Barriers to Model Railroading part 3: If I had unlimited time, I would really like to model …..

As mentioned in my Barriers to Model Railroading post, I decided to take the time to take a hard look at the stockpile of model railroad items I have in boxes and drawers. As I started this process, I kept asking myself, would I ever really have time to build it?

I decided to make a list of all the projects that have been contemplated and some equipment purchased. I will return to these projects individually over the next few weeks.

Ferrocarril de Agricultor (FdA)

A fictional O scale branchline featuring Bachmann’s outside frame 4-4-0’s. These engines are based on the famous Brazilian narrow gauge railroad, (EFOM). I liked the idea of a no compromise to 30 inch gauge in O scale. 30 inch gauge is 76cm gauge and and outside of the United States, it was a common carrier narrow gauge. Plus, I like the EFOM and the Ferrocarriles de Argentinos (the Patagonian Express). If I had a bucket list of railroads to ride, these two famous 76cm lines in South America would both be on them.

The second C module that I built. Mock up of the FdA.
The station is an O scale version of the Colorado and Southern’s Leadville, Colorado station.
I liked its look for the FdA.

Rio Grande Southern

In my last post my interest in the RGS was discussed. If I could go back in time to the late 1940’s, I would ride in the cab of #455 from Ridgeway to Rico on a mid September day. To model the RGS would be fun, but the RGS would be a railfan Model Railroad for me. I just want to sit and watch. Vance Junction to Rico, not many miles but still way to big for a model railroad. Really, Trout Lake through the Gallagher trestles. I want the scenery and the cutting out of the helper at Lizard Head. Sure, I like Ophir, Vance Junction, Telluride, Dallas Divide, and a few other places on the northern division of the RGS. However, the ride up and down from Lizard Head on a K-27 would be the sole purpose of this model railroad. One short train, two engines and a huge amount of space to fit that ride into. I have never even seen anyone try to model the Gallagher trestles. Ophir at least is convenient to fit into a corner of a room but alas the same cannot be said for the Gallagher trestles. Lizard Head though would make a nice set of modules. Building the snow shed, even the much reduced post WWII version would be a scratchbuilding challenge for sure.

That said, over the years I have collected enough Sn3 RGS and D&RGW locomotives to model the northern division of the RGS.

Appalachian and Broad Top coal mining

When Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman ran articles about model railroad bridge lines through the Appalachian mountains my thought was not about the bridge traffic, but of the mine runs. Many years ago, my first ride behind a real 12″ equal to a foot gauge engine was at the East Broad Top Railroad’s 1978 Winter Spectacular. I built and ran part of an HOn3 layout based solely on running mine runs out of a small yard and up several branches. My son and I built and ran an N scale module minus the mine building and scenery based on a C&O branch that my father scrapped way back in the 1970s in West Virginia. So we have both N scale C&O and Sn3 EBT equipment. I also have one of the White Pass and Yukon mikados in Sn3 produced by Railmaster in New Zealand to use for this project as well as a BTS kit of East Broad Top #12 are the stars of the S scale project.

Anthracite Railroads

When Railroads You can Model was released, I got a copy and discovered the New York, Ontario, and Western along with the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain shortline. However, it was the NYO&W that became an instant standard gauge favorite along with my long time favorite Ma and Pa.. A S scale Overland Reading I-8 camelback and NW-2 diesel were picked up over time for this project.

Maine 2 Foot

I have always like the Maine two foot railroads. In checking my boxes, I have plenty of both Sn2 and On2 models. Too much to go into any detail here. My first modular railroad was a version of the WW&F’s Wiscasset upper yard.

Chili Line

I have always liked the Chili Line, it was a mixed train daily accept Sunday for part of its lifetime so what’s not to like! Once again, a fair amount of equipment to model the Chili Line lives in boxes. I recently blogged about a fictional station along the Chili Line that I was planning to build.


Beckleysville is a total fictional project. A small town located in northern Baltimore county, Maryland. First an On30 project but now an Sn3 project. The project is a favorite as my home is in the modeled area. This allows me to actually go and see the buildings for the layout.

Barriers to Model Railroading part 3: If I had unlimited time, I would really like to model…@June 2019

By: H Mathews

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