Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Canadian modeller's choice of era

Recently a fellow modeller on the CanModelTrains yahoo group posed the following interesting question:
 "It seems to me the vast majority of Canadian modellers, at least the ones on
this group, are modelling the diesel era, usually from the 1970s onwards.

Steam on this group is rarely mentioned.  It's all diesels and usually
diesels from the 1970s onwards.  Is this because it's just easier, given the
complete lack of affordable Canadian RTR steam?

USA, British even Australian modellers have a good choice of Spectrum
quality steam yet there's nothing like that available to Canadians.

Tell us why did you picked your era"
     It got me to thinking about a trend I hear/read a lot about. The transition era is the most popular theme among model railroaders. This is because we model what we grew up seeing - which makes sense from a nostalgia stand point. But what about guys like me? I'm 35. Hardly a candidate for the transition era. 
     Growing up all I ever saw was Action Red Pac-man SD40-2's and the tail end of C424's in service. Plenty of Canada hoppers and CAST containers on 89ft flats. I completely missed out on the glory days of steam. And 40' box cars. Miles and miles of 40' box cars. Sure 89' autoracks are kinda neat, but they're all the same to me. TTX yellow with a different railroads logo panel on them. Boring.
So I've chosen to model a CN branch line in 1955-60, that was abandoned and ripped up when I was 6 years old. It's the closest thing I'll ever get to seeing it "alive" if you will.

What do you model, and why?


  1. I'm a little older than 35, but still too young to remember steam in regular service. I did ride behind 6060 when it was doing excursions in the greater Toronto area, but that's as close as I got.
    Still, like you, I picked an era that I never experienced first-hand. My current layout (Port Rowan in S Scale) is set in the 1950s when my branch line prototype was patrolled by 2-6-0s and 4-6-0s. I picked the era because I liked the mix of equipment - in addition to the steamers, there's a mixed train on the branch so I get to run a couple of passenger cars. I also like the modest track arrangements in the towns I chose to model - so modest that they would not have rail service at all in today's world.
    That said, I do enjoy more modern operations and I have HO equipment to model such if the opportunity arises. More likely, I'll end up running it on a friend's layout.
    I hope more people wade in on this. I look forward to following the discussion.
    - Trevor @ The Model Railway Show

    1. Trevor, good to hear from you again. I follow your blog regularly and the Port Rowan branch is both a an inspiration and a similarity to my own endeavors. What we need to do now is convert you to N scale.