Researching the Prototype

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Ronson2k3, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    Ok so I've been getting my feet wet working on a design for a layout.

    Time: 1959 => Early 60's
    Railline: Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad
    Local: Russell KY to Elkhorn City KY (Big Sandy Subdivision)

    Steam is still present but is being phased out as first Gen diesels are coming in. Still wanting to run Steam but wanting diesels more. Perhaps over time I will push back even farther. Just like for the prototype finances dictate how I fund my railroad.. so diesel is where my budget is headed mostly..

    I'm in touch with the COHS and looking forward to getting a great 'pile' of stuff from them over the coming weeks.. In the interim I've been typing my fingers to the bone looking up stuff on C&O online.. ;)

    Some of the great resources I've found.

    Kentucky Raster Graphics Topographic Maps.

    -- Great resolution Topographic maps of Kentucky. Better then I've scene available for free DL anywhere. I love maps and have been to hundreds of sites this is the best quality maps I've scene so far.

    -- They also have available but somewhat more limited Aerial photographs. I found them a little under exposed to my liking though but still not a bad resource.

    I'm building a database listing all info found on the C&O line (which maps have what data) as there is quite a few maps I'm using right now. I'm sure as I get closer to the actual track plan that will lessen conciderably.

    Northeast Railfan

    -- Great site for pics of all things C&O aswell as roster information. I also look beyond just that of the subject being photographed. Buildings Vehicles and so on in the scenes are a great help too..

    Fallen Flag Railroad Photos

    -- The number one site for so many reasons.. If you are modelling a railroad that is less then current especailly. But still so much you can learn if not.

    -- Data/Photos/Locomotive Manuals/Operating Materials (rule books/engineering drawings) the list is more then I would want to put here. Great site for all things railroad.

    There is also Google Earth .. Although the resolution on KY isn't the greatest in this instance.

    I like 'trucklover' want to model more then just trains in my case though as the line runs along the ohio for a portion and then along Big Sandy River. I want to model a Tow boat or two on the river.. I know that in many ways it's in direct compitition to rail but should make for an interesting scene both in day and night..

    I just read on Wikipedia that the yard at Russell was the largest in the world at one time.. it does my heart good to read stuff like that.. ;)

    Anyway the quest for more info continues.. If anyone has a link or two to add feel free I can use all the help I can get..
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That's great stuff. I think you'll be very happy with the results of your planning and investigations. I wish I'd done this kind of research before getting started on my layout.

  3. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Research is the best tool when designing and planning a layout. And with the advent of the internet, makes it easier to investigate your favorite railroad. But, the internet also leaves a lot a holes, and blank pages. This is where your local library comes in handy. The internet didn't kill libraries. They are still the best source for research.
    Like they say..There's nothing like good book.
  4. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    I'm a Thomas modeller myself, so... ;p
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    First, consider the time frame. C&O last ran steam in '56 (some sources say '57). Though they only switched from ordering steam to diesels in '49, they dieselized very quickly. There were no regular steam passenger trains by 1953.

    I've heard that finding photos of C&O in that era is hard, and my experience supports that.
  6. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    That's a pretty good point. However we are only talking about a few years. In real time that would be considerable. In a model though lets say I model 1960 for instance. All the vehicles and other signage would be of that era. In 1960 it wouldn't be that hard to expect a car from say 4 or 5 years earlier or even a sign Coke or A&P to be of that time as well. So then I would need to know what rolling stock was running at that time and restrict the newer stuff to the not at this time running session. This would fit in quite well. I plan on making a Time Line of locomotives for the C&O. I have a roster that lists all the Diesel dates but not one of Steam (Yet) That way I can run in a particular time frame when I like to and restrict operation of the AS yet not available equipment..

    On the research side .. Found a complete Track Chart for the 'Big Sandy' Sub and all its connecting subs online.. God I love the internet. Charts/CSX WV Division Track Chart 1984.pdf

    Been studying them since last night. They are of CSX but I'm paying attention to the dates they last redone track/Ties/Ballast and so on.. And I'm also going to cross reference them with the Topo maps I have of the C&O to confirm the time frame accuracy of the charts. Still I'm thinking many thing if not all are the same as they would have been during that time. Elevations/Bridges especially.

    Had a few more revolations today but there over in my other thread

    Perhaps I'll see a few of you here => over there LOL
  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Ouch... I had saved a link to just such a list, now where did I put it?
  8. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    I found a list of steam that served on the C&O but no dates or much other data. Numbers and the like. It's in the C&O page in wikipedia.

    I found a few more links and the Actual Roster.
    This one has all the dates but some are guestimates <= like this one best though

    There is this one that lists the classes

    This is the roster from the C&O HS.. that lists build dates but not retirements

    This research is turning other pages for me and the drule factor over these massive machines is growing day after day. I've been watching the 1/48 scale Big Boy here at Zealot too and that is really making me think deep thoughts.. Loving every minute of it..
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Ah. That first one is the one I remember. Note that they list several classes as eliminated in '57. However, steam often remains on a railroad's official roster after its last run.

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