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Thread: Model Railroad

  1. #1

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    Model Railroad

    These images were done with wireless gelled Speedlites to simulate sun or moonlight. My hope is that you will take a minute, kick your mind into neutral, and enjoy a look back to a bit of western railroading Americana.

    My son and I started model railroading when he was 5 years old. He's 15 now and we don't run trains like we used to, but I wouldn't take anything for the time we spent together model railroading.

    The Rio Grande Platte Canyon Subdivision is a fictional portion of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) railroad and is set in early Fall of 1965. The Platte Canyon Spur extends west into the mountains from a break point just south of Sedalia, Colo, on the Joint Line. Joint Line traffic includes trains from Santa Fe (ATSF) and Colorado Southern (CB&Q) as well as the Rio Grande, just as the prototype railroad did. Most Platte Canyon Spur traffic is from the mountain coal mining district the spur was constructed to reach, but mining towns and small customers along the route are served by the railroad as well. Coal loads travel west from the mines to the Joint Line, where they are forwarded to the Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I) steel mill at Pueblo and electrical power generating plants along the Joint Line to Denver and points beyond.

    The railroad is modeled in HO scale (1:87). It's a small layout that covers about 25% of our full basement. Staging consists of three yards that operationally represent points North, South and West of Sedalia, Colo. Each yard has four tracks. The Upper or "north" staging yard sits atop the "south" yard while the "west" yard is a stand alone that runs along a basement wall. Train detection was required for the yards since they're hidden from view during normal operations and was accomplished with magnetic reed switches on yard tracks and an LED indicator panel in the operating area. Staging eliminates trains "running in circles" and thus adds considerably to operational realism.

    The Digitrax Super Chief digital system is used for train and switch route (to the staging yards) control. Many of the locomotives are sound equipped for added fun.

    Much detail work remains to be done on individual scenes, but most of the landscape type scenery is complete. In addition to the 3D scenery, the railroad also sports a 24" high hand painted masonite backdrop.

    Readying locomotives in the early morning light at Sedalia, Colo.
    Model Railroad

    Brakeman on an SD7 locomotive waves to his friends on an adjacent track at Colorado Fuel and Iron's Split Rock #4 coal mine.
    Model Railroad

    Rocky mountain moonlight at CF&I's #4 mine.
    Model Railroad

  2. #2

    Re: Model Railroad

    Eric

    These are freaking me out! I honestly thought that #3 was real (but maybe I took the wrong medication again ) The level of detail is amazing, and you have taken the shots very well to give the impression of reality. I honestly don't think I have seen anything like it before on this forum. So, well done!

    PS: Can we have the sound effects too?

  3. #3

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    Re: Model Railroad

    Thanks for the comments Rob. I'm glad to hear you got a kick out of the images. I enjoy this type photography and appreciate you taking a minute to have a look around.

  4. #4
    Rodders's Avatar
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    Re: Model Railroad

    Hello Eric,

    Like Rob said, the level of detail is amazing!
    The photos look great, thank you for sharing.

  5. #5
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Model Railroad

    Yep, #3 looks real to me. Bet it runs better than our real rail service; for instance today I was checking out how to get to Crich Tram Museum and the train to Whatstandwell the nearest station cost 7 but no connecting bus service, so getting off the train a couple of stops earlier in Belper cost 8. You couldn't make it up.

  6. #6

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    Re: Model Railroad

    Rodney, glad you enjoyed the images. Thanks for commenting.

    Steve, Good luck with the rail service. That's a comical story. I wonder who IS making it up, lol. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. #7

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    Myra

    Re: Model Railroad

    Those are so interesting to look at, Eric. The detail and lighting are both terrific. What effort to achieve those effects!

    Myra

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Model Railroad

    Very good images. One hobby melding into another.

  9. #9

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    Re: Model Railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Those are so interesting to look at, Eric. The detail and lighting are both terrific. What effort to achieve those effects!

    Myra
    Myra,

    Between the modeling and photography, you're correct; there is a fair amount of effort that went into the images. It’s been so much fun that I never really stepped back and realized that until you mentioned it.

    There are different types of model railroads, strictly prototypical, freelance and a combination of the two. The Platte Canyon RR is mostly freelance, but with a believable theme. Most of it is nothing more than a figment of my imagination. To visualize it, build it and complete the detail scenes and landscape scenery are a satisfying creative outlet. In some ways that satisfaction parallels the joys of photography. To combine the modeling and photography is a natural progression. Having folks like you enjoy the images is always a pleasure. Thanks again for the kind comments.

  10. #10

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    Re: Model Railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Very good images. One hobby melding into another.
    Thanks John,

    See the post above. It is a natural progression to combine the two hobbies.

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