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Thread: Can you really justify running 'preserved' trains?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    Yep and then they'll be blown up by aliens.



    As for the original question, I model BN in the mid 90s, however I like SD45s and F45s, and wanted them in BN, however BN retired all of theirs in the 80s...so how do I bring a loco retired 10 years before my prototype to my layout? Easy, BN was doing capital rebuilt programs starting in the late 80s with GP30/35s...however in my world, BN rebuilt their SD45/F45 fleet into SD40-2 specs, like SP did. Sounds plausible.

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    Thanks for a great response. No more soul searching and justfying for me. If I want to run a train just because I like it I will do from now on. After coming across so many rivet-counting killjoys in the UK when I modelled British '00' it's refreshing to hear from guys who clearly put enjoyment first. It's been a liberating experience!

    Interestingly enough the first N scale loco I bought was a Wisconsin and Southern F45 and that's been happily running on my layout without even needing any invented scenario as to why a 45 year old loco is still operating today . Not that I need any justifications now that is!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
    If I want to run a train just because I like it I will do from now on.
    That's the spirit! Do what you like, what is fun, what you enjoy, what you find rewarding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
    Interestingly enough the first N scale loco I bought was a Wisconsin and Southern F45 and that's been happily running on my layout without even needing any invented scenario as to why a 45 year old loco is still operating today . Not that I need any justifications now that is!!!!
    WSOR was running F45s until recently. BN retired theirs in the 80s, and lots of RRs picked them up second hand.

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    Two things I like to do... Drink Beer and Run Trains. I try to stay away from attaching reality to either one. The world in my head is much more enjoyable.

    Cheer!

    CG

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    Hey this is your Rail Road so you can run what you want when you want. A fictitious story that you bring to life; tell it as you feel it. ;-)

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    Sometimes the prototype situation can suit your modelling intentions. As I've posted on these forums before, I model mostly German prototype. On one of the trackplan websites, I have discovered a layout based around the Benshausen station, which is on the secondary line from Viernau to Zella-Mehlis. The line was used for the Dampfplan operation of preserved locos and rollingstock in the past, so I have a ready-made reason for this sort of operation. All I need to do is finish the micro-layout I have under construction, and get on with the new baseboard.

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    Wisconsin and a Pennsy GG1 isn't nearly as far fetched as it seems; the National Railroad Museum has one on display.
    -Kevin, N Scaler extrordinaire

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    Quote Originally Posted by F15IkeUSAF View Post
    WSOR was running F45s until recently. BN retired theirs in the 80s, and lots of RRs picked them up second hand.
    The WSOR only used these a couple of years. They moved them off the line a decade ago, they were just to heavy for the trackage.

    I'm going to be the devils advocate in this thread. If you want a "plausible" layout, run plausible rosters. But plausible covers a lot of stuff... Just google "SP 4449 Maple Springs" and you'll see what I mean.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    Agree with Karl, which is why I came up with a new "history" for my F45/SD45 fleet. Maybe I was thinking of the Wisconsin Central units, I know there were RRs out running unmodified F45s until a few years ago.


    So depends on how you want your layout. For something plausible, I'd come up with a history for it, but if you are one of the modelers who runs what they want, run what you want.

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    If you call it 'era-bashing' it suddenly is a cool thing to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    The WSOR only used these a couple of years. They moved them off the line a decade ago, they were just to heavy for the trackage.

    I'm going to be the devils advocate in this thread. If you want a "plausible" layout, run plausible rosters. But plausible covers a lot of stuff... Just google "SP 4449 Maple Springs" and you'll see what I mean.
    Agreed, but there's a long, long way between WANTING a plausible layout and feeling like you MUST have a plausible layout. The former is just another "angle" on the hobby. The latter just ruins the whole thing.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    Agreed, but there's a long, long way between WANTING a plausible layout and feeling like you MUST have a plausible layout. The former is just another "angle" on the hobby. The latter just ruins the whole thing.
    Might have to disagree with you on this one.

    My compulsion towards plausibility has led me to take a very vague WP&P concept quite a long way towards seeming to fit right in with the nonfictional railroad world. At the beginning, all I had were three place names, enough to situate it in Virginia, but I actually modeled West Virginia and a stretch of the line that wouldn't show on any actual map. I wanted it that way, at first, to have the freedom to do whatever I wanted both scenically and operationally.

    Then, in 1991, my GrandPops and I took a recon tour through the area around Winchester, and I discovered that my "free reign" modeling actually had some overlap with real locations. Suddenly, I wanted to adopt those as bona-fide "prototypes" for my freelanced line. Ever since, I've been getting more and more into prototype research, and since the WP&P doesn't exist in the same sense as do N&W, B&O, C&O, or VGN, I've had to coalesce its details from what I prefer out of each of these. Gradually, I am forming a more and more complete picture of the WP&P's history (I know who founded it and when, and why it exists in a place where, in the "real world", there is only a former B&O branch line) as I continue down this path.

    In other words, it just keeps getting more and more PLAUSIBLE, and I am freaking loving it! I set up my web page with the intention of making it look like a real corporate web page, because I want the WP&P to come across as plausibly as it can. I've studied USGS topo maps and traced out a possible route or two, to prove to myself that rolling westward from Winchester is possible. I kitbash engines to get a roster that matches the N&W of 1971, based on the many reference books I have in my library, and I have developed a spreadsheet to tell me in a similar manner what the WP&P's roster would have been over the years, which engines were replaced by which, how many of them survived until the 1967 merger, etc. And I use all this "research" to guide my purchasing decisions, such that I'm not going ape over Bachmann's new GP-7 (the WP&P didn't run them) or what have you.

    Yes, the WP&P is entirely fictional, it's my own authored story, top to bottom. But I aim very deliberately at making it entirely plausible.

    Get yourself a Rail Pass for free travel on the WP&P: wpandp.com
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    As has been said before, the Illinois Railway Museum makes it possible to run many trains. I do believe they even have a GG1 in their stables. Electric trains powered by overhead wire used to run between Chicago and Milwaukee, the North Sore Line. So the equipment running on those rails is possible.

    By the way my father took us to see the Flying Scotsman in Chicago when it toured the States. I know there are a couple of rail museums in Wisconsin so equipment exchange is very possible.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    The latter just ruins the whole thing.
    Disagree with this. So according to your statement, Eric Brooman's Utah Belt is ruining model railroading?

    http://www.gatewaynmra.org/layouts/utah-belt.htm

    Sure its HO, but there is no Utah Belt RR. Its a RR Eric created, along with a history and roster. And it seems just as believeable as someone who models a prototype in a specific area and era.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    Might have to disagree with you on this one.

    ...

    Yes, the WP&P is entirely fictional, it's my own authored story, top to bottom. But I aim very deliberately at making it entirely plausible.
    Naah. We're not disagreeing at all... based on your description, your layout is plausible because you (really, really, really) WANT it to be plausible. It may feel like it "must" be so, but that's only because you've set a goal and are determined to reach it. It's still a source of joy and fun to you.

    What I'm talking about by "MUST" is the kind of guy for whom running an occasional BNSF stack train through is transition era New England layout would absolutely tickle him to death, but he doesn't because he's afraid the Layout Police will get him or something. The one who feels like it MUST be plausible or they're somehow not doing it right, even though trying to be plausible brings them no joy. That's not you at all.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    TwinDad, ah, I see what you say now, the MUST being if I don't find a reason for it, I CANNOT do it type of person. Which I've noticed, most model RRers are not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    That's not you at all.
    In other words, "must" indicates coercion, an imposition of somebody else's standard. Like, if someone hopped on here and declared that true modelers must use metal wheelsets, and the newb who just bought their first Micro Trains car suddenly thinks its junk for it plastic axles.

    I do cringe a bit when I see the implausible, though attending N-Trak meets has softened me somewhat. My northern Virginia module has seen cab forwards and even European high speed trainsets traverse it, and one guy in our club likes to sport a 100-car train of identical RF&P boxcars. I try to just enjoy it for what it is (a 100 car train is pretty dang impressive, and the Thalys is one sexy thing) and not show disdain. If someone gifted me with a bullet train, though, I'd find it hard to enjoy personally; same thing goes for an articulated well car, because it simply doesn't fit the story I want to tell. In other words, it "must" be plausible, or I won't enjoy it... it's just that in this case, the "must" is self-imposed.

    Get yourself a Rail Pass for free travel on the WP&P: wpandp.com
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    I'm still in the process of "writing" the T&E's history but the rough outline is that it's a western PA private line and living museum owned by "the local community" that leases the main lines out to Bessemer for coal transport. This basic guide will allow me to run prototypical B&LE SD38-2s/SD40 T-2s/SD-7s with long strings of 90-ton hoppers carrying out proto-ops, all the while enabling me to collect anything I think could be in your typical rail museum: GG-1s, The Flying Scotsman, Morning Daylight, the Deleware & Hudson PA-1s, N&W Class Js...anything from small 0-4-0 switchers to giant diesels like a DD40AX or Gas Turbines, plus any T&E-owned equpiment for local runs.

    As far as I'm concerned; you lay the rail, you make the rules. UP/SP/CSX/NS/etc didn't come to your house and put track-to-ground, why should it you follow what they do to the letter?

    Just my .02
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    Heres how you "justify" something
    Question... "Do i want to run it?"
    Answer..... "Yes"
    Result...... An awsome array of trains making an awsome colourful layout
    Great Scott!!
    Models always under construction...
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