Author Topic: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?  (Read 2414 times)

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drgw0579

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So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« on: August 18, 2016, 10:48:26 PM »
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I noticed that this week's Model Railroader.com newsletter included Jim Kelly's "Freelance flavor for my N scale Tehachapi Loop" article from this month's magazine.   It's a good article where he laments that the Intermountain SD40-2 in V&O paint was cancelled due to lack of reservations.  But then he admit's he didn't reserve any himself.

 I have some of the same interests and wonder why there isn't a "Famous Model Railroad" series.  I had talked to somebody at Intermountain about their V&O SD40-2's and they said they had no problem making the required reservations for HO models, but there wasn't much interest in the N scale version.  I must admit that the SD40-2 is too new for me, but I offered to buy a set of A-B-A V&O F7's should they ever consider doing that in N scale.

On my layout, I have cars from several of my friends' roads as well as some of the NMRA special runs that had been offered about 10 years go.  There are a couple of the FVM V&O, AM, and CV cars as well as a a couple others I was able to do with lettering set decals.  With about 600 cars on the layout, none of these look very conspicuous.

The V&O articles in the mid 70's got me back into the hobby.  That's why I have such an interest to see more offerings like that.  But what about other N scale modelers?  Is it that these roadnames don't have any relevance, no interest, or just plain too many other things to spend money on?

Bill Kepner

nuno81291

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2016, 12:22:41 AM »
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Well I for one as a youngin never even heard of that road! Then again I have studied the history of more local to me roads so I would hazard the guess that perhaps in this day of reserve for production either the particular release was not marketed well enough to make interested consumers aware of the offering, or perhaps it wasn't good timing with the release and hobby budgets if it was during the recession.

I have my name on atleast 1 of the new HO scale MBTA RDCs by Rapido, and they almost didn't get to production. Despite having one of the largest fleets of RDCs, HO scale passenger ops are fairly uncommon vis-a-vis freight, most people who were alive at the time to witness RDCs probably bought up the proto 2000s and already have a fleet. Perhaps price point was also a turn off. As one of the younger people where my choice of era and road fits, it appears I was in the minority of interest in this release..and despite my interest I still couldnt commit to putting money down on one...hoping enough local dealers placed orders for it to be run. The 2 shops I know of in MA are ordering single digits of these units, some not even touching the newly announced cabbages... Likely a multitude of factors as to why the particular 40-2 was not run.
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

ljudice

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2016, 12:34:58 AM »
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I grew up oogling both of these layouts - but....

today, V&O and AM most surely would be part of NS or CSX post 1980 or so...

So from a proto-freelancing or proto perspective neither make any sense.

MVW

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2016, 12:42:39 AM »
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Is it that these roadnames don't have any relevance, no interest, or just plain too many other things to spend money on?

Bill Kepner

I think that pretty well nails it, Bill.

Personally, while I have tremendous respect for the contributions to the hobby made by people like McClelland, Armstrong, Allen, Towers, Chubb, et al, I don't feel any intense desire to pay homage to them on my layout. (I do have an Armstrong & Co. meat packing plant on my layout, but that's named for a brother-in-law.) That's especially true when I have a difficult time trying to wrap a modest hobby budget around the things I really need to satisfy the theme of my layout. I model a 1950s Midwest granger/bridge route, so not a lot of need for V&O coal hoppers or motive power on my layout.

On the other hand, I didn't hesitate to order one of the Puddy memorial gons. I'm much more inclined to run a piece of rolling stock as a tip of the hat to a noteworthy modeler, if it fits my time and place. At some point, I would consider including in the mix a car or two from the V&O, G&D, Alturas & Lone Pine, Sunset Valley,  Canandaigua Southern, etc. But that's a druther, rather than a given.  :D

Jim


C855B

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2016, 12:50:51 AM »
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... But what about other N scale modelers?  Is it that these roadnames don't have any relevance, no interest, or just plain too many other things to spend money on?

I will speak only for myself, and my answer is "no relevance". Or more accurately, "Say... what???"

A long-time (50 years) N modeler, I set aside Model Railroader as irrelevant to my interests back in the '70s during their John Allen, Gorre and Daphetid gorge-fest. So, frankly, aside from reading the name "Jim Kelly" and "V&O" in online MRR forums in the pre-internet BBS and Compu$erve days, neither especially resonate with me. Of course I now understand that Jim and the V&O and Appalachian Lines represent very high modeling and operating standards, but since I wasn't there when it was happening it really wasn't and still isn't on my radar.

OTOH, I am a proud owner of a few bits of Laurel Valley rolling stock, as are several others on the forum.
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u18b

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2016, 01:03:33 AM »
+1
HO vs N scale.  Apples and oranges?

When it comes to Intermountain,  I think the problem is partially Intermountain. (partially, it is N scale since market share is smaller).

They are so slow to produce anything, that many of their announcements are almost thought of as vaporware.

It was years before an actual SD45-2 appeared.

And what are we on?  The fifth run of SD40-2s being announced?
And the first ones have not arrived yet.

I feel your pain, because they announced a CSX FP7A/F7B set-- which was cancelled due to low reservations.

Sigh.

So I'm not trying to start a flame war.  But it just seems to take a long long time between announcement and product- at least for locos.
Ron Bearden
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reinhardtjh

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2016, 01:32:00 AM »
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I don't know if anyone remembers, but FVM produced GEVOs in both V&O and AM schemes.  In two variations no less with 2 numbers each.  I don't know how many they made, but for the most part, they didn't last long.  BLW still has one of the AM number for sale, but the V&O disappeared long ago.  FVM also made 12 number hopper set in V&O and AM. RD-4's, I believe.  They sold out pretty quickly also. Same with the FMC (?) boxes.  There were two numbers each for the V&O and AM.  Gone.

I think that things like V&O and AM are almost more impulse buys.  If you use the reservation scheme like Intermountain, you're not going to get much.  But take a chance and produce a few sets and get them in front of people and they probably do okay.  Sure, FVM pre-announced and took pre-orders, but they were going to make them no matter what.  Pre-orders just determined how many. 

today, V&O and AM most surely would be part of NS or CSX post 1980 or so...

So make them fictional "Heritage" schemes.  NS would do it.  :D
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 01:33:53 AM by reinhardtjh »
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ljudice

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2016, 07:35:23 AM »
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So make them fictional "Heritage" schemes.  NS would do it.  :D

That is a cool idea!

basementcalling

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2016, 07:37:39 AM »
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I have one of the V&O and AM Fox Valley GE units. Look great. My plan is to pair them with a NYC heritage unit and have them serve as power for a wb train from the east on mh layout. I'll pretend Conrail never happened and NYC and PRR never merged.

I'd love to see a manufacturer offer other freel acne schemes. Would love an MR&T SD40-2, but I don't like the looks of the proposed Atlas versions of that scheme on  a 4 axle GE. I'd love to see a Lee Nichols Utah Colorado and Western and a Utah Belt offering out there too.
Peter Pfotenhauer

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2016, 08:23:19 AM »
+1
I have a few of the freight cars produced by the NMRA, Gorrie and Daphetid, Freytag Steel, Sunset Valley Lines, V&O. Much more likely to buy the "supporting cast" of freight cars rather than the "leading man" of an engine from a free-lanced layout.

I am a fanboy of the V&O, having got to visit it, get my copy of the V&O Story autographed, and become a stockholder. I too am attempting to model eastern coalfields.

Like Jim Kelly said, free lancing seems to be outdated; we have so many more roadnames available now. (I know, still not yours!)
Modeling the C&O in Kentucky.

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jpwisc

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2016, 09:54:04 AM »
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For the Appalachian coal hauling layouts I operate on, these engines would stick out like sore thumbs. The Clinchfield was as utilitarian as they get. The NS has its own Heritage fleet, so why slide in a fubar one that will detract from the overall scene?

The V&O was a great layout in its day. No doubt. But there are many present day layouts that will represent this generation of modelers even better.
Karl
CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline.

Philip H

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2016, 10:34:01 AM »
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I actually read a lot of V&O and AM articles back in the day - and was a tad sad when Tony Koester first backdated the AM and then went prototype.  So I have a brace of AM and V&O RD-4 hoppers from FVM.  my plan is to use them in semi-captive pet coke service.  And one of these days I'll probably grab a set of the FVM GEVOS (one for each line) off eBay.  Of course, if IM added them to the reservations for the N Scale SD40-2 I might have to do that as well - though I still want them to do the KCS ghosts first.

I never got into buying the NMRA heritage layout cars - and now wish I had a few.  I've always done some proto-lancing with my KCS fixation - growing up it was the only way to get U Boats on my layout since KCs never operated any and the ICG ones didn't make it into the 1980's on Louisiana.

And yes, I have both LV sets as well . . .

Philip H.
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Catt

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2016, 11:16:43 AM »
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"Would love an MR&T SD40-2, but I don't like the looks of the proposed Atlas versions of that scheme on  a 4 axle GE. "

If it is good enough for the MR&T it's good enough for me.

 
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2016, 11:24:41 AM »
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I'm surprised IM hasn't canceled ALL of their SD40-2s because of lack of reservations.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice....

I'm waiting to see them in person before I make ANY commitments on them.

Philip H

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Re: So why no Appalachian Lines in N scale?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2016, 11:52:47 AM »
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"Would love an MR&T SD40-2, but I don't like the looks of the proposed Atlas versions of that scheme on  a 4 axle GE. "

If it is good enough for the MR&T it's good enough for me.

Yeah i'llmprobably eg one or two of these as well.
Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

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