Thursday, July 23, 2015

Modeling Modern Details

Model railroading is not a 'new' hobby - in some form it has been around for more than 100 years, and the hobby - like the industry - has changed over the years.  In the 1940's and 1950's, route-mileage peaked on the prototype, with spurs and branches into almost every town in America.  I can see where this would be a great era to model.

However, much of America's manufacturing base moved away from railroads before 1990, and that is what my generation grew up with.  We know very well that modern railroads have as many abandoned spurs as they do active ones, and a plausible eastern model railroad set in 1994 needs some abandoned spurs.

Details available to us today are remarkable and make the hobby very rewarding.  Here is a recent detail project that I completed on the M&E, replacing a frog on an 'abandoned' turnout with a section of jointed rail.  Frogs are high-maintenance items, and if there is no use of a side track, railroads can reduce track maintenance costs by removing the frog even if some of the rest of the turnout remains.  I used Details West rail joiner bar models to 'bolt' the new rail in place of the frog on this Shinohara #6 switch, and with the addition of some ballast and some grit, grime, and weeds, we have a nice mini-scene that helps illustrate the era of the railroad.

More details like these will follow as time passes - always plenty to keep us busy on the Onondaga Cutoff.


1 comment:

  1. Your point is a very sad but true point. Especially for NE modeling, in the 1980s and 1990s, it is almost mandatory to model abandoned track. I plan to have several spurs on my layout abandoned, and even a small yard.