Monday, April 15, 2013

Picking a modeling era

When I finally decided that I was moving towards prototype modeling I struggled with the concepts of place and time. After thinking about all of the areas that interested me, I settled on the eastside area. Under BNSF ownership the 7th Sub was the Woodinville Sub, and the 8th Sub was the Issaquah Sub. Knowing that I didn't want to model the BNSF, but rather the BN I was able to narrow down the time frame from 1970-1995. That's still a huge gap for a prototype modeler. I could either model the 1970's really bad, or the 1990's even worse. As I started doing research for a structure I found out that the Redmond depot was torn down in 1972. Having grown up in the Redmond area I never saw the depot, but the image of the depot stayed with me. So now I was down to 1970-1972.
The feed mill in the background of the picture is T&D Feeds which was torn down in 2001. After narrowing down my modeling period to two years, I researched some rail car designs that I wanted to model; one of them being a center beam flat, and the other a thrall all door boxcar. The center beam flat was quickly eliminated as being plausible, and further research showed that in 1972 only 4 Thrall all door boxcars existed in the entire North American rail system. In 1971, only two Thrall all door boxcars existed. How likely is that one of these cars made it to the 7th or 8th Sub., I'll never know! But I still may build either one of these cars down the line, but for now I'm trying to focus on the research aspect of this line including car counts, number of locals that worked the line, etc. The BN was also in the passenger business for a few short months from the merger in 1970 to the creation of Amtrak. By modeling 1970-1972 I could theoretically have a BN passenger reroute over the 7th Sub due to a washout, derailment or any other blockage along the coastline. So I settled on 1971 as the close enough year to model. In door modelers tend to be even more specific by modeling a specific season, but since this is a railroad outside I felt that each season could represent that season in 1971.
My other main goal with this railroad is to eventually host operating sessions with fellow modelers on a regular basis; rain, snow, sleet, sun! The beauty of outdoor modeling is you don't have to model the weather it comes naturally.

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