Well, it has begun.
Late last year I decided that the time had come to stop having alot of little hobbies that I sometimes managed time for and delve into one long-standing passion and be done with it. So after a many year hiatus I decided to build another model railroad. My last effort was at my house in Los Lunas, and it was not very well done. In fact, it was crap. It was small, poorly built and represented nothing of what I wanted.
This time around, the Minister of the Interior (you know, Pam, the wife) ceded a large chunk of the Sun Room to the effort and I have room to not only build it right, but build something that will bee not too big, but large enough to really do the things I want. I have about 20 feet of wall space with 2 large peninsulas that will jut out, one 6 foot and one 8 foot long. There will also be a 4 foot staging yard (that might grow to 6 feet). In that magical space, I will try to create the thing I have been longing for. A good, operating model railroad that represents a chunk of the Prototype but reflects what I want. It will have a decent mainline run, lots of industry switching and a decent sized yard to keep things moving. It will represent modern railroading, with all the new fangled gear and high horsepower stuff.
There were a few glitches on the way to deciding how to proceed. The first was the most basic of all questions in model railroading… “What do I model?”. I have been a Santa Fe RR guy for as long as I can recall. I also really like the Clinchfield and it’s coal hauling days. My grandfather was a NYNH&H guy. ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!
The easy route, given that I live in NM was to model the BNSF and be done with it. All the stuff I would ever need is within a 30 minute drive. I still do go out and take pics of the BNSF trains and physical plant all the time. As I said, I’m a SF nut :)
But somehow, it didn’t feel right. Deep inside, I didn’t want to model the SF, I just didn’t know it. Then it happened. I was at my local all-scales train store (Train’s West – great store!) and I saw a railroad atlas. I flipped to the page that had the map of connecticut, where I grew up, and there it was. The Connecticut Southern Railway! As I looked into the CSO, though, I didn’t find anything I liked about it. Then I looked at their interchanges and I saw the Providence & Worcester RR Co. The more I looked into the P&W, the more I knew it was my future prototype. They have a great, modern loco fleet, but it’s not too modern. They have a bunch of industries on the line, they interchange with the CSX, my next favorite mainline road and they roll right through my hometown! Not only that, but the P&W is the oldest continually operating railroad in the US of A! I have since devoured everything I can about the P&W and decided that this is where I am going in the future. The P&W has been growing over the past 30+ years since they won their independence from the Penn Central. Good management and good timing have allowed them to grow and maintain while a lot of other regionals have gone by the wayside.
Here is the premise of the CC Sub of the P&W…
In their latest venture, they are picking up the trackage from the CSO, the ex – New Haven line north from New Haven, through Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, and points North. They have picked up the CSO’s old interchange traffic to the CSX at New Haven as well. By virtue of the new trackage acquired, there is a need for new Motive power as well.
Therein lies the seed of the Central Connecticut Sub of the P&W…. so stay tuned.