Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:57 PM
As I spent some time tonight importing markers, adding tiles, and creating the terrain needed in order to have a look at the St. Paul Branch AND the Black Mountain & Eastern in the Route Editor (see the "A Lil' Peek" thread)... something dawned on me again:
The BM&E would be an anachronism. That is, I am aiming at the 1900's. (Mentally aiming at the EARLY 1900's... like even 1898-1905, that sort of thing.) BUT... the BM&E didn't come into existence until 1912.
Okay, I readily accept that I have other anachronisms in this effort. Mainly, it's due to simply not having the last word in factual evidence as to when a track was in place, removed, ad infinitum. However, I AM trying to make this a "sincere" effort. That is, for this to be acceptably accurate historically. But inaccuracies will be present. However, those anachronisms that fall under this criteria would be found in definition number 1: Simply errors based on lack of knowledge and/or data.
IF I knowingly include the 1912 era BM&E in an early 1900's route... then now we're talking definition number 2.
Wow, I would HATE to lose the Black Mountain & Eastern. (You can't imagine how rugged the terrain was that it went through. And yes, the terrain rendered beautifully in MSTS.)
BUT... I don't want to move the effort to 1912. If I did, the engines, rolling stock, vehicles (horse n' buggy vs autos) and other things, are just "wrong" for my tastes. In addition, there are some other historical features that I want to avoid. (Such as the Union Station at Fort Smith. Including the Union Station setting would increase the object count significantly at Fort Smith.)
Moving to 1912 is out.
Sooo... what say ye faithful? If you were in my shoes, would you accept a KNOWN anachronism that was a few years off for the good of the whole? OR, would you leave Mill Creek Hollow, Summit, and the rugged Black Mountain rail-less for the sake of KNOWN "accuracy"?
I wait with bated breath to hear the collective wisdom of this illustrious V scale community.
Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:46 PM
Also, this section of line would only be a good thing in increasing the bang for buck, should you decide to release the project when it's done. 99% of the time you won't notice it's in, unless you are traversing the point where the line physically branches off. The only issue is, are you going to include motor cars, or horse transport in the car spawner? To be done accurately, a lot of things would be recognisably 1912 vintage, creating an interesting transition situation where the two eras merge.
One option is to take the protolancing approach where you 'build' the line a few years earlier. Nothing will change in the overall feel of the route, except the rails extending off the 'mainline' through the mountains. It will still be the same year as the rest of the route is set in, and the characteristics of the railroad operationally will be tailored to that year as well.
I can't see a downside to including it, if you include the protolancing factor. The Ozark Northern was built on this, and it was released, and well received. What's the harm in changing 'history' just slightly? It won't be enough to affect more than a very small area in the existing route, and it would generate some extra operational potential which would most likely be overwhelmingly well received.
Just my $0.02 worth
Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:14 AM
Honestly, I don't see the issue. Modeling a little later will still get you all the older stuff in the precious years.
That's my 2 cents worth...
Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:01 AM
I am with SAR704 with this, if you really like that branch and the area it rund through then protolance it being built earlier, say 1900 instead of 1912.
Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:20 AM
This doesn't help with the BM&E...but if you do model '12 there's all kinds of iconic structures in downtown FSM that would be within close eye site of the trackage. The "red light" district would be one, FNB's main building was under-construction in '12 is another. Next time I'm down at FSTM I'll see if I can find those records for the depot/bridge.
Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:48 AM
You could always put a small sign at the beginning of the BM&E saying "Entering 1912 time warp". That would make it "official"!!!
Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:12 PM
AH... input. THANKS! Lemme' git to it...
The BM&E conundrum:
It's cool to see how some of you would handle the situation. Your time and effort to offer viewpoints from other than my perspective is helpful.
Gotta' admit, I'm leaning toward just including the BM&E, still retain my early 1900's mindset, and the let the dead-on, drop-dead "correct" time frame be damned. Aside from the hand full of V scalers that frequent this forum, whom else will know?
After all, YOU didn't until last night!!!
Now, understand that I want to stay in the early 1900's in this region because:
* The Frisco still had older power and rolling stock everywhere. I don't want to account for the modern-looking stuff that started coming onto the equipment rosters in a major way during the mid-late 1900's. I like slide valves, wood cabs, arched and peaked cab roofs, right hand side air compressors, oil and/or carbon arc headlights, smaller power. These were still very much on the roster and being used daily in the early 1900's. Such equipment was being bumped in a hurry as the bigger Consolidateds, Ten Wheelers, Pacifics, Mikes, and other "new" stuff started arriving. That is NOT the era I want to reflect, motive power wise.
* I like the supporting cast better. That is, I LIKE only horse n' buggies being around. I like the "look" and atmosphere they add to a scene. I intentionally want to avoid having to account for early automobiles. My period photos of Fort Smith indicate those didn't start making their appearance in Ft. Smith until the later 1900's. I also like the wooden false front buildings that were EVERYWHERE out in the small towns, and can still be seen in Ft. Smith in some of the pictures. I also want to have riverboats alongside the shores of the Arkansas River at Fort Smith. This too, faded fast after the turn of the century.
* Zack is right: Fort Smith changes significantly during the later end of the 1900's. I want to avoid many of those changes, again building a case for sticking with the early 1900's.
I shall retain my early 1900's target date... yet indulge myself and incorporate the BM&E. Let it be written and let it be done.
Now, THAT decided... here's some RE pics of the terrain the BM&E will have to conquer in order to get to Cass.
IF you have the Ozark Northern... you're in for a surprise if I get the BM&E portion finished and released. The prototype BM&E never built their "easier" way into Cass, such as I modeled in the Ozark Northern. Nope, they had 5%-6% switchbacks and really stiff grades down the OTHER side of Black Mountain into Cass. A small Mogul had to struggle to get a handful of cars up/down the grades and into Cass. It will be operation like you haven't had to contend with in MSTS to date!
Anyway... a pic...
Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:22 AM
Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:23 PM
As I wait for Sunday's field trip to Rogers, AR... last night I was in RE and laying track on the St. Paul Branch. Currently, the rails are just past Harris, MP 362.7. In simpler terms: 8.4 miles of St. Paul Branch rail were laid last night.
However, I'm holding up laying rail on the St. Paul Branch on account of I have just re-established contact with a fellow historian I was acquainted with a long time ago. (We have a shared interest in the railroads of the region.) Anyway, "Tom" has MAPS and TRACK CHARTS of not only the St. Paul Branch, but also the Black Mountain & Eastern (later Combs Cass & Eastern).
Now HOW COOL IS THAT????
Sooo... if I continue plopping down rail... why go back and modify previously laid tracks that were "guesstimated" when I can have details of the real deal to work with? (Tom and I are working out how to go about getting a set of both to me.)
Only thing is: Now I'm stymied ... and I want to see the St. Paul Branch furthered!!!
Oh well. Here's a couple of pics from the St. Paul Branch. Below you'll find a couple shots of Delaney, Arkansas from waaaay "back when". Today... there is basically NOTHING at Delaney. Not so my era. See? By backdating... I get to have towns where there ain't nuttin' now... thriving railroads where now there's only traces of empty roadbed... industry... don't 'cha love this TOC19 thang?
What you're lookin' at:
In the first pic: The railroad is not discernable on the left. However, note all the hustle and bustle and horse n' wagons!
Second pic: Down the road from the above pic, and turned 180 degrees. Note in the dark area to the right you can discern the shape of the depot (see the white station board?), and see evidence of rail roadbed.
Posted 26 February 2011 - 09:38 PM
Got word from "Tom" that he handed off the St. Paul Branch track plans to friend Dave McDonald of Fort Smith today while the two of them attended the Bentonville (Arkansas) model train meet. I will be picking up said plans from Dave tomorrow afternoon or evening, depending on how our schedule goes. REALLY looking forward to viewing such historic documents for a line that I have been interested in for a long time. Also received Tom's textual history of the Black Mountain & Eastern via email. More good information!
The Virtual Version:
Late this afternoon after getting home from running the Ft. Smith/Winslow passenger train, as soon as practical after eating supper, I opened up RE, the Frisco Lines... and started pushing rails eastward on the St. Paul Branch.
I laid rails from Harris, through Elkins, and on to the edge of Durham. This now means that there's 15.3 miles of St. Paul Branch in place. Only 25.6 miles to St. Paul!
The line starts changing personality at Durham. Up to now, it has been running through the wide areas of the White River valley, so there's been 1-2 mile runs of tangent to the curves. At Durham, the mountains start getting taller and begin closing in, so the valley gets narrower. In addition, the line has to start running alongside the White River at times. This means the twists and turn sections commence. It typically takes longer to put rails through twists and turns than across open expanse. However, even the open expanse was a bit time consuming because the floor of the valley isn't exactly "flat". Being a branch line, the rail rises and falls in roller coaster fashion with short grades in the .5% to 1.3% range. It takes time to fit the rails realistically to the undulating valley floor. It's worth it though!
Welp... all for now. Really looking forward to seeing that track chart!!
Of course, you can depend on me sharing my findings on said chart with you right here in VSC land!
Posted 27 February 2011 - 06:35 PM
As suspected, the track chart is NOT from my target era of the early 1900's. It is dated 1925. By that date on the St. Paul Branch, almost all timber-related industries were in decline, and many gone. The boom was well past. Thus, any short-term spurs to mills or such, for the most part, are not present on the chart. So, by this time the towns with tracks had only sidings with no auxiliary track(s).
The BM&E/CC&E is represented at Cass... but appears to be at variance with hard copy of a Sanborn map of Combs I have in my BM&E folder. I will have to study in more detail when I arrive at Combs.
However, the chart does help to orient which side of the track the original pass tracks were on, as well as some other data. Sooo... it IS helpful... just not as detailed/specific to my era as I had hoped.
Expect there to be a few team tracks at some towns, along with spurs to small mills added as per some of the written history I have of the area that was reflecting the boom times from the early 1890's into the early 1900's.
All for now... it's off to RE!!!
Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:25 AM
Andre, I know I speak for others when I say that I can appreciate your running commentary as you recreate the Frisco. And I can appreciate your fidelity to Sanborn charts over in-house charts from the 20's. The USRA era changed everything - almost as dramatically as the Great Depression. From the 20's, one is left with a shadow of what you are trying to model. Branches like the St. Pauls went from from being the lifeblood of a community to the marginal role they would inherit until torn up in the second half of the 20th.
Thanks for sticking to all the crazy little spurs, wyes on bridges and what not.
Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:45 PM
Well, you know me: I get a kick out of sharing progress or random musings concerning things railroading (as well as some off topic stuff) here.
In all, this project is taking on a life of its own. I know I will have to be careful or it will become such an obsession to get the rails in place that it will detract from the fun of it.
However... nothing to speak of has been accomplished on this project over the last several days due to overall busyness and 6 day work weeks.
BUT... I DO have an update in the "Lil' Peek" thread that I'm heading off to add after I click to post this one!