For years, I’ve studied the SR&RL, and dreamed an exacting representation. But as life continues, and I lack a layout, one has to wonder how exact one needs. My introduction to the Maine 2-Footers came from HOn30 C&DR of Bob Hayden and Dave Frary. That layout had very little exacting Maine 2-Foot prototype in it. The C&DR is more fantasy than realism. It hints at the Maine 2-Footers but fails to be in anyway accurate. It’s artwork with limited historic accuracy.
Jack Burgess was one of my model railroad heros. His Yosemite Valley railroad is exacting to prototype it is very perfecting. The YV inspired me to believing I could try the same for the SR&RL. But after years, I’m not sure that aspiring to a Jack Burgess Sn2 SR&RL will ever happen. Aiming beyond my abilities and time is getting in the way of having a layout.
Then comes along Doug Tasgold’s and his C&S. It clearly rooted in the C&S up the Clear Creek, but it’s exacting. Visitors can feel the history and learn about the C&S of 1929. But Doug, one of the hobby’s most prolific layout builders, did not let exacting hold him back. His trackplan is prototypical, his equipment looks the part, his scenery is fantastic, and his operations are captivating. However, accepted compromise and used uses illusion in achieving his objectives and to achieve it in a lifetime (actually just 5 years or so).
Doug’s layout gives me hope that I can move forward on the Sn2 SR&RL, or at least I should give 2022 to try moving forward! If Doug can use HO track and equipment for 1:72n3, then I could be OK with a Blackstone K27 or Blackstone trucks or some other compromises…
(As of January, the video has over 1K views! Consider liking it if you take a look, I’m curious how many views It can get too!)
My gateway was also the C&DR. What I find so fascinating about it, and similar layouts and similar layout builders is how their familiarity with their chosen prototypes meant they could create layouts that always felt right and that sense of correctness that greeted the viewer was so complete that it never invited one to look deeper below the surface.
It’s almost like we’re in a dance with our layout and modelling projects. There are decisions we can make that enrich our creative fuel and that propels us toward our goals. That we could relax a few decisions, for short term, if that means that the substitutions we make bring us closer to our goals. That’s something Doug Tagsold is doing so well in his C&S layout and Frary and Hayden did so well with their C&DR — reply to our expectations with silhouettes that feel right. I’m already rambling along way too long in this comment so would close with my belief that we invest our energy into our work and that is stored in what we create. The very personal choices Tagsold, Frary, and Hayden have made leave behind something that feels right because its charged with the evidence of their decisions and, crazy as this probably sounds, we get that when we look at their work. It could be that this kind of investment into the work is why sometimes things that aren’t precise still feel right where other work that is more technically correct feels more cold and the absence of that emotional rightness (sorry) is almost a greater cost that just not having it “right” in the first place.
Some Blackstone or similar power would be a wonderful investment in this way. We only live so long and only have so much energy. It’s exciting to think how those kinds of decisions would line up shifting energy into things that aren’t so easy to patch across and collectively the entire body of work moves forward again.
Sorry for the ramble.
Chris, I’m glad this post hit you at a good time. I will say you’re thinking about this much deeper than me. I think all three layouts I mention are pleasurable. I’m trying to reduce my thinking at start doing. So, I’ll comment to emphases being a doer rather than a dreamer as I want to get a model railroad (I’ve been in this house for 15+ years, I thought I’d be operating my layout by now). To get a “Maine 2-Foot Style” layout Haden and Frary made compromises that push the layout towards Fantasy or Whimsy. To get an accurate Yosemite Valley, Jack Burgess made no compromises (but he was not required, as he works in HO standard gauge, and someone made brass versions of his most needed locos). Doug seems to be the perfect fit for me to “do” the SR&RL in Sn2. Actually, he probably made many more compromises than I’ll make. I will say that Doug probably has some freelancing (fantasy) going on, which seems to make the layout “fun for him”. I’ll too will probably stretch time and freelance just of few things for fun. OK…Enough, I’m going back to doing. Doing gets the mojo going. Sometimes we need to grind it out.