A new railroad is born

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by moria, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. moria

    moria Member

    Greetings all :)

    okay, my model railroading dilemma.. As a new ex-pat in Canada, I have no history of the railroads here, or the technical details that growing up and modelling in the UK gave me for my hobby, so what's a person to do.. spend ages doing research, or... invent a fictional railroad for my modelling.

    Not that I have a problem doing the research, its just that 40 years of absorbing the minutae of one Railway shows me how much information there is to research to do something correctly :)

    Well, fictional model railroading appears to be quite common over here, so the next step was a name and a colour scheme.

    Then the idea struck me... why not use existing knowledge of colour schemes, and what a real railway did as the basis.. in fact, if there are already transfers to scale for modelling that real railway, then so much the better because that will allow a professional looking finish and number and name plates are already available. This is also historically easier to justify if the railway name was originally used in Canada but got absorbed into another company..

    Therefore I hereby launch and announce the re-birth of a new railroad in Canada.. the HO version of the Great Western Railway of Canada.

    The loco scheme will be brunswick green with "Great Western" along the side in Gold, shaded Red. Bumper beams front and back will be signal red for warning and visibility with the loco number on them in Yellow/Gold.

    Fittings such as Bell, whistle etc will be polished brass.

    Passenger Locomotives will all be named based on Class such as Hall Class, Castle Class, Saint Class etc etc.

    Cabside number plates will be Brass castings with a black background.

    Railway buildings will be done in a contrasting combination of Dark and Light Stone.

    I guess this will have little interest to most, but it was such a monumental decision for my model railroading that I wanted to put the ideas into words somewhere, and with apologies to UK GWR modellers :)

    I will start a repaint of my first loco this week and will post photos when finished and will be updating my avatar picture to represent the crest of the Railway company.

    Now I have a whole new aspect to my models.. the invention of the history and background of my Model Railroad empire. (All I need now is an imagination :) )

  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Great news Graham. Looking forward to your photos. The colour scheme sounds very nice.
    Canada needs a new railroad.
  3. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Sounds like a plan Graham! :thumb:

    There are actually a lot of Brits over here modelling British railways, but I think it's neat you decided to model Canadian. I bet you are going to find yourself delving into local rail history despite yourself, as you search for routes for your new road. You will be up against 2 giants of the RR industry in CN and CP!! :eek:

    Now if you're going modern you could think about a shortline that took over some of CN's abandoned lines. If you're going transition or earlier it could just be a regular shortline. Have you any idea what part of Canada you're going to set your railway in?

    As a rough (and by no means comprehensive) guide you have logging in BC, grain (and more recently oil) in Alberta and Saskatchewan, coal in northern Ontario, Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, mining (zinc, iron ore, copper, asbestos) in Quebec, nickel in Sudbury Ont. and the industrial corridor of Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton. Modern times have intermodel facilities in Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto as well. Vancouver is the point of entry for shipping from the Orient.

    I could go on, but I don't want to overwhelm you! LOL!

    Anyway, it sounds like a great start. Have fun and keep us posted. Also, I notice you are in Toronto, my neck of the woods. There are some train shows coming up in the spring and perhaps we could get together. There's also one this weekend in Barrie Ont. that Robin, Will Annand and I will be attending on Sunday.

    Drop me a PM if you want to hook up.

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    It really is not much of a stretch... many of Canada's railways (not railroads :)) were started by Brits/Scots. Some of the original equipment was brought over from the UK, although it proved somewhat unsuitable so "homegrown" stuff took over quite quickly.

    It is easily believable that someone from the original GWR came to Canada to tart a similar venture. Val has listed some high-level ideas as to why they might have done so.

    Let us know what you come up with...!

  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    I got to keep my eye on this progress mate.
    Good stuff.
    And I like Green. :thumb:
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Will it have been converted from 7' gauge at some point?
    I remember someone in Ottawa had an RDC painted GW. I have an F unit painted chocolate, cream and green; also a few coaches in Brunswick.
    My own layout, the Perth and Exeter, is versatile: it can be a major British railway or one that runs the length of Ontario. Or a small Scottish line with ambition!
    I think Ontario's GW ran West from Hamilton to London to Windsor; it's now the CN line. I'll check the details later.
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    David, I like the sounds of that!! Versatility is a good thing. :thumb:

  8. moria

    moria Member

    Thanks for the comments all :)

    OK, heres the history so far.. I have seriously mixed fact and fiction here to try and get a good historical basis for the railway, and answer some of the ideas posed by Val and others as to "What is the basis and location" :)

    The London and Gore Railroad Co, incorporated 6 May 1834, changed its name to the Great Western Rail Road Co in 1845 and to the Great Western Railway in 1853. Promoted by lawyer-politician Allan Napier Macnab and more significantly by Hamilton merchants Isaac and Peter Buchanan, R.W. Harris and John Young, and aided by government guarantees, the railway attracted sufficient American and British capital to open its main line (Niagara Falls-Hamilton-London-Windsor) in Jan 1854. By 1882 it operated 1280 km of track throughout SW Ontario and 288 km in Michigan.

    Under Charles John Brydges's aggressive management, the railway enjoyed initial financial success, but following the depression of 1857 it suffered as a result of careless construction, rapid expansion, increased local competition and protracted internal managerial conflict.

    The railway was responsible for building the first railway suspension bridge at Niagara to link the Railroads of the USA in the North-East to those of Canada to allow interchange between those countries.


    While the railway helped to stimulate and integrate the local economy, it also relied for 40-60% of its gross revenue on through American traffic between New York and Michigan states. As American competitors consolidated lines, through rates fell and the Great Western and its chief local rival, the Grand Trunk Railway suffered. In 1882, after decades of disastrous competition, .......

    To this point is fact... from here on in.. fiction (The fact is that the GWR and GT merged under the banner of the GT :)

    .....the Great Western decided that in order to survive, it needed a relaunch of its facilities and operating principles.

    It was decided to import local help and expertise from it's very succesfull namesake, the Great Western Railway in England. A Number of engineers and businessmen were supplied by the English Company, along with a large cash injection in exchange for a major shareholding by the British Company.

    One of the first changes was the great gauge conversion from Canadian Broad gauge of 5' 6" to the North American Standard of 4' 8 1/2" to prevent the confusion being caused in Britian with similar gauge differences (The gauge conversion is fact.. done by William Muir in or around the 1850's, I have just moved it a tad :) )

    This allowed the Great Western Railway to compete and act as an interchange with North American Railroads, from which its future prosperity would be made.

    The new British management also recognised the power of corporate branding and image and due to lack of funds at the time, elected to emulate the appearance of the parent company in the UK, shipping across the Atlantic stores of paint and other corporate and marketing styles.

    Thus was born the new Great Western Railway of Canada in Southwest Ontario linking Windsor - Toronto - Niagara Falls with headquarters in Hamilton, making its primary business the interchange of freight and goods between the Canadian companies and those from the USA, along with a belief that there was a future in passenger trains of all types, existing, as it did in what would be called today a commuter corridor.

    Competing directly with the GT, CN and CP, its role as helper to all ensured its survivability through the great depressions and its emergance as a premier player in the future of Canadian Railways and the drive to link the continent with the Transcontinental routes under construction.

    The model is based around the transition period of steam to diesel in the 1940's - 1960's where the model portrays the still large influence of interchange between the other major railroads of the area and local passenger services.

  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Does that mean you're going to model that suspension bridge?........hint, hint,
    :D :D :D

    Sounds like a project we'd all like to watch, as it becomes reality. :thumb:
  10. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Sounds great Graham! Too bad the real GWR didn't have your foresight - that's a lucrative route they have in your world!!!

    By the way, the Grand Trunk was no longer around in the transition era, having been taken over by CN in 1920. You will be able to have lots of interchange traffic with both CN and CP as well as NYC, TH&B, Illinois Central and probably a whole lot of other that I can't think of right now.

    Have fun!!

  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The Competition!

    You will also have competition from this railway:

    Attached Files:

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