Freelance vs. Prototype

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jon-monon, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    How about a pole to see what's most popular, freelance vs. proto, in fact lets see how free or prottypical!

    Before reading all of your comments, I'll edit this and say that I voted #8, but I am probably closer to #9 in many respects. My layout will be realistic to the untrained eye, to outsiders. Realistic rocks and trees and such, and realistic trains for the most part, but I might have a 60's vintage switcher on my 50's era layout. I'm not going to toss my SW-1500 because it's too new. I'll have hustlers and other engines that may have no prototype to follow, and I might even MU them. I'll probably do NG and logging, but in standard gauge. Who will know? You will, I will, visitors won't. At least not many of them. The goal is to have fun and keep it light. I believe ruel were meant to be broken. I will also add that I have a great deal of respect for someone who spends the time and effort to be a real rivet counter, researcher, and perfectionist. Now I am looing forward to reading all of your comments!
  2. McFortner

    McFortner Member

    I freelance my own railway because I love the freedom to run whatever I want. I especially love the E and F units look, so my NSR uses them a lot. As far as story goes, it is because they were what my startup shortline could afford 2nd and 3rd hand and still be able to refurbish for daily use. In the real world, I hate the looks of the GP and SP engines. They look like they have to have the bigger diesels in them because of all the wind resistance those flat noses cause! :) ;) :) ;)

    GP and SP series reaffirm what the F-4 Phantom II proved; with engines large enough you could make a house fly! ;)

  3. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    I be happy to run my trains in circles right how if only my cfo would release the funds to buy some more track:( :( :( rich
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Although I have U boats, Geeps, and SD-9s I run F units on my Penn Central themed railroad for the same reason you do. They look great! I loosely model the line with the rationalization that the PC held on to its F units longer and for more active service than they probably did in reality.
  5. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I'm in between 7 & 8 but more 8 so that's how it went.

    I have more realistic accesories, and an "all" Pa train. But the other Two trains are mostly "kitbashed" to be whatever era we model. Case-in-point how many Climaxes were running when the U-25 B's were around???

    ~~ Mikey
  6. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    My layout is purely freelance, but I like to run UPRR and stuff they might have inherited through buyout or merger (CNW comes to mind). I have some steam and a few more diesel units, although I would really like to be all steam some day.

    I am not too hung up on time periods, at least at this point because I don't yet have the time to study the differences between the various engine types, so unless I look it up I couldn't tell you the difference between a SD 40 and a U-25. Oh, maybe I could, but I'd have to give it some thought:D

    When I made up my mind to get back into MR after 40 years I originally wanted to model as much of the Council Bluffs, Iowa yard area (UPRR, MILW, RI, IC, CGW, CNW, Wabash and Burlington) as I could get onto one table, but although the yard would have been okay, getting the trains back around into position again would have been more of a challenge than I was up to facing.

    I spent a good deal of time deciding on a layout, took the basics from a 101 Track Plans and then started tinkering with it. Still don't have all the track in place, but this winter ought to see me finished with track laying and getting into some of the next round of fun things to do in model railroading:D :D :D

  7. mransr

    mransr New Member

    I model what would be plausible Espee narrow gauge road with a dose of Colorado equipment throw in for color...I haven't decided if the railroad is based in California or Colorado :)
  8. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    I freelance. My model railroad acts as a bridge between several major roads. It has no locomotives of its own so it borrows or leases units from the roads it interchanges with. I have different consists for different eras.
  9. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    So many choices and yet it is interesting to see where we are all coming from.
  10. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I would like to be able to say I am an absolutely totaly free lancer but I find no matter what, prototypes do have an influence on how I think so thats why I am an 8 instead of a 9
  11. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I didn't quite know how to answer this myself, but I included my vote as "loosely model a real line". I do model the Rock Island and Missouri Pacific, but (a) model the ROCK two months after its final train ran; and (b) also include one fictional shortline (loosely based on the Garden City Western), and (c) have a number of fictional private car owners.

    My layout is also based mostly on the prototype, Wichita KS through Pueblo CO, but with some fictional industries named after friends - i.e., Heather Leather Shoes after my wife.

    Other items I model quite religiously - i.e., I'm trying to have a mix of railcars based on the clients/suppliers that the industries along my line would have (to the point where I compute distances to determine which supplier would be closest, and then have percentages built in to indicate the % of an inbound supply I'd get from each supplier). I also have built target loco rosters based on their motive rosters at the time, and am trying to stay true to this as much as possible.
  12. Railery

    Railery Member

    i'm a freelancer. Like to be able to show it all. i mean i like to run all types of equipment.;) At present i'm changing the name of the layout:rolleyes: , then a new paint scheme. :) Its going to be fun :D :D
  13. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    I voted #9. while I want a scene to look realistic, (ie real rocks, trees, grass etc.) I run whatever suits my fancy, It is not unusual to find C&NW motive power next to UP on a siding of my little empire. I just like the color schemes of each.
  14. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    "What If" freelancer.
    Gives me the opportunity to run equipment and paint schemes that I want. But use the name of a railroad that actually ran.
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    That's interesting, look at the curve. I thot we'd get a bell curve for sure. I guess I'm just an ordinary average guy (between 8 and 9), I pick up the dog poop, hope that it's dry.
  16. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member


    I consider myself a proto-freelancer. I model a freelance railroad based apon a real railroad, the Minnesota International Railway, that disappeared in 1941 (into the Northern Pacific RR). Only I'm modelling it as if it's still around (circa 1990). My Motive power consist's of 4 axle GE's only for the MI.
    But, when I do model a locomtive from another railroad, i.e. BN,
    I try to get it details down to the gnats arse. Working from photo's and books I'll research a project to get as much information as possible. If you have a copy of the July 2002 issue of Model Railroader you will find a photo of my Burlington Northern GP28M #1507 in it.

    Here is a shot of one of the U18B's from the Minnesota International Railway.

    Attached Files:

  17. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Welcome aboard the Gauge Dan. We're glad to have you.

    Love the pix. Can you tell us a little more, or a lot if you like, about the Minnesota International please. Sounds interesting.

  18. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member


    The real Minnesota & International ran between Brainerd MN and International Falls MN, via Bemidji MN. It was incorporated in July 1900 after acquiring the assets of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway. You can read more about the M&I in Frank King's book "Minnesota Logging Railroads" by Golden West Books.

    My Minnesota International Railway (notice no ambersand, one of my small changes to reality) is still in the paper stage, no layout yet, but some motive power and freight cars painted. That will be changing in the near future as I have a nice dry basement waiting for me back in Grand Rapids MN. :)

    My MI will have trackage rights over the BN into the Twin Cities and over the MD&W (Minnsota Dakota & Western) at International Falls to a connection with the DW&P (Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific).

  19. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    Thanks very much for the info on the MI. Although I have lived in Rolla, MO in the Ozarks for 15+ years, at one time, and for a short time I lived in Fergus Falls, MN. Just too darn cold for me:D :D

    My somewhat foggy recollection is that the Milwaukee had some trackage rights tyhere at one time and I do recall about being blown off the platform at the old Detroit Lakes station by a Soo Line freight highballing it through there. The station had been turned into the Chamber of Commerce office and every time a train went through all the pictures on the walls shook:D :D

    I very much enjoy learning about all of the old shortlines and interconnectors that existed before being bought up or run out of business by the big boys.

  20. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    Went back and dug out my July MR to take a look. Worth the effort, beautiful work. Would be honored to run it on my layout anytime, although I'd best hide all my UPRR yellow motive stock first :D


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