What Do You Like?
Posted 24 July 2005 - 01:51 PM
Just a "food for thought" update.
This afternoon I'm relaxing with RE and tinkering along with the above steam powered route.
You read correctly, I said "relaxing with RE".
Sounds like a contradiction, no?
Actually, if you don't hit it like you're fighting a fire, then RE can be very enjoyable as you watch your world take shape. (I think Rich G can fully relate to that statement.) My trouble is, in the past I've lost perspective and begin to put in waaaay too many hard-fought hours in RE to get something done. (I think Rich G can fully relate to THAT statement, too!) Can't do that this time.
So what am I tinkering with?
Glad you asked. It's always fun to share about route concepts.
I'm building the track work for St. Paul, Arkansas, as well as temp-placing track at the location of a large sawmill down the track near Brashears, Arkansas. Both of these towns were on the Frisco's St. Paul Branch, and once the tracks arrived at Brashears from the south, I'm trying to use the general alignments of the St. Paul Branch. In fact, I'm also trying to capture the "flavor" of St. Paul using the scant few photos I have of the place during the target era, including the sweeping curves into and out of St. Paul, the depot location, and general spotting features of the town. After all, when I used to live in Huntsville, Arkansas, I would drive through St. Paul often on our way to points south and could view the few remnants of roadbed that existed at the time. (Has it been almost 20 years????)
St. Paul is to be the northernmost terminal of the route being modeled. There will be located the largest sawmill on the route. (A railroad history book of the region indicates that one mill was so large its whistle could be heard for 40 miles!) Also to be located there will be your usual line up of small town customers: A Team track, spurs for small industry and consumers, and so forth.
Last but certainly not least, just north of town will be the all-important connection with the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas, the line that heads north to connect with the Eureka Springs Railway (pre-StLNA, remember?) near Eureka Springs.
What's fun about this idea, is this era is long before "consolidation" within the fledgling railroad industry. There were short lines with grand aspirations that doted the countryside throughout NW Arkansas.
In this scenario in discussion, three of them have reached an agreement to expedite north/south shipments from the fertile flat lands of the Arkansas river valley to the interior of the northern Arkansas Ozarks. Those roads are:
* Mulberry River RR (fictional, only the connection is modeled.)
* Ozark Northern (modeled, based somewhat on reality)
* Eureka Springs & North Arkansas (An actual railroad, but fictional for the modeled region and era. Only the connection will be modeled.)
These three lines depend heavily on freight from the Iron Mountain & Southern (predecessor to the Mopac) connnection at Mulberry, Arkansas, with seasonal fruit headed north being the primary bridge traffic. In return, south out of the North Arkansas will come additional produce products, zinc, coal, and boxcar shipments.
Originating online for the Ozark Northern will be:
* Timber products (Several varieties.)
* Boxcar freight. (Several commodities.)
* Coal traffic. (The prototype coal seam has been shifted north a few miles. SHHH! Don't tell anyone.)
* And most important of all: Zinc. (Once again, the north Arkansas mineral belt has been relocated "slightly"... don't tell!)
In addition to all of the above, the Ozark Northern connects with the Black Mountain & Eastern at Cass, Arkansas. The BM&E is based on reality, and for the most part the mainline follows the route of the actual BM&E. (Note: The BM&E portion would be the second release of this concept.) The BM&E will connect with the Frisco at Combs, Arkansas. (Again, that is historical fact.)
Towns thus far are:
* Actual locations and names.
In addition to the above, there is a pass track or two that will need to be named, I will attempt to rely upon the regional topo maps to help with the name selection.
In all, it sounds to me that this "Ozark Lines" idea may be a lot of fun to pursue and see where it leads, does it not?
Well, all for now. Time to refill the iced tea... go raid the fridge... and perhaps saunter off to the Ozark mountains again. No hurry though, right? Nope... I'm just a'piddlin'.
Posted 24 July 2005 - 02:00 PM
Posted 24 July 2005 - 02:08 PM
Sounds interesting to me. As the robber baron in charge of the S scale South Ozark Lines, I have only one real suggestion for you: you might consider renaming the Ozark Northern to the North Ozark Lines, which abbreviates to NOL. I've often thought of a fictitious interchange between my SOL and the NOL -- the juxtaposition of the two acronyms might be a bit heavy handed though (NOL is an accounting acronym for Net Operating Loss).
However, seeing your listing a fictitious "Zinc City", I might suggest using the real town of Rush as a prototype. Turns out there is a website dedicated to Rush and its mines sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington no less!
Attached is a photo of the Morningstar Mill at Rush from around 1918. I don't have the url handy, but have it in the office.
Posted 24 July 2005 - 02:17 PM
Guess you were posting as I was, Bill!
I would very much appreciate the url to the Rush, Arkansas site. My oh my, Zinc City may have to grow a bit more to encompass such thriving industry!
Posted 24 July 2005 - 03:09 PM
Well the A&O was worth the wait and definitely did not disappoint.
(BTW, I have noticed it cropping up more and more at the other place with foreign power - clearly a favoured route to try new stock on).
Posted 24 July 2005 - 05:40 PM
I did have the URL here. After discussions with friend and geologist Leonard, it seems that the two mine photos shown are not only from different times, but of different locations, though within a short distance of one another.
Posted 24 July 2005 - 07:37 PM
Thanks for the url. Much appreciated.
It really isn't intended as a tease, more of just sharing with the troops as to what I'm playing with. However, I can certainly see how it could be viewed as a tease.
Unfortunately, no matter what I do, I simply won't be able to stay hooked up like I did with either the StLNA, or for sure, like I did with the A&O. My wife was about ready to give up on me near the end of the A&O development! I think she'd had become convinced that she lived with an android that's only purpose was to sit in front of the computer all night long each and every available evening!
Posted 24 July 2005 - 10:07 PM
Andre, I meant that in the nicest possible way of course - it is always good to have something new to look at and think about - no matter whether it comes to fruition - please don't stop sharing.
Posted 25 July 2005 - 04:56 PM
Fret thou not, I didn't take it the wrong way.
However, I do want to be careful to not be a "carrot dangler".
What all of you see/read here is simply the desire on my part to share. Somewhat of a "show and tell", if you will!
Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:01 AM
Seems that you`re in your Element again! I don`t know if I am uptodate now, because I stayed for some two weeks on holidays, but it seems another Ozark-line to be in your mind.
As I am by the time reading a book about the history of the D&H and its beginnings as a "gravity RR" the stuff seems quite interesting. Steep grades! I am loving them!!!! My garden-RR is running on
4% to 6%-grades. Perhaps also some quarries to serve???If you create this Short Line for the 1890ies will there be also an dieselized or steam/dieselized era to run it like on the A&O Sub???
Some S or RS Alco`s pulling wood and zinc-trains on 5 to 7 percent grades would be very fine.
I think Gaetan could provide some lovely Switchers for running the BM&E?!
Steam & Diesel-Route-era like on the St-L.&NA & A&OSub
Andre: What do you think about this thoughts?
All: What would you think about this?
Best regards from back home,
P.S:Creating a route Rich`s way step by step isn`t a bad idea
Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:00 AM
> Seems that you`re in your Element again!
That may very well be, Christian.
> I don`t know if I am uptodate now, because I stayed for some two weeks on holidays, but
> it seems another Ozark-line to be in your mind.
Well, as I developed that Rock Island at Enid, OK idea, I ran into the bane of building a large city: Object count and multiple tile density. I thought I could pull it off, but began to get disheartened as things progressed and I realized the degree of compromise that would need to be made.
> Steep grades! I am loving them!!!!
Though I mentioned this before, this would be a good time to restate that the main line grade on the Ozark Northern portion is 4%. One zinc spur reaches 4.19%. In operation, one would be coming down that spur with loaded zinc cars.
> Perhaps also some quarries to serve???
Yes, there will be a quarry or two.
> If you create this Short Line for the 1890ies will there be also an dieselized or
> steam/dieselized era to run it like on the A&O Sub??? ......
> .....Andre: What do you think about this thoughts?
Perhaps. It would depend on how many changes would be needed in order to keep it plausible. Keep in mind that during the TOC era, there WERE railroads in this region and the economies were booming. Not so later on. Drop dead date is 1937. That's when the last survivor pulled out. (i.e. The Frisco's St. Paul Branch.) To justify bringing such a economically depressed situation up to more modern operations might be a toughie. The prototype basis for the A&O Sub called it quits in 1960, the traffic was still there, but the owners (Salzberg's) decided they wanted out of the Arkansas & Ozarks shortline deal, so after a bridge washout (easily fixable), they filed for abandonment and got out. There was much less history to account for in between the demise of the prototype A&O and 1988, the target era for the A&O Sub.
Having said that, even the 1890s versions will have significant "license" employed to insure interesting operation (i.e. good play value.) So I guess one could argue the point that if I can embellish in one era, why not another? The time honored saying is: We shall see!
> P.S:Creating a route Rich`s way step by step isn`t a bad idea
Well, the current Ozark Lines concept is calling for two completely different railroads (routes) with a common junction town (Cass, Arkansas). The two would not be merged into one route. They would remain separate. You would either "work" for the Black Mountain & Eastern, or the Ozark Northern. You will see the AI trains of the other operating, but would only operate the trains on rails your company "owns" or has trackage rights to operate. (Which will be employed down at the Cass area.)
Well, all for now. Off to other things!
Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:57 AM
Thanks for your looooong answer! A deadline already in 1937 listens very sad as the great railway-closingdown in Europe has been taking part a bit later - mainly in the sixties and seventies.
Also unlike in the US steam-locos served in western Germany until 1977 in regular service. In the GDR until 1990. Narrow-gauge steamers are still in regular service because of this...
But back to the theme:
Seems very very interesting what is growing in your head! The steep grades and serving the mining biz is a thing which let my interest grow and grow because its my favored RR-biz.
Which type of rolling material you want to use? Americans, Moguls, Consolidations (I like them very much), or even Shays?!
...or even some tanklocos which normally have been very rare in the U.S.
Some passenger traffic also would be very nice with people standing around in late 19th-centaury style.
What would be really fine for a route in this time are horse drawn vehicles with animated pulling horses and some riders filling the streets. I don`t know if this is too difficult to create but it would be really great.
This would really round up the real 19th-centaury-feeling.
What do you think about the horses?
Best regerds, Christian
Posted 27 July 2005 - 01:45 PM
I was feeling verbose, today.
> Europe.... Narrow-gauge steamers are still in regular service...
Unbelievable! Still in revenue service!
I guess those of us in the USA still have narrow gauge steam in service, too: Tourist service.
> But back to the theme:
> Seems very very interesting what is growing in your head!
Well, the theme I'm looking at is definitely not the hot ticket for trying to pile up sales upon sales... but it looks to be something that I can enjoy the challenge of building. Plus, those that like steam-oriented routes will find it to be quite a change of pace from any other steam routes... even the StLNA! There is no comparison between the topography of this region of the Ozarks, and that of the StLNA. (The contours in this portion of the Ozarks could pass for areas in Colorado. Differences would be in trees/vegetation and rock/terrain content.) The operating scenarios will also be totally different as well.
> Which type of rolling material you want to use? Americans, Moguls, Consolidations
I would pattern the equipment after the prototypes of the region. This could include locomotives that are purchased second hand from the most ready source: The Frisco. (This was the case for the prototype Black Mountain & Eastern.) Using the regional roads as guidelines for extrapolation, then the following locomotives would be used: 2-6-0; 2-8-0; 4-6-0.
The American wheel arrangement would be too light to work these grades and a prototype with such grades typically passed on purchasing such wheel arrangements. (To wit: The CM.)
No Shay's would be anticipated. The nearest Shay's that operated in the Arkansas Ozarks was over near Leslie, Arkansas on the Williams Cooperage Company logging lines. (BTW, the Williams logging line connected with the StLNA.)
> Some passenger traffic also would be very nice with people standing around in late
> 19th-centaury style.
Yes, passenger traffic would be accomodated this time around. Yes, there will need to be people.
> What do you think about the horses?
Preparations are already underway to include horses and wagons. IMHO, these are very important elements that also need to be addressed this time around as well. Sorry, there are no plans to attempt animating them.
> This would really round up the real 19th-centaury-feeling.
Exactly. If I'm going to do this, then I want to try to do it up right and really capture the look and atmosphere of the 1890's in the Ozarks.
All indications thus far is that this project is do-able. I don't anticipate a problem area in regards to excessive object counts, though some adjoining tiles will be quite heavy. Neither are there any GWV issues. The main challenge will be the same for any route: Building the additional objects it will need (I figure it will need twice the amount of objects as was used in the StLNA) and placing about 25,000 to 30,000 items!!
Sheesh... I'm going to have to quit quoting route building statistics... makes me wanna' throw in the towel already!
Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:43 PM
Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:11 PM
Eureka Springs remains one of my favorite locations because of the amount of remaining Victorian era buildings there. A couple of years ago, I did a clinic titled "Towns in Almost No Space" that focused on some of the ways that buildings in that town were fitted to the difficult terrain. I think the Victorian architects are often under-rated for their clever solutions to difficult problems. This is great material for modelers who seldom have enough room to fit in a town. Beautiful, rugged country, somewhat like Colorado, but with trees.
Posted 28 July 2005 - 09:09 AM
You heard right: In Germany you still find steampower on ng-trains in regularly service.
Just two links of former Deutsche Reichsbahn (GDR) state-run and now private operated RRs:
Left overs of comunism but still running!
Yeah, this about "old Europe" in the truest sense of word...
Rugged country with trees at your new idea seems quite interesting. Seems that you already got your first customer interested in this route.
You`re drawing a quite lively and picturesque picture of the golden times of railroading in the Ozarks. As grown up in the prealps of Bavaria I liked already the A&O like the St.L.&NA very well. But this listens even better...
With the picture you drawed, I think you`ll be opening a new territory of trainsim-world. There are already some routes around the time you want to build it but none with either people or even horses standing around.The only MSTS-route with riders so far is the "Donner-Pass" which dates around 1950.
You`ll make trainsimming really entering another time which passed so long a go that even the greatgrandfathers of my generation (I am 27 years old) can`t remind this time without cars, electric light, telephone, dirt roads or even running water.
A feeling just no one of us ever had. As a (now) studied historian I like this proposes route from day to day more and more. Its simply fascinating entering railroading in times even the most grandfathers of us can`t remember.
As you wrote that the BM&E is "doable" I am really looking forward for it.
Best regards from Bavaria,
Posted 28 July 2005 - 10:17 PM
Andre, that is a lovely model. Got the connection but it also reminds me very much of a sawmill that my father made, out of balsa wood, for my model railway about 42 years ago .
Happy memories (but making me a bit damp eyed!) - that was my favourite building (he was a pretty good modeller) and the whole scene had so much atmosphere - just like the lmini dioramas you have put together on the StL&NA and the A&O. Wish he was alive to see what can be done now - he would be truly amazed (he was working on computers in the very early days - punch cards!- & was fascinated with what could be done on number crunching - he would never have believed that one day modelling like this could be carried out - he would have been in there and at it ).
Thanks for sharing Andre.
Posted 29 July 2005 - 02:57 PM
Heart warming anecdote.
"With the picture you drawed, I think you`ll be opening a new territory of trainsim-world."
I understand there is a freeware route that was done in the "wild west" style, but I haven't downloaded it. However, the Ozark Lines route project(s) will be nothing like the "wild west". The area and look is more like a subdued Colorado Rockies without the silver and gold.
I hope the enjoyment continues of tackling the challenge of creating such a distinct atmosphere in a route. At this point I am thoroughly enjoying tinkering with it.
BTW, here's another little tidbit that I've created for it recently...
Posted 31 July 2005 - 06:29 AM
What a lovely turntable! I just came back from some time in Maine to find these wonderful threads! (Sorry, Tom W, that I didn't drop in. But I needed a break from railroading and had a maritime jones, so to speak ...)
Andre: listen to your good spouse. But, if you find the time to dribble out to your loyal fans these 1890 wonders, we would be ever so grateful. This theme is perfect - little engines, steep grades, raw little towns. Your beta count should be low too because all of the hills were bare of trees. Nothing but stumps and brush.
I've chattered on enough in this forum about the wonders of Ozark TOC, so I'll let it rest.