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Using a Fallen Flag for a Modern Freelance Railroad?

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Using a Fallen Flag for a Modern Freelance Railroad?
Posted by K_Frazier on Monday, January 30, 2017 2:05 PM

Has anyone done this? If so, I would be interested in the backstory if you have one. Are there any prototypical examples of this happening or are there rules against this. The railroad I'm thinking about was abandoned in 1982.

Thanks.

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, January 30, 2017 2:51 PM

Interesting idea.

I see two versions of the idea.  

One is that the Wabash (as we know it) never existed.  It is then REPLACED by your Wabash.  One question might be to what extent you take over the real Wabash's territory.  It would feel funny to cancel the real Wabash and then have one in New Mexico.  Unless, of course, there's something named that, there.

The other one is that the Wabash never disappeared.  So you would be modeling the Wabash in 2010 as you feel it would have been.  That means, by the way, that there may well be legacy cars on your layout.  Like maybe those beauties Moloco makes.  Maybe even legacy switchers.  But modernized a bit.

Going back to the first version:  Let's suppose you've got the name:  Wabash.  Now.  How far do you push it?  Do you have the flag?  Do you used Wabash decal sets for your boxcars (it's SO convenient)?  Or do you choose a different type style?  'Cause it's different.  When do you go different from the real one and when do you stay the same?

I have trouble with the "version 1" idea.  It just seems weird to lift out the real Wabash and plop YOUR Wabash down in its place.  Either just DO the Wabash or freelance, I think.  Anyway, I don't think I've seen this done.

"Version 2", on the other hand, sounds like fun.  And I have the feeling I've seen it done more than once, but I can't come up with an example.  With this version, you can use your imagination over an armature of earlier reality.  AND.  You've already got some motive power painted up:

 

You've just got to buy several and renumber them.

 

Ed

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Posted by K_Frazier on Monday, January 30, 2017 3:20 PM

Ed, thanks for the reply.

Maybe another version, version 3 and using your WABASH as an example:  The railroad is abandoned. Years later, new industry (and industrial park maybe) creates the need for new rail service. The new railroad is created taking the name WABASH. This is the line of thought I was thinking, but I'm going to consider your two versions also. I may ultimately decide to drop the idea completely.  

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Posted by mlehman on Monday, January 30, 2017 3:37 PM

If it makes sense to you, why not?

The only catching point is the name, because lawyers love to spend time arguing about such things. The RR that acquired the Wabash originally got the rights to the name, in this case the NW and its successors up to CSX. You need to navigate that logically and then I think it can go whichever way you want.

The name could be spun off to the new "old" road if the current licensee saw $$ in the idea, perhaps choosing to partner with the management that wants to set up the new line. Even could make sense, with the "old" owner donating ROW, while the "new" owner put up the cash to lay track and buy rolling stock.

Or the "new" line could simply buy the rights to an "old" name that was sitting around earning nothing before the offer came in.

Mike Lehman

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, January 30, 2017 3:55 PM

There is a prototype example..

The Wheeling & Lake Erie (WE) uses the old Wheeling & Lake Erie (W&LE) name and runs over most of the former W&LE trackage. When NS spun off the old W&LE they allowed the new owners to use W&LE recording mark WE.

But,wait! There is more.

WE paint scheme matches Rio Grande's scheme in fact WE has several engines lettered for Rio Grande with a small WE above the number on the cab.

Larry

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, January 30, 2017 3:56 PM

K_Frazier

Ed, thanks for the reply.

Maybe another version, version 3 and using your WABASH as an example:  The railroad is abandoned. Years later, new industry (and industrial park maybe) creates the need for new rail service. The new railroad is created taking the name WABASH. This is the line of thought I was thinking, but I'm going to consider your two versions also. I may ultimately decide to drop the idea completely.  

 

I think it's a great idea.  Fun, too.

No layout examples come to mind.  Guess you're sorta the first.

I look forward to hearing more details.

 

Ed

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Posted by SouthPenn on Monday, January 30, 2017 3:57 PM

How about the Wabash stopped operations but left the track in place. Like the East Broad Top. Now there is a need for train service along the old Wabash route so the Wabash starts operations again, with new equipment.

South Penn
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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, January 30, 2017 4:01 PM

Actally, the WC (Wisconsin Central) did this for real when they started up in 1987.  The original WC started in 1871, reorganized a couple of times, the last being in 1954, and then 1961, was taken over by the SOO Line.

When the newest version started in 1987, it used the same ROW's plus some extras, as the original.

It ended in 2001 when taken over by the CN.

Mike.

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Posted by angelob6660 on Monday, January 30, 2017 4:16 PM

I had used the Santa Fe Kodachrome paint scheme for my short line.SBSO

All I did was add a new name and continued the red and black. Erasing the yellow bonnet that broke up the red and black. I changed the number boards too with white and black instead of the red and yellow.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by hornblower on Monday, January 30, 2017 7:07 PM

My layout is based on a "what if" scenario centered on a little known fallen flag called the Santa Ana & Newport.  This line ran from McFadden Wharf (now Newport Pier) to a connection with the Santa Fe in Santa Ana.  A second line was later added from Newport to just shy of Westminster forming a large "U" of track around much of central and north Orange County, California. Through rather shady wheeling and dealing, the line was bought and absorbed into the Southern Pacific by 1900.  The SP hoped to cash in on the commercial development of Newport Harbor and so extended both ends of the "U" to connect with the SP main line, creating a complete (and prototypical) loop of track.  Unfortunately for the SP, a Federal grant was awarded to San Pedro Harbor for commercial development so Newport Harbor had to settle for a pleasure craft role.  With little commercial development in the area, SP all but abandoned the line by the 1930's and almost nothing of this line exists today.

My layout's "what if" scenario assumes that enough commercial development did occur in Newport Harbor to allow the Santa Ana & Newport to remain viable and independent into at least the late 1950's.  Various business deals allowed the SA&N to continue interchange with the ATSF but also extend the SA&N tracks up to the SP main line (as on the prototype) which allows the SA&N to interchange with both the SP and the Pacific Electric.  This scenario allows me to run four different railroads on my layout, justifies continuous running on a large loop, plus allows interchange with three other railroads via various tracks extending off this loop. Choosing this fallen flag also allows me to model the area in which I live.  Since so much has changed around here since the 1950's I don't have to worry about modeling exact scenes.  I simply include a few key buildings, roadways and/or landmarks that layout visitors can recognize.  Best of all, by basing my layout on a fallen flag, I don't have to invent industries for my layout.  I center the layout around the largest industries served by the real SA&N, ATSF, SP and PE and fill in with fictitious industries based on real commercial development in the area.

Hornblower

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, January 30, 2017 8:16 PM

mbinsewi

Actally, the WC (Wisconsin Central) did this for real when they started up in 1987.  The original WC started in 1871, reorganized a couple of times, the last being in 1954, and then 1961, was taken over by the SOO Line.

When the newest version started in 1987, it used the same ROW's plus some extras, as the original.

It ended in 2001 when taken over by the CN.

Mike.

 

Or how the Grand Trunk was absorbed into CN, but decades later, the name was revived for CN's US holding company.

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Monday, January 30, 2017 8:39 PM

Well, Southern bought the original Norfolk Southern and recycled the name when they merged with Norfolk and Western.

Enjoy

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, January 30, 2017 8:51 PM

There is nothing wrong with Freelancing.  You get to pick the motive power the paint schemes and the geography.  It doesn't have to meet anyone else's standards.  Nor is there anything wrong with sticking to prototypical.  It's your railroad, you make the rules.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by jmbjmb on Monday, January 30, 2017 9:17 PM

K_Frazier

Ed, thanks for the reply.

Maybe another version, version 3 and using your WABASH as an example:  The railroad is abandoned. Years later, new industry (and industrial park maybe) creates the need for new rail service. The new railroad is created taking the name WABASH. This is the line of thought I was thinking, but I'm going to consider your two versions also. I may ultimately decide to drop the idea completely.  

 
This was actually kind of done with the Piedmont & Northern in NC as well.
 
Speaking of which, I have often thought of doing the version 2 alternate on a couple of railroads.  One I've always enjoyed was the Colorado Midland.  In my mind I can picture a 1980s set of tunnel motors lettered for it pulling loads up hill from Colorado Springs. 
 
Another I've considered for my current layout is the Piedmont & Northern.  This railroad consisted of two disconnected segments in North and South Carolina.  After a lengthy battle, the petition to build a line joining the two segments was denied.  My concept is a mix somewhat then of version 1 and 2.  A semi freelanced version of a line that was proposed but not built of a real railroad.  If it had been built, would it have been electrified? Or second hand steam since the original electric equipment was wearing out by then.  Or, would it have been dieselized with equipment changes from electric to diesel and back at each end?  Fascinating to think about.
 
jim
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Posted by Water Level Route on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 8:24 AM

15 or 20 years ago I toyed around with the idea of doing a modern era New York Central with the premise that the merger with the Pennsylvania was never approved and both railroads survived their financial issues of the era.  I even planned to hack up lightning stripe decals to fit new motive power.  Never did it, but boy was I happy to see the heritage paint schemes start showing up and there was a new locomotive in lightning stripes!  What a beauty!

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Posted by joe323 on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 9:12 AM

Of course yoiu don't have to use the fallen flags name to have their branded equiptment running on there route.  I have CSX Chessie and Conrail locos running around my layout, on the basis that they did not want to shell out the Cash to repaint the locos.  

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by arbe1948 on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 9:35 AM

mbinsewi

Actally, the WC (Wisconsin Central) did this for real when they started up in 1987.  The original WC started in 1871, reorganized a couple of times, the last being in 1954, and then 1961, was taken over by the SOO Line.

When the newest version started in 1987, it used the same ROW's plus some extras, as the original.

It ended in 2001 when taken over by the CN.

Mike.

 

It even used the same "shield" herald as the old Wisconsin Central.

Bob Bochenek
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Posted by carl425 on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 9:35 AM

Some folks say freelancing is cheating - taking the easy route.  I would argue that's actually harder.  That's why I model a specific prototype.  I lack the creativity to explain my freelancing.  I can also get my trackplan from google maps. Smile

An old friend used to close his emails with "if you always tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything".  I guess that quote applies to freelancing as well.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by NVSRR on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 10:15 AM

There are countless number of railroads long.gone you.can do this.with.  most big rods are made up of smaller lines.  That is why some districts and routes have the names they do, because.of the original line that built.that route.  Half of the reading rr. Was the.Philadelphia and reading.  Which lasted into the early teens before being absorbed in the reading.      I freelance forwarded a line that only ever existed on paper 100 years ago.  But was plausible.   Enough to forward on the what if basis.  Lots of only paper lines out there as well.  So pic a region  or route and check the history.  Might be surprised at the what if or freelance forward protection

Shane

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 10:42 AM

carl425
Some folks say freelancing is cheating - taking the easy route. I would argue that's actually harder. That's why I model a specific prototype. I lack the creativity to explain my freelancing. I can also get my trackplan from google maps.

I agree..There is a lot of disciplines to follow if one wishes to have a fully believable freelance railroad and examples would be like the Utah Belt,The Maumee Route,the former Allegheny Mildland and Virginian & Ohio among other well known freelance railroads that follows prototype practices like types of locomotives,freight cars caboose style(s),signal type and structure design..

As far as google I spent unknown number of hours researching a simple industrial lead for my Slate Creek Industrial park.

OTOH a friend of mine's Hooten Hollow & Western is part of the Chessie System..All four of his GP9s is painted in Chessie colors with HH&W on the cab and numbered above Chessie (B&O) GP9s in the 6600s. He does have several freight cars and one of his cabooses lettered for his HH&W.

 

Larry

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:14 PM

As an example:  The present day Louisville and Indiana operates ex-PRR trackage from Indy to Louisville.  I believed it is majority owned or 100% owned by CSX.  

The L&I uses the old Keystone logo from the PRR, as well as the tuscan/brown and gold stripe paint scheme on new locomotives (Atlas offers a model of these).

While it was originally operated to serve the local industires along the line, it has seen much more traffic as CSX tries to avoid bottlenecks.

So your present day Wabash could actually be a subsidiary of NS (or CSX) with equipment painted for Wabash.

However, there are other independent shortlines that use old fallen flag paint schemes, which might be more applicable if you want to use second generation locomotives which would be more realistic on a small shortline.  You probably would have to call the railroad something other than WABASH, and reletter the locomotives, but that's not a big deal.

- Douglas

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Posted by pajrr on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:22 PM

Pennsylvania has the shortline Delaware-Lackawanna. It rides the rails of the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Wetern. It has a tendency to paint its locomotives in their original paint schemes. They have a couple former Lehigh Valley locomotives painted as LV but with D-L logos. It also has a pair of former Erie-lackawanna locomotives that are repainted in the EL paint scheme. Since the railroad operates over the former Lackawanna / EL tracks, the EL painted locos are operating over their former EL home rails.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:24 PM

My free-lance railroad is based on two real railroads that (coincidentally) were bought by larger railroads in 1900. In my version, the two merged instead. It gives me a strong foundation, but it's far enough back that I can add my own ideas on what might have happened too.

Backstory: In real life, in 1900 Northern Pacific bought the St.Paul & Duluth RR, to get it's much shorter line from the Twin Cities to the Twin Ports (Duluth / Superior). As part of the agreement, they had to grant freight-only trackage rights to the Milwaukee Road. Also in 1900, the Port Arthur, Duluth & Western, a railroad built from Port Arthur / Fort William Ontario (which combined in 1970 to form Thunder Bay) south into northeast Minnesota, became part of Canadian Northern (today's Canadian National).

In my version, they merged, to form the St.Paul, Duluth & Canadian Ry, and built a line up the north shore of Lake Superior to connect the two railroads (using DM&IR trackage rights between Superior and Two Harbors MN). The railroad granted trackage rights between St.Paul and Duluth to NP and Milwaukee, and in turn got trackage rights on the NP from Duluth to Brainerd MN - meaning they had access to iron mine operations when the Cuyuna Iron Range was discovered in 1903.

Stix
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Posted by SouthPenn on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 1:36 PM

The Southern Pennsylvania,( South Penn ), was a railroad that almost was. It ran from Harrisburg Pa to Pittsburg Pa. Tunnels were dug and the right of way cleared and graded. But the only track laid was for construction. The project was abandoned circa 1901.

My version of the South Penn was completed from Harrisburg to Pittsburg but has rights on the Blacklog/Tuscarora railroad that runs from Port Royal to Burnt Cabins. In Port Royal the Blacklog RR interchanges with the Pennsylvania RR. ( The Tuscarora was an actual railroad that was abandoned in 1920s ) The Tuscarora was bought/reorganised and renamed the Blacklog railroad. In Neelyton, the Blacklog interchanges with the East Broad Top.

So it's possible to see the South Penn, Blacklog, Tuscarora, East Broad Top ( the EBT now has standard gauge Diesels), and the Pennsylvania running on my layout.

Prototypical, no. But I am having fun.

South Penn
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Posted by K_Frazier on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 1:45 PM

I really appreciate everyone's replies. For those who may be interested here is a link to the railroad I was looking at, The Tooele Valley Railway.

As I began writing my backstory I thought that it flowed better by not using that name. This railroad will be an industrial switching railroad switching a single industrial depot (park). The layout will be HO scale on a 10x10 foot "L" built in sections. Trackplan is still under development. Construction will begin in the spring when the North Dakota weather warms so I can work outside.  

Here is my backstory so far and subject to change:

In 1993 following the closure of the Tooele Army Depot part of the base was transferred to the city of Tooele and subsequently sold to a commercial developer. Union Pacific (UP) railroad was approached by the developer to provide rail service to the new industrial depot. Following an onsite inspection of the property, UP declines, citing substandard track and excessive costs to repair. The depot continues to operate without rail service going through several ownership changes.

In 2016 the K Frazier Railroad Group (KFRG) strikes a deal with the current owner to build a railcar repair facility and provide rail service for the depot with construction scheduled to begin early spring 2017. In January 2017 KFRG buys the property outright. 

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Posted by caldreamer on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 1:49 PM

I model the BNSF in southern Orgeon and Northern California, from Klamath Falls Oregon to Richmond, California via Sacramento and Stockton.  In my world BNSF owns all of this tracage including the Keddie Wye.  I have locomotives painted either from the factory or those that I have painted in ATSF, BNSF, BN. Frisco and GN colors.  I have also painted locomotives that none of these railroads had, including the veranda turbine, U50B, SD9043MAC and C430.

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Posted by G Paine on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 5:08 PM

Another prototype example would be the present day St Laurence & Atlantic, which ran between Portland ME and Montreal, Quebec on the old Grand Trunk line. I say ran because last year service to Portland was discontiuned due to lack of customers.

When the line was chartered in the 1840s, the section from Portland to the Canadian border was named Atlantic & St Laurence and the part from the border to Montreal was named St Laurence & Atlantic. Later, in the 1880s(?) when the Grand Trunk System was nationalized and became Canadian National, the Montreal to Portland was re-named Grand Trunk. Friends of mine who grew up in Portland remenber multiple unit diesels with a GT loco on front, as required by regulations, and often CN diesels in the rest of the consist.

There is a few hundred miles of track presenting a lot of things to model or freelance

 

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by SouthPenn on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 10:45 PM

A side note: The Southern Pennsylvania RR tunnels, right of way, and some of the grading were used to build the Pennsylvania Turnpike circa 1938.

South Penn
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Posted by jmbjmb on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 10:49 PM

One other thought.  The Southern operated a dang near incestous mix of other railroads that sometimes used Southern paint schemes, but their own name (Carolina and Northwestern for example) or used Southern equipment.  My home town had a railroad line that was leased by the SR and operated using SR equipment.  As best I can figure out, it never owned a single piece of rolling stock so as far as railroad ops are concerned, it was just another SR branch.  Yet it was technically a separate railroad.

jim

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Posted by azrail on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 11:28 PM

My railroad is based on the alt history that the El Paso & Southwestern was NOT bought by the SP, but instead became a major system running from St Louis to Texas and California

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