Author Topic: Camak, GA & Modeling the South  (Read 2097 times)

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SAH

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Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« on: February 26, 2007, 10:57:03 AM »
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Went to visit my brother and his family near Columbia, SC this w/e so no modeling got done.  We stopped in Camak, GA (CAMak in case you're an outsider like me) on our way east Sat. AM.  Camak is on the old Georgia RR.  Since I view everything through a prism of railroads and industry (or so says my wife) one of the first things I do when I move to a new place is to find a book about RR history in my new territory.  I bought the "History of the Georgia Railroad" by Robert H. Hanson.  Turned out to be a good choice on two accounts:  The history of the GA RR is intertwined with the history of the state of GA and the GA RR more or less follows I-20 between Atlanta & Columbia.  Over the years we've stopped to see what is left of the GA at certain places as time and weather allow. 

One could make a very compelling case for modeling Camak.  It was a Jct not only for a GA RR branch to Macon but also with the Savannah & Atlanta.  It still is an active RR location as you can see in the photos.  Not big time mainline RRing but interesting and small enough in scale that it would make a great subject for a small to modest home layout.  Madison, GA is another one - GA RR and Central of GA junction.  Both depots still stand!

I've not seen many southern based layouts in the hobby press.  Specifically, prototype based layout.  Quite a few very fine freelance layouts, but where are the southern equivalents to the ATSF, UP, NKP, NYC, PRR based layouts built by rabid fans of the ACL, Seaboard or SRR?  There are loads of great subjects down here, as I've come to find out.  And there are plenty of good modelers.  There are A LOT of layouts in the Atlanta area alone (albiet many of them built by relocated Yankees) but very few southern prototypes are modeled.  Mostly freelance.  Any thoughts as to why?

Camak depot.  Nice weathering job on the loco.


A view of the yard and old coaling tower.  The Macon branch went off to the left.  Based on the hopper cars in the yard I'd say there is a resin producer or user somewhere nearby.


Looking towards Atlanta


The other side of the tracks.  AWESOME old brick storefronts.  This entire scene, from the depot to the storefronts could be modeled in a 12" depth shelf (Lack shelving anyone?  ;))


Looking toward Augusta.  Getting the land profiles right would make this scene really special.  Simple yet effective.  Like a bunch of places you've been before, but could be made distinctively "southern".

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 02:50:58 PM »
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Southern stuff is cool. I had done some FEC stuff back in the day, in HO.

I know Jim Six had worked on an AWESOME layout that was in either MRP or GMR a few years ago. I think he gave it up though.

It's definitely a cool thing.

I've often thought that if I were to start over, I'd do depression era shortline stuff, like from the Lucius Beebe book: Mixed Train Daily.


3rdrail

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 03:26:02 PM »
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Modeling of Southern prototypes has to an extent been a "chicken or the egg" sort of thing. Very little was offered lettered for railroads of the South, so while some may have modeled Southern topography, they freelanced, as I did, with my HO scale Piedmont, Tidewater & Southern.

There are other issues as well. The South of the first 60 years of the past century was not the one of the last 40-odd years. There was little growth, as a matter of fact, there was an exodus of population. There was little industry other than textiles. Many people from other parts of the country considered Southerners ignorant pariahs, and who would want to model an area populated by them?

Champ Davis didn't help matters any by his choice of colors for ACL's Diesel fleet. ACL's purple was a source of much derision on the part of the New York area railfans I grew up with...enough.  :-X

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 04:08:00 PM »
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I think those are all part of the attraction.

I don't know, I find stuff like that interesting, part of the reason I think PC would be fun to model (if I could satisfactorily paint and weather black diesels.

SAH

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 06:01:55 PM »
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Modeling of Southern prototypes has to an extent been a "chicken or the egg" sort of thing. Very little was offered lettered for railroads of the South, so while some may have modeled Southern topography, they freelanced, as I did, with my HO scale Piedmont, Tidewater & Southern.

There are other issues as well. The South of the first 60 years of the past century was not the one of the last 40-odd years. There was little growth, as a matter of fact, there was an exodus of population. There was little industry other than textiles. Many people from other parts of the country considered Southerners ignorant pariahs, and who would want to model an area populated by them?

Champ Davis didn't help matters any by his choice of colors for ACL's Diesel fleet. ACL's purple was a source of much derision on the part of the New York area railfans I grew up with...enough.  :-X
 

Well, I suppose the ignorant pariahs might want to.   ;)   But I agree, the South of today is not what it was 40+ years ago.  The people that had time and could afford the hobby mostly lived outside the South.  However, pick up a southern RR historical society pub (I belong to the C of GA) there were interesting things going on that are of interest to modelers.  And RRing is RRing everywhere - Car sets out, pick ups, interchanges, freight yards etc. 

One of my thoughts RE this issue is weather.  It's tough to model when you're a sticky mess, so the wide availability of air conditioning had to occur first.  2nd, MRRing is mostly an indoor hobby.  And to this relo Yankee (grew up in Northern OH where winter can last from late Oct through April) the weather is not conducive to modeling down here.  I'm still programmed to be outside when it's nice (65+ deg & sunny over the last three days - not bad for late February).

I don't think paint scheme plays a role in it, regardless of what the New Yorkers think.  ;D  The purple was kind of funky but it is distinctive.  C of GA had a beautiful blue & gray scheme.  GA RR dark blue and silver looked as classy as anything up north.  I think we might see more historical southern prototype RRing being modeling in the future.  Geez, who'd a thunk Atlas would offer the GP-7s in TAG Route colors?  (Another interesting southern operation by the way.)

Iain

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2007, 05:08:20 PM »
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Lack of models.  I don't mind building one or two locomotives, but fifteen?
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

SAH

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007, 09:52:11 PM »
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Lack of models.  I don't mind building one or two locomotives, but fifteen?

Where have you been?  I've been waiting for you to weigh in on this one.  Baldwins & Limas are a problem, but the majority of southern RRs had the same models as every other RR.  Historically the model mfgrs have not offered many southern roads, loco-wise anyway.  That is changing.  So, we'll see more southern prototypes modeled when more r-t-r models come to market?

Iain

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 10:15:32 PM »
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Indeed, when I am at hobby shops, I almost never see anything but Southern, and that only occaisionally.

As to where I've been, spent the weekend at a train show, and yesterday I was in Fayetville blowing my horn.
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

Robbman

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 01:43:53 AM »
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Message deleted
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 01:34:11 AM by Robbman »

Mark5

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2007, 02:51:25 PM »
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Interesting. My fave roads are N&W, Southern, Virginian, WM, etc

I model the WV/KY border. Tom Dressler used to get a bunch of coverage of his N&W stuff way back when. Can't recall any articles in mags about SOUTHERN based layouts (Or ACL, SCL, SAL, L&N, etc) but they are certainly out there. But I stopped reading the model mags religiously decades ago.

There was that Clinchfield layout.

3rdrail

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2007, 04:22:44 PM »
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Micro-Trains must have been noting the lack as well, look what's available for March:



A railroad that ran only in "Jawja".

SAH

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2007, 05:04:41 PM »
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Micro-Trains must have been noting the lack as well, look what's available for March:

A railroad that ran only in "Jawja".

I don't usually give the M-T releases a second thought, but I might have to get that one.

Steve

SAH

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2007, 05:22:07 PM »
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Interesting. My fave roads are N&W, Southern, Virginian, WM, etc

I model the WV/KY border. Tom Dressler used to get a bunch of coverage of his N&W stuff way back when. Can't recall any articles in mags about SOUTHERN based layouts (Or ACL, SCL, SAL, L&N, etc) but they are certainly out there. But I stopped reading the model mags religiously decades ago.

There was that Clinchfield layout.

I think most folks think of the N&W, VGN, WM and CRR as coal roads, although technically they are "southern".  And all have been well represented in the hobby press, I agree.  The N&W presence in OH makes it a Yankee road for those of us too young to have first hand knowledge of the roads it vanquished.

When I first moved to ATL I was in a hobby shop when the MR with a feature on a custom built FL Keys layout came in.  The guy shouted something like "Well it's about time they featured a layout south of the Mason Dixon line!" followed by a stream of profanity directed at those knuckle heads in Milwaukee, NJ and on and on.  It was then I realized I wasn't in Kansas anymore Toto.

I'm helping staff the Central of GA HS table at the show in Marietta in a couple of weeks.  I'll get an angle on the subject from those fellas.

Steve

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2007, 10:32:21 PM »
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I agree with Steve, kinda.

I think the Clinchfield was DEFINITELY a southern road. The N&W & WM definitely don't feel very southern, most of the time, but they do sometimes have a southern feeling.

As far as I'm concerned, southern means Southern, old NS, the Coast Lines, SAL, SBD, Georgia & it's shorterlines, L&N, and FEC, kinda (I think of Florida very differently from the rest of the south, and it didn't ever really have that "branchline" feeling that I attribute to the southern railroading.


Robbman

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Re: Camak, GA & Modeling the South
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2007, 05:21:02 AM »
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Message deleted
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 01:35:14 AM by Robbman »