Actually this is a Coyote. This guy visited me one day when I was out rail fanning (foaming).
I have not stopped planning for the new model railroad layout. I have been thinking about it a lot. Thinking and doing however are two different things, and I really haven't been doing much. I have been tweaking with some track plans in Trainz 12, but only minimally. I have also been working on the back story, but again, finding the time to sit down and write creatively is often difficult. My Tekkit server has taken off again, with new applications in the works. Problem is that this ends up being a time sink for me, and a distraction from my current primary goals. Sure Tekkit is fun and all, but its not a long term project like this.
A quick note about the Tekkit server before getting too off topic; The server itself is working in the 80% to 100% processor usage range these days. It is barely getting by. I do need to upgrade the server to something better, but not sure when that will be possible. Also my business class internet connection has been iffy lately. I am not overly happy with Time Warner Business Class, and have made them aware as such. I still haven't heard back from them regarding this however. So in any case, things may not last at this rate.
Back to the model railroad; I have been working on a name. I wanted to keep it in line with 'RWL' or something similar, as I like to keep those initials, and I know that they are unused in the prototypical North American railroad roster. I was thinking Road Wolf Rail Lines would be good, but apparently I am taking the whole Road Wolf thing too far. Another option was Regal Western Logistics. I am still not decided and maybe I should leave those details until after I have the track plan made up, and some more understanding of the back story. Perhaps in the back story itself, we will find a good name.
The basic theme will be that this large trucking company purchased the line from CN as CN's service on he line was lacking, and the line was in poor condition. With CN Focusing more on its international routes, it jumped at the chance to get rid of some of its less profitable lines. The problem is, this isn't a line which will not be profitable. Diving straight into the Sand Oil heartland, and beyond towards Diamond country, this line, and the extensions which will be built by the trucking company will provide vital services and transportation to much of Canada's North West.
At this point it is looking like it will be mostly a point to point to point system, perhaps with half of it double decked. Part of the system will feature some mountains, part will feature farmland, and part will feature boreal forest. I would like to include Prince Rupert (Port City), Prince George (Major branch line for Lumber), Dawson Creek, Peace River, Hay River. That being said I am still working out a realistic, yet fictional route.
Some have asked me why I haven't decided to model anything locally. Truth be told I did attempt this a while back when I was first getting into N Scale. The problem is that I am looking to model a somewhat realistic and plausible modern railroad. It is not plausible for Buffalo, NY to be the focus of any major railroad operations. There is no industry here capable of warrenting that much rail attention. And the amount of existing rail infrastructure in the city is staggering when compared to how much rail traffic the city currently generates. It is also a trans continental route for CSX, and thusly mostly through trains pass the city. Norfork Southern has an interchange yard with Canadian Pacific here, and then you have Buffalo Southern and BPRR which services the south town industries. The BPRR would make a good layout, but will not nearly generate enough traffic for Buffalo alone to warrent a route. There are a few indusries remaining in Niagara Falls however, and I have considered that, however they are all serviced by CSX, and I really don't like the look of CSX's paint scheme.
Having never been in a Model Railroad club, I do not really know what to expect here. Or rather, what is expected of me. I assume that there would be set club meeting days, and annual fees and such? I also assume some aspects of the operation would require votes and a majority consent. i.e. changes to paint schemes, or track plans? I imagine that there would be a log to log how much each member has contributed to the club on building and project days (not just operating days), and use that to adjust club annual rates according to their donated time? And I imagine some members would be given after hours access to the layout.
In any case I do like the idea of a club for this layout. That was its original plan, to be a layout built for social operating sessions.
I am thinking that like most events, only 80% of the people will show up 50% of the time. So since the layout is being built to accomidate 4 train crews, 2 yards, a dispatcher, and possibly a staging track attendant, that would easily be 8 people. Which I could see being able to comfortably fit up in that room. I would say the maximum occupancy would be 12, which would be tight, but allow for each train to have a conductor and engineer.
That being said, I would like to aim for about 16 or so members being a fair amount. So how much should annual dues be?
These and other issues like legalities will be investigated in the coming month.