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Starting my DM&IR layout

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  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 3 posts
Starting my DM&IR layout
Posted by Shua on Sunday, November 27, 2011 8:01 PM

     Hey everybody I am beggining to start my first layout! I am 14 and I have been running trains around on a 4x8 table for a few years. My Mom recently told me that if I didnt get started building my model railroad that she'd replace it with a treadmill. I had to get my butt in gear so I decided to model the DM&IR in the 1950's and as hard as I try, I can not find pictures online of anyone elses DM&IR layouts. As it turns out, modeling the DM&IR is tough. It wasnt a major railroad so not many companies make DM&IR locomotives (exept those Japanese brass companies whos trains cost $1000).

     Im looking for inspiration and to see what others have done. If there is anyone out there who is modeling the DM&IR or ANY railroad in the Twin Ports area of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin please post pics of your layout here. I also welcome any bigginer advice to stear me in the right direction. Thank you everyone. GO PACKERS!!!

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Colorful Colorado
  • 8,639 posts
Posted by Texas Zepher on Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:57 PM

Well it might be helpful to join the Missabe Historical Society

http://www.missabe.com/cms/

I know that Proto-2000 made an SD7 painted for DM&IR.  I always wanted one but could not justify getting a locomotive from yet another railroad.  But I am guessing you are going to have to get good with painting and decaling the locomotives yourself. 

Then here are a couple of links that might help.

http://home.comcast.net/~lynn_n_milt/

http://members.lsol.net/mollyandmick/D.htm

DM&IR Video

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Colorado
  • 376 posts
Posted by St Francis Consolidated RR on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:17 AM

Shua

    My Mom recently told me that if I didnt get started building my model railroad that she'd replace it with a treadmill.

     Now that's what you might call inspiration!

The St. Francis Consolidated Railroad of the Colorado Rockies

Denver, Colorado


  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 15,959 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:49 AM

Shua,

Are you interested in modern diesels or the bygone era of steam engines?

if you are interested in steam engines, Bachmann makes a 2-10-2.

If you are interested in diesels, lots of companies make a variety of DM&IR diesels.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 9,934 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:14 AM

First, before you go to far into it, I would try doing some research on the Missabe. Franklin King's books are probably still the best info available on Missabe history, although MBI came out with an affordable book not too long ago that gives you a good overview of the railway.

As noted, the Missabe Road Historical Society is a great source of info. I've been a member for about 25 years now.

One problem with modelling the fifties is there aren't too many models that fit that era, at least not ones factory decorated for the DMIR. As noted, Bachmann Spectrum makes a nice USRA 2-10-2 that's a pretty accurate "as built" Missabe model. The BLI C&O 2-10-4 is quite close to the Missabe's ex-B&LE engines; decalling an undec model wouldn't be too hard...however it has a recommended min radius of 24" so won't fit the 18-22" R curves of a 4x8 layout. (Mine complains on 22"R curves but will go thru them.)

Life-Like (pre-Walthers) Proto 2000 Missabe SD-9 should still be available at flea markets or online. BLI offers a Missabe Alco RSD-12 (IIRC?) that the DMIR used 1959-64. Walthers makes a VERY nice wood DMIR caboose, and Athearn and Atlas have both made DMIR extended vision cabooses. (The DMIR was the first RR to use extended vision cabooses, starting in 1953.) The Life-Like / Walthers Proto RDC-3 isn't available in DMIR lettering, but you can get an undec one (sometimes for $20 or so)and use decals from the Missabe Road Historical Society to decorate a pretty accurate model.

Walthers makes accurate "Minnesota" ore cars lettered for the DMIR, however I don't care for the rolling quality of the trucks and usually replace them with Life-Like/Proto trucks with metal wheels. ("Minnesota" ore cars are a little lower and fatter than "Michigan" ore cars, as used by the CNW and Milwaukee in Upper Michigan.) They also make taconite versions of the cars, using the taconite extensions added starting in the 1960's.

I think you might find that the "modern" (1975-2000) Missabe may be easier to model. Both Kato and Athearn make DMIR SD-38s, and Athearn makes a Missabe SD-45. The Kato SD-38 is set up to accept a Digitrax "drop in" sound decoder, and includes space in the fuel tank for a 1" speaker. Missabe used some high-nose SD-9s into the 1990's so one could work on a more modern layout too.

Stix
  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • 1 posts
Posted by Sansovino on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:15 PM

I know this is a bit of a late revival, but I was looking at the book "The Classic Layout Designs of John Armstrong" and the plan "The Mighty Bantam" which is a B&LE inspired compact (8' x 4'!) plan for an ore road layout. Doing something like it appeals as I'm in UK and properties tend to be smaller. With the DM&IR models now available I'm tempted to try some US railroading. I'm aware of some criticism if such plans but a modern reworking of it could be a manageable project. I wonder how the original poster's project turned out.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:05 AM

Keep in mind the Missabe didn't just run ore trains. They had branch lines to pick up pulpwood from logging companies, and "commercial" wayfreights serving various industries on the iron range, from beer distributors to coal-fired power plants. A Missabe layout wouldn't have to have 2-8-8-4s and 100-car trains to be realistic. 

Stix
  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 1,539 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, May 18, 2017 5:23 PM

Sansovino
I wonder how the original poster's project turned out.

The OP would be 20 now.  With just 3 posts in 6 years, I think we can safely assume he is living in the basement with his mothers' treadmill.  Devil

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    August, 2004
  • 2,799 posts
Posted by dinwitty on Saturday, May 20, 2017 8:35 PM
What caught me for the DM&IR is a recording of a Yellowstone hauling a load of ore near a foghorn. The "chattalk" of this horn and the whistle of the Yellowstone is the most haunting. The Yellowstones used the same whistle as the N&W J. I bought an Akane Yellowstone on ebay for about 300 bucks-ish, thats the cost of many plastic today, yes I know some bachmann is lower I have the 2-10-2 for another railroad. I am not modeling the DM&IR but I tend to get those models I have interest in. Researching the road is your best bet

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