Author Topic: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!  (Read 55636 times)

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davefoxx

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Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« on: October 20, 2010, 07:06:47 PM »
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As many of you know, I'm presently without a reasonably-sized layout.  But this is not necessarily the end of the world, because this creates sort of a clean slate for me.  I have discussed with my wife my desire to build a small layout (another hollow core door layout or perhaps oNeTrak modules).  Here's the dilemma: Do I continue to build something to use my C&O, RF&P, SCL, or Seaboard System rolling stock and equipment, or do I take the opportunity to move on to something fresh and new.  I'm having evil thoughts about modeling something like the Aberdeen & Rockfish RR, a short line in the sandhills of southeastern North Carolina.

The pros:

1) The Aberdeen & Rockfish has not been modeled to death.
2) Atlas has offered two GP38s and a GP7 in A&R paint.  I'm hopeful that I can locate these models, as they were produced only within the last two to three years.


I love the paint scheme on those locos, but I like these A&R gons, which are available from Atlas, too:

All images from Atlas's website

3) By picking a short line, I can more likely build a small, but more plausible, layout than trying to model a double track racetrack like the RF&P or SBD.  This is why I ended up with the single-track C&O Piedmont Sub on the last layout.
4) By picking a short line, this would help me to continue to avoid the dangers of impulse buying things that I do not need.
5) This is my favorite: The A&R used the same locomotives (well, at least one of the GP38s and the GP7 that Atlas has produced) from the 1960s to the present, so (with the exception of having to ignore the lack of ditch lights if I model the present day), I can change out the rolling stock and model different eras a la Dave Vollmer, except I can use the same locomotives.  This could save me a ton of cash, and I could easily offset the purchase of the new locomotives by selling some of my existing inventory (e.g., three C&O SD35s that I rarely run).
6) I love many of the southeastern roads, and the A&R interchanged with several over the years.  My SBD equipment could survive, for example.  The RF&P?  Well, not likely to be seen on a North Carolina backwoods road, but I have no interest in parting with my RF&P equipment, whether I actively model the RF&P or not.  I'm okay with them only coming out now and then to stretch their legs.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll keep the Juice Train!  ;)
7) I can even buy a few modern cars and run modern trains.  Rumor has it that a large ethanol plant (grain trains) is being built on the prototype A&R.
8] The opportunity to build a plausible modest-sized layout that would allow me to focus on attention to detail, e.g., perhaps even handlaid code 40 track.

The cons:

1) What if I change my mind and want anything I sell back again?  I've made that mistake before, but, thankfully, it wasn't a huge loss.  And thinking about it, as I typed the pros above, I can keep a lot of my rolling stock (e.g., SCL and SBD) and either plausibly use it in interchange or swap out the shells on other roads for shells with more appropriate paint schemes.  I'll check the Atlas store or eBay for those.  That way, I could always swap back, if I'm getting that C&O itch again.
2) No passenger trains, unless I run a foobie excursion train.
3) No TOFC or unit coal trains.
4) No mountain railroading, although there is a 2.5% grade in one stretch of the road.
5) Will I lose interest in only having three locomotives on the modeled road?  I hope that I can come to terms with my need for something new and fresh from time to time.  Heck, Allen McClelland ran his V&O locos and rolling stock for decades!
6) No caboose available- not even a foobie (all the more reason to model the 1980s to present, but I prefer a caboose to punctuate the end of the train).

So, what does everyone think?  Should I seek counseling for my continuing inability to settle on one prototype road?

Thanks in advance,
Dave Foxx

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

Dave V

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 07:08:14 PM »
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davefoxx

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2010, 07:19:12 PM »
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Thanks, Dave, but, actually, I prefer the photo of the "The Waffler."  ;D


In my defense, I have actually built a layout for the C&O stuff I own, and it has been several years since I considered building something completely different.  I like to think that I'm also taking advantage of a clean slate.

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Dave V

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 07:23:57 PM »
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OK, serious time now.  I like it!  I miss the North Carolina railroading scene.  If I had to start over, it would be very tempting to model the Durham and Southern through Apex, NC.  And, as you've mentioned, the area hasn't changed much in 50 years such that you could run almost any era you desire.

I would love to see you do another layout.  HCD layouts are fun, but can also be limited, as you already know.  Do you have an idea of what sort of space you'll have?  HCDs are nice in that they can adapt to almost any space if you move.

I think the A&R would be a very neat little line to model, for a ton of reasons.  But the best reason is what you've pointed out.  It's unique!

Of course, by not modeling CR, you'll have to buy beer for the rest of us at The Hard Hat at next year's CHRS Rail-B-Q...!
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ljudice

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 07:26:30 PM »
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I think Athearn did A&R 50' outside braced boxcars also...

Dave V

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 07:37:53 PM »
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Another thought, too...  Life's too damn short for regrets.  If you want to model more than one line at once, do it!  You have the advantage of modeling a region where the scenery is pretty generic...  Piney, rolling hills could be anywhere from Virginia to Georgia.  One day you could be A&R, the next SOU...  and then maybe ACL or SAL.  Or NS, or CSX, or D&S, etc.

My father had similar plans in HO to have a 4x8 with generic tree-covered hills.  He would build stations and other railroad buildings in different paint schemes for Reading, DL&W, or NYO&W, and just swap out those buildings with the trains to convert the whole layout.  I think it's a great way to model several favorite roads in a finite space.
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Philip H

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 07:39:22 PM »
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Dave,
Aside from the obvious appeal of modeling a shortline that few of us know about, I think you can end up keeping most of your existing rolling stock (As you mentioned) as well as your locomotive fleet - there need to be some locos for interchange service if nothing else.

And the chance to research something different can be appealing.

that said, what is your modeling goal for the next 5 years?  Do you want to build another door to test new techniques?  Do you want to do a dogbone shelf layout like Ed so you can railfan your collection? Do you want an industrial switching layout, or any kind of switching layout?  What's next on your modeling punch list?

I think that if you answer these questions, your path will become clear.  And we'll probably find temporary "permanent" homes for your stuff in the Railwire family if you do a massive disvestiture.
Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

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davefoxx

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 07:41:08 PM »
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OK, serious time now.  I like it!  I miss the North Carolina railroading scene.  If I had to start over, it would be very tempting to model the Durham and Southern through Apex, NC.  And, as you've mentioned, the area hasn't changed much in 50 years such that you could run almost any era you desire.

I would love to see you do another layout.  HCD layouts are fun, but can also be limited, as you already know.  Do you have an idea of what sort of space you'll have?  HCDs are nice in that they can adapt to almost any space if you move.

I think the A&R would be a very neat little line to model, for a ton of reasons.  But the best reason is what you've pointed out.  It's unique!

Of course, by not modeling CR, you'll have to buy beer for the rest of us at The Hard Hat at next year's CHRS Rail-B-Q...!

The Durham & Southern is another great Carolina short line.  I also have to admit that I dabbled in the Winston-Salem SouthBound Ry. in HO scale in the early 1990s when I lived in Winston-Salem, but that road is limited to only a very short period of only four locos decorated for that road and those GP9s are not likely to ever be produced in N scale.

As for a HCD, I think in my case, it will work out better for now.  A shelf-style layout just isn't practical in the basement of our townhome.  And, I know now, after giving up the Virginia Central, that a HCD-sized layout is more manageable for me.  That, and I know what i can and cannot do on a HCD.  I think a short line could work well, and I believe I usually do a reasonable job of avoiding spaghetti-bowl track plans.  The A&R has a good bit of online industries, so a simple track plan with different types of customers could be developed but fun to operate.  I think an out and back plan with provision for continuous operation would be what I'm after.  The loop allows you to rack up miles between towns.  There would be no more than two towns with a scenic divider.

Beer's on me?  Okay, fair enough, although this is why I keep my CR GP40-2 and N5c cabin around.   ;)  But, okay, first round's on me at The Hard Hat next May.  In fact, I look forward to it and the next CRHS Rail-B-Q.

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
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Brakie

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 07:47:53 PM »
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Dave,If I was to model a prototype short line it would be the Aberdeen & Rockfish hands down.

http://www.aberdeen-rockfish.com/index.html

Here's their customer list.

http://www.aberdeen-rockfish.com/html/customers.html

And map.

http://www.aberdeen-rockfish.com/SystemMap.gif

As far as your current collection..

Keep 'em.

As far as a caboose..Apparently in 1979 they was still using their caboose.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=119220&nseq=35

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=119219&nseq=36



You can always add freight cars.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 07:49:53 PM by Brakie »
Larry

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davefoxx

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 07:51:10 PM »
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Dave,
Aside from the obvious appeal of modeling a shortline that few of us know about, I think you can end up keeping most of your existing rolling stock (As you mentioned) as well as your locomotive fleet - there need to be some locos for interchange service if nothing else.

And the chance to research something different can be appealing.

that said, what is your modeling goal for the next 5 years?  Do you want to build another door to test new techniques?  Do you want to do a dogbone shelf layout like Ed so you can railfan your collection? Do you want an industrial switching layout, or any kind of switching layout?  What's next on your modeling punch list?

I think that if you answer these questions, your path will become clear.  And we'll probably find temporary "permanent" homes for your stuff in the Railwire family if you do a massive disvestiture.

Hi, Philip,

Next five years? I really think a HCD could satisfy me for several years as the last HCD did.  But, if I am more focused on this one and attempt to pull off a couple of layout design elements (LDEs) and plan for operation, I could be satisfied for even longer.   An advantage of being an a$$hat (I hadn't joined here when I designed and built the Virginia Central) is that you all will be able to help me design a plan for operation.  That's something that I will need help with.  Oh, and yes, I want to have fun with switching on this layout.

The nice thing about having Railwire friends in only a few hours' drive is that I can run on their layouts, too.  This is why I have a few CR and WM items.  Those pieces are going nowhere, even if I sell off a significant portion of my inventory.  That should ease my desire to run high speed and/or long freight trains.

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davefoxx

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 07:55:28 PM »
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I think Athearn did A&R 50' outside braced boxcars also...

Thanks for the heads up, Lou!  I found this.  I'll check to see how bad a foobie it may be.  If it's not too far off, I can accept it, as I don't tend to be a rivet counter.  At least not for a box car that is on clearance at MBK!

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2010, 08:21:55 PM »
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Nah, you need to do Conrail.

I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

sizemore

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 09:13:47 PM »
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Dave,
I think you should box up your C&O/SCL stuff, hold onto it and build a small "side" collection. We're talking about collecting a few locomotives and maybe ~20-30 cars, thats not large enough of a justification to toss it all out (or sell it). That way when you finally have the oppurtunity to build a larger layout you can revisit your wildest RF&P/C&O/SCL dreams.

For myself I'm stock piling buildings, rolling stock and other assorted items for the future WM layout while the "BYR" kidney helps me work on scenery techniques. In the grand plan the BYR stuff will fit in with the WM. Think of it like Lee making a small LRV while waiting for the big Western Maryland Lines oppurtunity in the future!

The S.

davefoxx

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 09:25:50 PM »
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Dave,If I was to model a prototype short line it would be the Aberdeen & Rockfish hands down.

http://www.aberdeen-rockfish.com/index.html

Here's their customer list.

http://www.aberdeen-rockfish.com/html/customers.html

And map.

http://www.aberdeen-rockfish.com/SystemMap.gif

As far as your current collection..

Keep 'em.

As far as a caboose..Apparently in 1979 they was still using their caboose.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=119220&nseq=35

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=119219&nseq=36



You can always add freight cars.

Larry,

Great, great information.  Soooooo much appreciated.  That customer list is very informative.  I'll get out my RR Atlas (which I may have loaned to someone- uh oh) to scope out LDEs.  I may have to use Google maps, if I can't find my Atlas.

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davefoxx

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Re: Oh no! I'm Having THOSE Kinds of Thoughts Again!
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 09:44:57 PM »
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Dave,
I think you should box up your C&O/SCL stuff, hold onto it and build a small "side" collection. We're talking about collecting a few locomotives and maybe ~20-30 cars, thats not large enough of a justification to toss it all out (or sell it). That way when you finally have the oppurtunity to build a larger layout you can revisit your wildest RF&P/C&O/SCL dreams.

For myself I'm stock piling buildings, rolling stock and other assorted items for the future WM layout while the "BYR" kidney helps me work on scenery techniques. In the grand plan the BYR stuff will fit in with the WM. Think of it like Lee making a small LRV while waiting for the big Western Maryland Lines oppurtunity in the future!

The S.

The S.,

You're right.  I may sell off some of my lesser used items (e.g., the aforementioned C&O SD35s), but I can keep a large portion of my fleet, a good portion of which can plausibly be used from time to time in interchange.  I also could part with certain other pieces, perhaps just enough to fund the purchase of the new locos and cars (this makes my wife much more amenable to my new proposal).  With Timonium coming up and the Trading Post here, hopefully, I can recoup the costs of this new venture with minimal damage to the credit card.

You're dead on with the RF&P/C&O/SBD(SCL) idea, and I will not sell any RF&P or SBD/SCL rolling stock or locos at this time.  I still would like to pull off a layout someday, centered on Doswell, Virginia and the C&O/RF&P interchange.  But that would require a large layout to do it justice, because that would almost require two separate operating lines: 1) a single-track C&O line for switching interest (operations), and 2) a continuous-run RF&P double-tracked line.  This is why it makes more sense to tackle a short line now, just as you are doing with the BYR.

Thanks,
The D.

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