Thou shalt not covet.
During this time of Thanksgiving, we take time to be grateful for all we have and to appreciate all the little and big ways we've been blessed. Long-time readers of this blog have seen me go on (and on) about how wonderful it is to live where I do, how nice a space I have, how loving and supportive my wife is. And all of that is - and continues to be - true. But they say confession is good for the soul. So here goes:
I want Jim DuFour's model railroad.
Jim's layout depicts the Cheshire Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad c. 1947-1951 and is one of the best examples of how a model railroad can be used to transport us to a different time and place. It has everything I want in a model railroad: great scenery - true to the geography of the places modeled, flawless operation - even of finicky brass steam engines, and the highest fidelity to all aspects of this particular section of the B&M, from the signal types used to the particular type of guardrail used along Route 12 in southern New Hampshire. And he's done it all by modeling 5 consecutive towns in a fraction of the space I have available. His exhaustive research and obvious skill have created a world where it doesn't take much imagination at all to believe you've taken a time machine and landed right in the middle of a Philip Hastings photograph. Except better - you can interact with the world Jim's created. And it's in color.
Jim and I met at the NE ProtoMeet a couple years ago and discovered right away that we were on almost-identical paths modeling wise - the only difference being that he's modeling a B&M branchline and I'm modeling a New Haven RR branchline. Well, that and he's obviously much more talented and further along than I am. But it's been really cool to discover how similar our mindsets are and what we want to accomplish with our modeling.
Since I'd been a distant admirer of his layout for a while, I took a chance when I heard that he was having an open house and all-but-invited myself over, dropping Bill's name (hoping that would help rather than hurt :). I needn't have worried though, he graciously extended an invitation to visit and see the layout in person.
I took almost
There's a fine line between inspiration and discouragement. All too often, my reach exceeds my grasp and I've sometimes wondered if I've taken on too much. But seeing the Cheshire Branch in person reminds me of what can be accomplished and that motivates me to keep going with my own effort.
In the meantime though, please pardon my occasional covetousness.
And enjoy this little taste of southern New Hampshire in the summer of 1948...
|Symbol freight headed out of State Line westbound (compass northwest toward Bellows Falls, VT).|
|The next town on the line is Fitzwilliam, NH|
|Westbound freight rounding the bend, approaching Troy.|
|Local freight stopped at the Troy station for orders.|
|Later, near dusk, symbol freight BX-1 westbound through Troy, NH|
|Westbound with Mt. Monadnock in the background|
|The cuts at Troy Ledges|
|After Troy Ledges, the next station is Webb. The eastbound local is waiting on the siding.|
|Just west of Webb|