that universe involves a Disney-like attention to detail and maintenance I still want smoke marks on the tunnels.

Make it whatever sort of universe you want, but I'd like to look at your fantasy world and marvel over the details and consistency of the universe. If you're running rolling stock modeled after Star Wars, leave some laser burns on the boxcars from from where the Jawas tried to hijack a shipment. Don't just leave things in "out of the box" condition, make everything fit the world.

8th Mar 2004, 03:18 PM
:mrgreen: HPRL says -- Here

8th Mar 2004, 03:42 PM
Augh! I end up three pages back because I click the wrong link and then insert myself into the conversation in a completely wrong place. Sigh.

Toolman: Maybe a touch of liquid parafin (ie: lamp oil)? Probably got less nasties (although not "no nasties") than diesel in it, but faintly similar.

Aha! It just hit me: Do you know anyone out in the desert who can score you some trimmings from a creosote bush? Or maybe just grab a chunk of old railroad tie with some of that creosote smell? The latter has the usual carcinogens issue (but what the heck, we're using spray foam anyway, right?), but might be more readily available.

Hmmm... If I get these modules in a place where they're close enough are right down on 'em I'll have to do something about scents. There's at least one module which needs a "freshly mown hay" scent, and I've got a city street with a restaurant (cut in half on the edge of my module) that I'm about to detail, maybe picking a theme I can use a scent for later would be the right track...

9th Mar 2004, 12:08 AM
From The Diaries of the Hokie Pokie Railway Line
March 8, 2004

Good evening from the purchasing agent for the HPRL. First things first.. We have a party going on right here

9th Mar 2004, 03:30 PM
Hey John W.
You should really send a picture of that bridge to the only 2 mags in "N" scale.Everyone should have a chance to see it!!!!!Mike :D

9th Mar 2004, 04:24 PM
Thanks Mike,
One of these days I'll try to get something together to send in.

11th Mar 2004, 12:15 AM
From The Diaries of the Hokie Pokie Railway Line
March 10, 2004

:mrgreen: Hello my n-Scaler Gladiators. Wondering if anyone missed my entries yesterdays! Sorry, I was running around in Fantasy Land in some kind of Fantasy World. Actually, I had a lot to get done so I could be ready for the [u][b]NMRA

11th Mar 2004, 12:26 AM
And he'll have fun, fun, fun till his daddy takes his prozac away!

Boy are we having fun here.

I am actually standing my big frame on my new hot off the presses
MOD POD modules.

That's right. These babies are so freaking strong you can stand on them
yet they are so light in weight.

With this system we can all fantasize T-Trak and other cool N scale
layouts to our hearts content.

I'll be posting pics here soon.

Take care Toolman, watch those drugs man.


11th Mar 2004, 07:36 AM
since I am building a layout that is euro most of it is fantasy, since it is very hard to just drive around and see stuctures etc, but it is great and does challenge the mind, and besides you get to make everything the way it makes you happy

11th Mar 2004, 09:41 AM
jshrewsbury: Yep! You are exactly right. One thing about "your" (Your meaning anybody) railroad. You take it where you want to or it take you to where you want to go.

However, with the use of the Internet you can pretty much model very close to the actual. What I think is great about Euro and Japan Railroad they seem to ahead of the USA on modern design RR for mass transportation of people. I think the USA went by way of cargo/freight railroads because USA choice of people movers was the Airlines. Well we won't mention the the Pickel they are in right now.

Yes - USA Amtrak made an attempt through different phases but even the P42's are bulky looking. However, I think Amtrak's attempt with the bullet or streamline monorail (help me out here anyone -- is it monorail or is it just a bullet) from Manhatten to Jersey airport looks pretty sharp. I wish some manufacture would duplicate that in N Scale.

I would really like to put a Mono Rail in the HOKIE POKIE RAILWAY LINE

jshrewsbury: You should come down to Cinci to the Division 7 Swap meet. May find some Euro stuff. But at least you get to see the HOKIE POKIE RAILWAY LINE

Hey! I got a Railroad to run down here in Cincinnati!!!! :wink:


13th Mar 2004, 06:32 PM
:twisted: WOW -- I had to take a look around and I saw that the views for Fantasy Railroad was at 666 (Triple 6) Got my drift.


14th Mar 2004, 10:59 PM
How did the Lakota Division 7 Train show go?


15th Mar 2004, 01:33 AM
:mrgreen: Division 7 Train Swap meet went well. T-Trak was the only train layout running. With that facteriod - everyone saw the layout as they had to pass our table going into and leaving the swap meet. :wink:

Young and old alike; Boys & Girls; Ladies and Gentleman, too withness the fun in model railroading when they seen the home of the Hokie Pokie Railway Line tied into the Paul Mussellman's Erie and Lackawanna Railroad.
Again, we hand loads of action, sound and scenery on one banquet table.

At the show, we passed literture on on this website "nscale.net, Shape-Master, Inc. product line and T-Trak Standards from T-Trak.org. You know, that is a lot of work and keeping the trains running while courious fingures and thumbs try redirect trains off their tracks. :lol:

We spoke about the future of railroading to the guest. Don't worry fellow readers, I assured them that the Hokie Pokie Railway Line was alive and well and wasn't going anywhere fast. (HA - Get it - wasn't going anywhere fast) - It's the "Hokie Pokie" :D

On that note: "Good Night" and...

Best Wishes,

15th Mar 2004, 02:16 PM
I would really like to put a Mono Rail in the HOKIE POKIE RAILWAY LINE

This sounds like a cool project. Do a wood or styrene spline with maybe inlaid brass wire (or something silverish and less corrosion prone?) on either side for the track. Use mini slot-car wheels for traction, a pager vibrator motor might be powerful enough to provide the motive force for the few cars it'd need.

(Or I guess you could even build the motive power into the center of the monorail with a belt of some sort, since there'd only be one train on it...)

I've been thinking about a roller coaster, but this sounds like a much more feasable idea with lots of the same effect.

15th Mar 2004, 07:55 PM
danlyke: The vibrator scares me. Could turn into a shake, rattle and roll monorail instead of a HPRL mornrail. Some company made one for Disney's replica in HO but I don't know if you can find one anymore.

I wrote to Kato for a model design suggestion but I did not get any response. I also know some company is doing a Hot Air Baloon. I looked at it and it seemed to be too big for n scale. BLW sells the baloon. Go take a look and tell me your thoughts.

I am thinking of a set of verticle installed locos items with on power wheel. Still in the though stages like yours.


15th Mar 2004, 11:29 PM
From The Diaries of the Hokie Pokie Railway Line

March 15, 2004

:shock: It

30th Mar 2004, 02:45 PM
danlyke: The vibrator scares me. Could turn into a shake, rattle and roll monorail instead of a HPRL mornrail.

I'd take off the counterweight...

So speaking of monorails, I assume you're familiar with http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/NMT01.html ?

There are some ideas there that I think could scale down nicely.

I also know some company is doing a Hot Air Baloon. I looked at it and it seemed to be too big for n scale. BLW sells the baloon. Go take a look and tell me your thoughts.

The issue with aircraft in general on N-scale layouts is that the scales of aviation are big. A short "grass strip" type of general aviation runway is a thousand feet, or 6'3" in n-scale, so if you're going to model an airport you've pretty much got to run it off the edge of the layout. According to
http://www.energizer.com/bunny/balloonfacts.asp the "Energizer Bunny" hot air balloon is 166' tall, or just over a foot in n-scale, and the passenger balloon described at http://www.citivu.com/rc/riders/ is 60' in diameter, so about as wide as a 1970s era box car is long.

Some creative compression might be in order. However, this is one place where foreground elements might actually be smaller than background elements because we're not used to seeing aircraft at their full scale, so if we hang 'em from wires we can make 'em as small as we'd imagine them to be.