Is it a real train or is a model train? The beginning of an imagineering project

Ever seen a photograph that makes you wonder is it real or a model. Recently saw the photograph below by Stephen Hussar on the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railroad Museum website. Looks like a  trainload of empty flat cars moving through the Maine woods over a stream on the way back to a slate quarry. A shortened Bachmann Forney with a nice figure in the cab. Great job with the water moving in the stream, and with the addition of the steam blowing off..or is it real?

Is it a model or real? Photo by Stephen Hussar

After studying the photograph for about 30 seconds, thought ” boy that would make a great scene on a future imagineering project.Part of the right of way on the way to the slate quarry, or to a saw mill sometime back in the 19-teens.

Really like the angle, never been a railfan modeler as much as a modeler in search of an interesting switching scene. However, as a fly-fisherman kneeling in the stream, this is an ideal angle. Wonder what someone would think about O or S scale if they looked up at a Forney slowly going over a bridge at a local train show from this angle? Notice how far you can see in this view? Trees make a great view block, no need to model acres of Maine woods, just a hint of the edge of the woods along the ROW. Could be a narrow section of a module, maybe 8 inches in S scale or 12 inches in O scale. Could be an imagineering project! Thank you Stephen Hussar for the wonderful real live steam engine in present day Maine along the rails of the WW&F RR Museum.

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Visiting the Past in the Present

One of the more interesting things that model railroad has exposed me to is the history of railroads.  Granted, little easier with the Baltimore and Ohio railroad museum just down the road in Baltimore. A little further away is the Strasburg Railroad, another interesting historical place to visit to see the rolling stock, ride the trains and of course visit the Pennsylvania State Railroad museum across the street. However, the more difficult part is finding the old right of ways. Well, that is easy for me as well, I have the abandoned Northern Central railway (PRR) now NCR hike and bike trail not half a mile away. Getting out of the basement, and away from home to railfan “slumbers” and ghosts is an adventure worth pursuing to learn more about railroads and for the imagineer, proto-freelance and prototype modeler information.

The imagineers at work crossing the trestle in late February 2011

What about the ghosts and the slumbering lines? Well,  right up the road rests in slumber the intact Stewartstown Railroad and its lifeline interchange. Little further from me is the ghost of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, mostly the abandoned York Southern section of it is an hour or less drive away. A small operating section, maintained  by the Ma and Pa preservation Society, is not far away at Muddy Creek Forks. Lot further from home is the East Broad Top, which like the Stewartstown Railroad mostly rests in slumber with a small section operated in the late Spring through early Fall months.Little further away and a very distant ghost is the Maryland division of the Ma and Pa as well as the Lancaster, Oxford, and Southern. Distant ghosts can sometimes require more legwork to locate right of way, or structures

So, if you want to add hiking, writing, photography, research and drawing plans of your favorite structure, bridge, or track-plan to your modeling talents, try visiting those places you want to model or better yet those places you never thought to model. You may find something interesting to share with other modelers. Have fun, watch out for the wildlife and make sure not to trespass.