The Trainset

Like many model railroaders, I have items in boxes I do not use. Some I purchased for future use, some I purchased without any clear plan on their use. Some point in the past, P-B-L announced that they would be releasing passenger cars, including a Chili Line sets. Being a huge fan of mixed trains and knowing of the Chili Line, I took the plunge and ordered one. As a lifetime Rio Grande Southern fan, I really didn’t know much about the DRGW and its branch from Antonito, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico besides its name, the Chili Line.  I also knew that the motive power was primarily T-12s in the early days and K-28s in the later days of the branch.

Below are two files photos of the trainset when I first worked on C modules. More photographs to follow as the models get unpacked.

Shallow C-Chili Line Sn3
An Sn3 Chili Line train in the 12 inch “C”
Sn3 Chili Line-Shllow C from end
Sn3 in a shallow space

A New Direction, a New Start

As an armchair modeler over the past year plus I did on occasion read blogs and posts about the current state of model railroading affairs. The ready to run/ operate trend, the large home model railroads, and a few voices lamenting the lack of scratch building and building models from plans. I too would like to add to the few who would like to see a swing to smaller layouts with kitbuilt or scratchbuilt models. I’m certain though that time, or actually the lack of time influences many to buy RTO/RTR items.

After much thought I decided to go a new direction in my modeling that will lead me back to Beckleysville at some point in the future. An explanation is required, so let me wander for a brief moment. Besides model trains, there are other pursuits that I enjoy, one of which is woodworking. Now a days one can buy many tools that make it very easy to construct furniture and other woodworking projects. However, some time ago I decided to move to using hand tools ( planes, handsaws, chisels, etc) and learn how these tools were used by craftsman to make so many things from wood. So I purchased an interesting book, The New Tradition Woodworker: From Tool set to Skill set to Mind set. It is like an apprenticeship in a book. One starts by building tools (i.e. a wooden straightedge and square for starters) needed to make future projects. In the process skills are learned and built upon through a progression of projects, just as if you were an apprentice.

My new project starts with a train set. I could not go any simpler than the trainset. Now a word of warning, this is not a trainset one purchases at the local hobby store or online. It is one assembled from the boxes of RTR/RTO equipment that I have collected over time and have not used. I am sure everyone has some in their own home. I have not finished unpacking all the boxes at the moment but I will so as to take photos of my trainset. It is a complete Sn3 set which does not include sectional track or a “transformer”.

Why not continue Beckleysville? The simple reason is that I did not have any RTR/RTO equipment. In reality Beckleysville is, in an Sn3 version, a kit and scratchbuilders delight requiring more time than I have at the moment to spare. I also needed a project that allowed me to start model railroading as a novice and build on skills. So why not start with a trainset and go from there.

A New Direction, a New Start©

By Herbert Mathews, August 2018