How did you choose your prototype?

ccaranna May 23, 2008

  1. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    I grew up in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan so it's logging and paper mills. The Wisconsin Central and Chicago North Central are my choices.
  2. Lownen

    Lownen TrainBoard Member

    Hytec; The Minute Man has no Wikipedia page. Why don't you adopt it?

    Adopt a Train

    When I started buying up Unitrack and throwing together various 4x8 pasta dish layouts, my brother-in-law told me that if I was buying trains to run on it to look out for MKT, because his grandfather was a fireman on that road. Now I have more MKT than anything else. But as I've played with my trains more, D&RGW has also struck my fancy... especially the old west consolidations and moguls with their Overton passenger cars.

  3. inch53

    inch53 TrainBoard Member

    I grew up in the late 50’s n early 60’s, listening to the PRR [Vandalia line] whistle as they crossed the creek bottoms 3 ½ mile south on hot summer nights and watching them, when we got to town at the depot. The NYC [Cairo line] also run thru town, plus I had family that lived along it to the south of town, so I got to see the engines pulling hard on the coal drags.
    I also had family in Terre Haute, and got to see the C&EI and MIL running thru or interchanging with the PRR and NYC.
    When I started my new layout, I wanted to run all four along with the NKP and IC, which I got interested in a few years ago.
    So I’m building a short fictional short line [set in the late 59’s] interchange where each line can make a run thru from off track stages, drop off or a pickup a few cars. Then disappear till the next run.
  4. Larry777

    Larry777 TrainBoard Member

    Growing up in Seattle, I was only blocks away from King Street and Union Stations, that hosted the NP, GN, UP and MILW. I got to watch all four, in steam, diesel and electric. Although my first trip was aboard the Empire Builder, it was a cab ride aboard NP 602 nee 107, an early ALCO switcher, at age 8, that endeared me to the Northern Pacific. And so NP it is, but I do interchange with the other three and have a few locos, steam and diesel, from each. Happily, I do have a photo of this locomotive but why manufacturers (other than brass and that's out of production) don't do one is a mystery. Kato, Atlas, are you listening? I'm sure there would be a market for them.
  5. TonyHammes

    TonyHammes TrainBoard Member

    I grew up in Minnesota with the BN, MILW and SOO. My best friends Dad was a draftsman for BN and we used to always go fishing along the Mississippi on BN property together. My other neighbor was an engineer for the Milwaukee Road and I still remember going to work with him and riding on the switch engines in South St. Paul. So when it came time to pick BN was an easy choice. I model 86-88 because it allows me to run an number of different schemes (cascade, tiger strip, LMX and Oakway) with cabeese and "modern" intermodal. I chose to add the SOO on my layout since 1) I always liked the scheme 2) I can run Milwaukee equipment since SOO had picked up all lines east of Montana during the period I run. I also have a fictional shortline that I model. It runs all Alco Power since BN and MILW had long since purged their fleets. Passenger traffic is all Amtrak.

    I am now planning on adding some BN and MILW units so I can also run 72-74 on the layout. This will alllow me to run the pre-merger schemes, rib sided cabeese and Amtrak phase 1.
  6. Dee Das

    Dee Das TrainBoard Member

    I believe most of us model what we have grown up seeing. Nostalgia for our youth maybe?

    When I first started out in model railroading, my little Plywood Central Spaghetti Bowl was host to many different railroads. I had recently got married and had a child on the way and couldn't justify spending more on the hobby to build a large layout. Later I joined a club and had the freedom to model in a very large space.

    I used to do some railfanning locally and at the in-laws in Northern Minnesota. In Oct. 1989, I saw a train in the woods beside the road and retraced my steps to find the engine. As I came into a clearing, a shaft of sunlight struck the lead locomotive and it positively glowed. Hallelujah! It was a fresh from the factory, Candy Apple Red, Soo Line SD60M. I knew which locomotive I was going to model next. I shot a roll of film right away and started researching the Soo. I liked what I found and my research gave me more information to continue modelling the railroad. Unfortunately, the CP took over the Soo a few years later. I was able to concentrate on a very specific time frame (1989 to 1993) because of this. Focusing on this time period gives me a very definite list of locomotives and cars to acquire.

    To model more modern equipment, my club created it's own railroad representing a midwestern granger railroad and called it the Minnesota Central. This allows me to run almost any kind of locomotive.

    I also model the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad in the steam era. I was absolutely awed at the sight of the Yellowstones at Proctor, Minnesota and at the Depot Museum in Duluth, MN.

    Thanks to the Internet, I was able to make a lot of friends who were also interested in the Soo, including Trainboard's own GATS who came over several times from Oz to railfan the Soo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2008
  7. Dee Das

    Dee Das TrainBoard Member

    Here is another Minnesota Central locomotive:

  8. CofGa_Fan

    CofGa_Fan TrainBoard Member

    There's something about modeling close to home. My main modeling is focused on Central of Georgia. I have models in HO and N. The line ran locally here in Athens and I like railroading in the 50's the best plus CofG's livery in the 50's is excellent. I belong to the railroads historical society (I think? I might be behind on my dues) and it's much easier to visit sites along the right-of-way a oppose to Western Maryland, Southern Pacific, Great Northern, Boston & Maine, any of the lines coming out of Chicago! , and so many others that I'd love to model. My secondary focus is on Southern Pacific.

    Does anybody run "foreign" trains on your layout? ie; an Appalachian line being visited by a Great Northern train?
  9. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    When I started my freelanced rr I liked the green BN scheme. Though I've never been to the USA I related to magazines, especially MR. :angel:
    And I found a lot of interesting prototypes. I choose many different features to incorporate into my layout.
    Naming the engines I found in an article about Farmrail. And for the paint scheme I found ideas at the prototype also.

  10. Chad Cowan

    Chad Cowan TrainBoard Member

    As a youngster I grew up along the Illinois Central's Kentucky Division...during an era that saw their transition from grungy black GP9s to shiny orange/white Paducah rebuilds. This was also the era when the IC's 6 Alco C636s were assigned to the Kentucky Division, making for some really odd looking lashups. The many coal trains, along with local limestone unit trains, chemical traffic, and through freights kept train frequencies high. Alas, the EPA pushed the Clean Air Act through and virtually killed the Kentucky coal industry. Coal traffic diminished...the Alcos met the torch... ICG spun the Kentucky Division off to the Paducah and Louisville Railway. It's not often you can be there for the 'birth' of a railroad but I was fortunate enough to catch the P&L's first revenue run by accident... thus dividing my loyalty from the IC/ICG of my youth to the P&L. One thing is constant: the Kentucky Division is my focus. With mainline crossing two major dam causeways, a tunnel, lots of chemical plants, the nation's largest limestone quarry, high trestles at Muldraugh and Big Clifty... not to mention a mainline that also skirts Fort Knox... its hard to deny the charm of this railroad.

    Hope some of you decide to check it out when in Louisville for the N scale convention!

  11. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

    The SP has a branch line (ex PE) behind the house where I grew up(Through out the '70's). I recall seeing a weird center cab diesel (C415's) with the caboose directly behind it. Then came the SW1500's and GP9's.
    Wish I had photos of the C415's. I had no idea what I was looking at.
    Then after I got married, I started reading(Now I was in trouble.) I found out about Black Widows and Daylights. I was hooked. I pretty much Model all years of SP. But primarily early to mid '50's.

    That's about it from an SP foamer.

    Over & out,
  12. River Run

    River Run TrainBoard Member

    I grew up by the Nickel Plate mainline. So I model NKP/N&W/W&LE, and I prototype freelance on a former Wheeling & Lake Erie line.

  13. John G. Adney

    John G. Adney Passed away May 19, 2010 In Memoriam

    I grew up along a Milwaukee Road branch in Iowa and it's still my favorite railroad. I'm building an N layout with a Milwaukee flavor but no prototypical. It will be primarily a grain train route.
  14. ICfan

    ICfan TrainBoard Member

    The Illinois Central Western line ran right along our family farm , just 5 miles west of Freeport ,IL ... Grew up watching Paducah Geeps hitting the grade westbound ....

    Great Grandfather on moms side was an engineer ....

    The 4 track main south out of Chicago was awesome to watch , too ...

    I also model Milwaukee Rd as my connection in Freeport because Milw had Fairbanks Morse diesels that I love ....

    I love Norfolk Western steam , so , I have a small N scale module to showcase my NW steamers ...
  15. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Our family moved around a lot when I was growing up, so I had the opportunity to see a lot of different railroads in action (UP, DRGW, CGW, CNW, Rock Island, GTW, PC, ATSF) before we finally moved to northeastern Oklahoma in 1973. Afton was a little farm town on the Frisco's Cherokee Sub, and is a junction point for the Afton Sub running north to near Ft. Scott, KS. I gow woke up several times to the sound of the QLA ripping thru town at track speed on its way to Tulsa, and saw lots of Frisco action in the daylight, from fast freights to locals. When I graduated from Oklahoma State in 1979, I went to Ft. Smith, AR to finish my education & start my healthcare career, and again observed Frisco action on the Central Division, even getting a cab ride on the North Switcher after one of our model railroad club's Friday night meetings.

    Having the opportunity to see the last of the F-units, high-nose U25Bs, beaucoup SD45s, and a boatload of GP38-2s in action just down the street from me, how could I NOT develop an interest in the Frisco?

    Even now, I live in a town once served by the Frisco between Tulsa and Irving, TX. I met and married my second wife in Hugo, OK, a minor division point on the Central Division and junction of the A&A and Arthur Subs. And of the railroads that left the scene in 1980, FRISCO went out as a merger partner, not picked to pieces like carrion devoured by vultures, bankrupt and cutting off a large chunk of its route mileage, or tearing up branches like crazy.
  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

    I was a UP modeler for may years, being that was the railroad I had always seen where ever I lived, Modesto, Boise, Fremont, but I seen a model North Coast Limited train with 4 domes at a round robin in Idaho, and was hooked!

    Later I seen a model NP freight W3-Class Mikado with a shorty Doghouse tender and an NP 24' caboose, and the style was so unique that I was hooked. I had a new champion, and that was Northern Pacific!

    In 2004 I attended the NMRA convention in Seattle, and rode a fan train from Seattle to Cle Elum, and visited a couple NP train station museums, and it all reinforced my love for the NP. After that trip, I lost all interest in the UP, and started focusing more on NP. :D
  17. mrhedley

    mrhedley TrainBoard Member

    I spent my formative years in a house positioned between the Erie and the DLW. That was just before my teenage years and before my brain was forever damaged by male hormones which shifted my youthful obsessions from trains to the fairer sex.

    The DLW East Binghamton yard was about 400 feet to the south across an open field, I could look out across from the large picture window in our great room and watch activies all day long if I wanted. The old Erie mainline was on the north side, about 1000 feet away and on the other side of the river. I could watch a passing train from my bedroom window.

    I designed my point to point layout (to someday have turning loops) so that the yard is the centerpoint, just as if I was still watching from the picture window, only in mirror image. I'm still undecided if I want to add a model of the house I lived in as that might be a little 'over-the-edge'.

    I suppose that after three marriages a shrink might suggest that the return to the obsession with the trains of my youth might signal a need for some serious psychotherapy!
  18. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    I moved to an area that exposed me to Southern Pacific switching yard that spurred interest that had laid dormant for years. I guess that is why I model mostly Freight trains and not Passenger cars.
  19. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

    Real easy answer - live for your first 17 years two short blocks down from where the Seaboard Air Line's Charleston-Savannah line crossed U.S. Hwy. 17 and right up against the Atlantic Coast Lines' Croghans branch.

    Add the occasional trip "to town" where we mostly caught the bus across from the Southern Railway's round-house. And, for the first ten years of my life, a lot of those trains were hauled by steam.

    Yep, had a real influence - all three roads are represented on my rather small layout.
  20. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

    I just came across this older thread doing a search, and I thought it was interesting. So I am going to revive it.

    I chose my prototype, because it runs through the town I live in. I noticed what looked liked old rail beds running
    thru our town and wondered what their history was. It is a controversial little railroad that had a big influence in the region.
    The CNE was started in the 1870s, as the Connecticut Western, and ran a route contrary to most other railroads in the state.
    But with the addition of the Poughkeepsie Bridge, became a major route in the region for almost three decades. I like it's
    contrariness, spunk, history, and location. I am interested in the CNE era of 1899 to 1904.

    It will be a challenge to create the motive power and rolling stock in Z scale.
    Hardcoaler likes this.

Share This Page