Roadwolf's portal for his random thoughts and ponderings

Dream of Model Railroads?


I had a rather interesting dream recently. It was a dream where I had progressed significantly on my model railroad to the point of having it almost completed. It was a wonderful accomplishment, and I was so proud of myself for the work I had put into it. Maybe this means I should focus more on this project of mine?

The dream involved a huge layout. I recall steam trains, and a generally flat layout with poorly done scenery. The mainline wove around the layout, with many industries tightly packed around it. I do recall a end of line interchange which seemed to be in other dreams. It was a created image of the Ontario Northland interchange in Newmarket with CN.

The inspiration for even wanting to create a model railroad, involved a co-worker, who was big into the local railroads in the Buffalo area. My original plan was to model the South Buffalo, or Buffalo Southern railway. Or BPRR. In any case, upon doing much research on the topic, I decided that the BPRR, outside of Buffalo, didn't have too many industries to make a long balanced mainline practical.

Ontario Northland

Yes, yes... I was going to do an Ontario Northland themed railroad. I still do love the lore and story behind the Ontario Northland.

The Ontario Northland is a railroad which serves much of Northern Ontario, as the name would suggest. One of the unique things about this railroad, is that it is a modern industrial resource based railroad, but it also operates its own passenger services. It is one of the few rail services left in North America where you can hop on a passenger train in the middle of nowhere, just by flagging it down trackside. Check out the video:

I really did enjoy the services that such a railroad offered. To me this is railroading. I was focusing on this for a while, and even produced some custom made locomotives for the N Scale layout I was working on.



Yeah they are kinda sloppy, but it was my first attempt. Plus I was encouraged to use enamel paint by the same co-worker who got me involved in model railroading. I really did want to try to use an airbrush, but he said it was too difficult. Maybe for his lack of ability, but I imagine I could of done a nicer job. As a side note, it is comical that he claims he got out of model railroading because 'everyone else in the hobby is too picky on what your trains should look like.' He complained that people would pick on flaws about his locomotives or whatever... but then, he turns around and picks on the locomotives I painted. Typical hypocrite, I suppose. In any case, when it comes down to it, I still like how they look, even tho they aren't perfect, and I may end up still keeping them painted this way...

But back in 2013 or so, news came around that the government were planning on divesting the railroad. The political climate became quite ugly, and the provincial government even did everything they could to remove that video above from existence. My plan at the time was to follow the history of the railroad, and keep up to date with any changes. So, with the threat of the railroad being sold off, I changed my mind and decided to work on some backstory for a prototypical, but fictional freelanced railway.



I was juggling names around in my mind. Roadwolf Rails? meh... I was told by someone that such a name was too egotistical and that I shouldn't name my projects after my own nick names. I may however decide to name it Scajaquada Rails (a bit of an inside joke there I suppose)... That being said I had begun working on a backstory and some lore. I was planning on writing an actual novel to provide backstory to the line, but I never really got finished. It was an odd plotline anyhow. Looking back on it, it was during my phase of heavier wolf role-play, and the plot was going to be based on a 6th sense based connection between a wolf, and a man. It was very much based in Therian beliefs, and the wolf, whom lived in this valley which an old rail line passed through, was going to guide this man to help him rebuild this rail line somehow. In later developments of the plot, the wolf ended up being a female, and would transform to become his female business partner... Yeah it was kinda strange. But the basic idea was that a guy who owned a Northern Trucking company in Northern British Columbia, decided to find a better way to transport goods, as the weather, and mountains were taking a tool on his truck fleet. And so he was guided towards looking at an old rail right of way which was long abandoned. Since the right of way traveled between two of his major ports of call, he decided to give it a short and invested in purchasing the rights to the railroad, and bought a few used switchers. The track was mostly still there, but needed a lot of work.

So this lays the foundation for what I view the model railroad layout to be based upon. Originally it would start out with rough trackage, and would need to be upgraded with better trackage, and signaling. How the layout modernizes depends on the industries it begins to serve and the carloads it can handle.

I have worked on many plans for this layout, and while they all seem interesting, I really don't think that any are what I am looking for. At the end of the day, I believe that what I need to do, is just build the basic framework, and scratch build a mainline, and go from there. Branch off from it wherever I need to, and try to make it interesting.

So... I think I do like the idea of just going for it.

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