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Please Help — An unthinkably large Ho Scale system.

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 4:25 PM

Overmod

 

 
Bayfield Transfer Railway
I am very, highly, EXTREMELY skeptical about the possibility of routinely running mile long HO scale trains reliably.

 

There is nothing like doing to cure errant skepticism...

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wevbi_zEmxc

 

 

Which has exactly zero to do with what I said.

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 4:26 PM

What I would REALLY like to see is the business plan that Miniatur Wunderland used to secure funding.

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 4:48 PM

SeeYou190
Walt Disney had one of the ultimate experiences, Alien Encounter, and Universal had the Back To The Future ride. Both of these had wait times of 4 hours plus because they were so good, but both have been replaced by even better rides now.

4 hours plus...Hmm...Do folks actually wait in line for that long???

At a $116/day...and I spend 12 hrs @ WDW ...I would be paying them ~$39 just to wait for that one ride.  That's just waaaay beyond my comprehension of fun. Tongue Tied

Drop me off at Okefenokee Swamp or one of the freshwater springs with a canoe. YesCool

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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 5:13 PM

Bayfield Transfer Railway
For that matter, at the Louvre there is an entire gallery of Renaissance life size Crucifixion paintings.  Any one of them is a masterpiece, and the style contrasts are amazing. And after you've looked at about six or eight, you're done.  And there are hundreds.

Well, that just about nails it for me.

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 6:47 PM

Bayfield Transfer Railway

What I would REALLY like to see is the business plan that Miniatur Wunderland used to secure funding.

 

 
According to the autobiography of the Braun brothers, it was a miracle securing the credit. I am paraphrasing from German.
 
"We called our customer representative at the Hamburg Savings Bank, Herr Neuendorf. We were in good standing with the bank because we had run our disco (their previous enterprise) for 8 years without touching our credit line once, which is very rare in that business.
 
We told him we needed 2 M Deutschmark for a model railroad. He laughed loudly, but after we had explained everything to him, he was not laughing anymore. He said, OK, make me a business plan.
 
One week later we had a second appointment, but still no business plan. We did not even know how to write one. But we had accumulated information about tourists in Hamburg and our survey of 10,000 internet users (getting 4,000 responses; this was in the 1990s) if they would be interested in visiting such a venue.
 
Herr Neuendorf explained to us that a standard business plan would be about an inch thick; he would extract the important pages and throw the rest away. But we did neither have anything to extract nor to throw away. But to our big surprise, he asked us to explain the details, and we went on for ninety minutes. He made lots of notes and then went to his boss, who rejected the application.
 
But Herr Neuendorf was not deterred and went to the board of the bank. The board found it quite interesting, and in the end granted us 2 M for 3 to 10 years."
 
A bit later in the book they add another detail. When they told their father about the credit, he suggested that with a plan that big they should have gone to a large bank (e.g. Deutsche Bank), and not a relatively small local outfit. It seems that Hamburg Savings Bank had their own pride to potentially "show it to the big dogs".
 
****************************
 
One comment on the calculations of the area necessary to accommodate a 1:87 model of the US. In some of the previous posts, it is neglected that we are not talking about distance, but about area. In the HO model, the length is reduced by 1:87, and so is the width. According to Wikipedia, the area of the lower 48 states is about 3,100,000 square miles. Dividing this number by (87)^2 gives roughly 410 square miles or 260,000 acres. This is still substantial, but does not amount to 3/4 of Florida.
 
Fortunately for Jared the Artist, the 6666 Ranch in West Texas is up for sale. Their main tract is 350,000 acres; thus, it could accomodate a 1:87 model of the lower 48. The price is about $1,300 per acre; thus, half a billion $$$ should do it.
 
JW
 
 
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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 7:52 PM

Besides the 2M from the bank, I wonder how much of their own money was involved.  If they'd run a disco for 8 years, they had to have turned a profit.

Also, I had to laugh about the comments about the business plan.  Here in the US it's "write a 500 page business plan, but you will live or die on your 1 page executive summary with three to five bullet points."

 

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

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Posted by Jared the Artist on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 10:46 PM

I'm a bit confused.  I see the sarcasim but it's like something went missing.  I did some rough calculations and the total distance that I plan on modeling from the most eastern point to the most western point is 3.6 miles.  And from the southern most point being port of LA up to the northern most point of Prince Rupert would take 2.36 miles.  So everything I've talked about modeling would easily fit in that area and take up just a tiny fraction of that space.  

And that is the "if we can do everything" map which would take a minimum of 20 years to build?  My point is I wanted the whole thing mapped out so if by the luck of God someone with basically unlimited resources with an insane passion for model trains said "Hey, I'll fund everything", we'd have the space and plan to do so from the get-go.  Look at Disneyland now.  They're maxed out.  For them to expand further they'd have to start buying out neighboring factories.

I design and hope for the best but will of course plan for the worse.

For those who don't believe running 60' trains is possible (well of course not on 36in. curves), YouTube search "James Risner" and see what he's been able to do.  60' trains are chump change for him.

I get it though — my vision seems crazy stupid to most of you.  And rightfully so as nothing of this magnitude has ever been done before.  But what people say when they wanted to build the palms in Dubai?

"People are better off just seeing these locations in person.  Why model them?"   ... How many road trips would you have to take in order to visit the greatest scenic points throughout the USA and Canada?  And the few hundreds of downtowns — large and small?  And at what cost?  

You've all had those conversations where you talk about visiting ___ and seeing ___ but rarely ever do because of time and distance.  I'm a die hard traveler and at 33 I've already visited 33 countries so far, and yet, there is still so much more that I haven't seen but because of time, money and distance (and now covid -_-) it's so difficult to do so.  What I liked about MW was that it gave me a taste of many locations, but I left wanting more so much more.  

I'm simply designing that "more".  You don't have the time and money to take 20-30 road trips across the country?  Fine.  Take one and see it all.

I need more wine...

Jared

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 7:12 AM

How interesting.   Eight pages and we haven't moved an inch.

One would have thought Jared would be seeking 'backers, finance and real estate'  by now  and worry about the minor details later.

I would love Jared to succeed, but will it?

To attract customers there needs to be an element of fun in the scheme.   I do not see it.

It is also interesting that Jared has visited 33 countries and wants more.

I have visited 68 countries  and seen many historical sites.  Funny how I have vivid memories; 

Sitting at a table  outside a cafe in Crete  and talking to a Canadian, Australian, a man from California and a young Greek lad.

Having a glass of sherry in a rural Spanish Taverna.

Walking down the High Street in Inverness middle of Winter.  Walking past the riverside, the castle high on the left.   Droplets of snow on the River Ness  glinting like diamonds.  Further along a path follows up river.  A wooden bridge over a small stream.  A small waterfall to the left within touching distance.  It is icy cold as I touch the water.  With my fingers I 'flick some water at you'.

Being in Panama City  looking out at the vast Pacific Ocean.  Dots of ships waiting to transit Panama Canal

Somehow Jared I feel you could not replicate that,  but that is what I want.   

Others want other things  that will not (unfortunately) be at your 'Wonderland'.

I shall carry on doing my road trips  and see things 1-1 Scale.   It is much more fun.

 

David

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 8:09 AM

Jared the Artist

My point is I wanted the whole thing mapped out so if by the luck of God someone with basically unlimited resources with an insane passion for model trains said "Hey, I'll fund everything", we'd have the space and plan to do so from the get-go.  

Herein lies the essential problem. Vision is one thing, but finding someone with unlimited resources with an insane passion for model trains to fund it and build it is quite another thing. Call me a skeptic, but I don't see anyone stepping up to say, "Hey, I'll fund everything". Why not? Well, mainly, because it simply does not make good economic sense.

Rich

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 9:23 AM

Edited and changed previous post:

 

I still see a fundamental problem with the concept of charging somebody a fee for seeing ACCURATE 1:87 models of railroad scenes.

I think only model railroaders would really be interested in what's being offered here...accuracy of railroads and their ROWs.

1:87 model of the Golden Gate bridge, the Empire State Building, stuff like that, with trains included, would be interesting to a greater pool of the paying public.

Other model railroad displays, I think, are catered more to the whimsical.  Designing cool scenes.  Exaggerated land forms.  Scenes that may be too physically challenging for real railroads to build and operate.  

Maybe I'm wrong about that.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:03 AM

tstage
4 hours plus......Do folks actually wait in line for that long?

Yes. My daughter and her fiance waited over 6 hours to ride the Millenium Falcon when it opened in Disney.

Alien Encounter was a masterpiece well worth the wait time when I saw it. It was one of the first attractions to use holographic technology, and it scared the living daylights out of all the children and most adults. It was brilliant.

I feel bad for the Disney employee that had to clean up all the messes from when the alien drooled on you from behind and then placed its hand on your shoulder.

I saw it before all the warning signs went up, and all the surprises were revealed, which made it even better. It was also the first attraction I saw that used sound effects so effectively.

It was worth 1/4 of the day and the full price of admission.

Alien Encounter replaced the aging Mission To Mars, it has now been replaced with Buzz Lightyear's 3D Alien Shooting Gallery, which is also worth a long wait and one of the most fun things you can do with your kids.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:10 AM

Bayfield Transfer Railway
Which has exactly zero to do with what I said.

Except that it explicitly demonstrates the opposite of your claimed concern.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:27 AM

Jared the Artist
I did some rough calculations and the total distance that I plan on modeling from the most eastern point to the most western point is 3.6 miles.  And from the southern most point being port of LA up to the northern most point of Prince Rupert would take 2.36 miles.

So, you are honestly talking about building an attraction that is 6.5 square miles? That is 5,440 acres.

You will need to buy at least 8 square miles of property to make this work, and you can forget about that anywhere in central Florida. You will need to start buying Orange Groves in the Southern part of the state.

The Walt Disney Magic Kingdom in Orlando, which opened in 1971 and is now part of The Walt Disney World Resort, is only 107 acres. It requires effort for most people to walk it in a day. Doing a "lap" around the park is quite a hike.

That 107 acres includes Space Moutain, Main Street USA, The Hall of the Presidents, The Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, etc, etc, etc...

Sure, the entire property is 40 square miles, but even now Reedy Creek is still mostly undeveloped.

The size of your ambition makes it "unvisitable" by anyone looking to see an attraction. It is just too big, and will not be enjoyable.

I llike your idea, but I think you need to do a lot more research into what makes a popular attraction, and scale it down, tremendously, from there.

In my opinion, anything larger than a Super-Wal-Mart would not be achievable.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:37 AM

SeeYou190

The Walt Disney Magic Kingdom . . . Doing a "lap" around the park is quite a hike.

And Walt addressed that issue very nicely by including a 3-foot gauge steam locomotive and train . . . always the first ride I go on to get a good look-see of what's what.

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:42 AM

ROBERT PETRICK
And Walt addressed that issue very nicely by including a 3-foot gauge steam locomotive and train.

Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens both feature live steam trains around the parks, and are wonderful rides.

The sounds of the train whistles add something to both parks. Nothing sounds like a real steam whistle.

I love them both.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 11:38 AM

Doughless

Maybe I'm wrong about that.

 

No, you're not.  No one, and I mean literally zero humans, is going to spend tme and money to look at hundreds and hundreds of feet of nothing.  There's vast tracts of empty, boring nothing that is going to consume enormous construction costs for people to hurry by as fast as they can.  It is one thing to see, say, the Hell Gate Bridge in full size and see how it dwarfs YOU even as it is a small model of what it really is.  It is another to see endless rural nothings.

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 12:40 PM

SeeYou190
tstage
4 hours plus......Do folks actually wait in line for that long?

Yes. My daughter and her fiance waited over 6 hours to ride the Millenium Falcon when it opened in Disney.

Alien Encounter was a masterpiece well worth the wait time when I saw it. It was one of the first attractions to use holographic technology, and it scared the living daylights out of all the children and most adults. It was brilliant.

I feel bad for the Disney employee that had to clean up all the messes from when the alien drooled on you from behind and then placed its hand on your shoulder.

I saw it before all the warning signs went up, and all the surprises were revealed, which made it even better. It was also the first attraction I saw that used sound effects so effectively.

It was worth 1/4 of the day and the full price of admission.

Alien Encounter replaced the aging Mission To Mars, it has now been replaced with Buzz Lightyear's 3D Alien Shooting Gallery, which is also worth a long wait and one of the most fun things you can do with your kids.

-Kevin

Thanks for the explanation, Kevin.  Yep, that pretty much confirms that WDW is still not a place I would enjoy spending my time or my money.  But...I'm glad others can enjoy it and do.

Tom

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 12:43 PM

No doubt DW and Epcot do everything top notch from my numorous visits.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by L. Zhou on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 1:03 PM

Imagine running realistic operations and interchanging cars coast to coast on such a huge railroad! Laugh

A mind forever wandering from the East to the West, and then back again. Two worlds, miles apart, so different but yet alike. 

https://hereandthentrains.weebly.com/

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Posted by gregc on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 1:06 PM

richhotrain
Think of it in simpler terms. Let's say that the area in question is 87 square miles (8.7 miles x 10.0 miles, for example). In HO scale that would be 1 square mile (87 divided by 87).

?

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 1:09 PM

Six square miles? Sounds like you need a train for the visitors Smile.

I like the "Walmart" size idea. And to attract the people in, you will need to show some really nice models to get the Awe. By definition, that will require a lot of effort.

So good luck with that.

Simon

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 1:14 PM

deleted

Alton Junction

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Posted by gregc on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 1:31 PM

a scale linear mile is 5280 / 87 = ~61ft

how many square ft in a square mi 27,878,400(5280^2).

how many square ft in a HO scale square mile ~3683 (~61^2)

what do you get if you divide square mi by square scale mi?

87*87 is 7569

 

maybe Jared is a billionare ... or knows one.    let him dream

 

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 1:42 PM

I can't believe that, more than a fifth of the way through the 21st Century, there are august and skilled model railroaders who don't understand scaling laws.

Area is 2D; volume 3D.  Apply a couple of recent 'arguments' to the scale size, or proportional weight, of a given piece of rolling stock.  See if the results make sense in your experience of modeling.  Govern the discussion here, such as it is, accordingly...

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 3:00 PM

Overmod
I can't believe that, more than a fifth of the way through the 21st Century, there are august and skilled model railroaders who don't understand scaling laws.

2D ir 3D scaling isn't something most of us need to be concerned with to build a beautiful model or layout.

We just buy 1:87 (or 1:160, or other) models, and have fun!

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 3:53 PM

snjroy

I like the "Walmart" size idea.

You touch on a very important topic that could actually make this project work.

Walmart is sitting on hundreds of properties all over the country that would be ideal for this venture; well, not exactly this venture as imagined and described, but a scaled down (sorry, couldn't resist) version that could actually be constructed and still meet the criteria of dwarfing Miniatur Wunderland.

There are many (former) Walmarts that have been closed when a Super Center Walmart was constructed down the road, and many Super Centers that were abandoned to make way for Super Duper Centers. Well-constructed buildings certified for human occupancy of between 100,000 square feet up to about 200,000 square feet. Full utilities and services; adequate parking; zoning and development tax issues resolved; highway access on all fronts; high ceilings, wide open spans, plenty of ingress and egress doors (safety), fire supression and alert systems, and plenty of loading docks.

Walmart would never sell or lease these properties to any of their competitors in a million years, so they sit empty and abandoned while blight springs up and grows throughout the entire neighborhood. And here's where the city (or other taxing authority) steps in with an interest. In general, they don't like blighted neighborhoods and abandoned buildings that serve as magnets for skateboarders and grafitti artists to hang out with the winos and druggies. So, there might be grants, tax-abatements, and other incentives for some enlightened developer to come in and pick up the slack.

A good idea that I've been reluctant to mention because I didn't want to do work for the OP without getting paid or without a MOU or contract in place.

Carry on.

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 4:18 PM

ROBERT PETRICK
A good idea that I've been reluctant to mention because I didn't want to do work for the OP without getting paid or without a MOU or contract in place

Very good point.  There have been some good ideas here, and on the other foot, avoidance of bad ideas.  All free.

Almost time for OP to pay up.  Or the ideas should shut down.

Since he is proposing a business venture, some of the discussion might cross forum rules.

- Douglas

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 6:59 PM

ROBERT PETRICK
They sit empty and abandoned while blight springs up and grows throughout the entire neighborhood.

One old Wal-Mart down here was converted to a car museum, and another became a school.

Most of them are just ruining the area where they rot away.

All of the old K-Marts down here have been successfully repurposed. One of these became a school also.

The Lee County School Board administration is located in a repurposed abandon mall. Now that I think about it, I am seeing a pattern here.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 8:49 PM

ROBERT PETRICK

 

 
snjroy

I like the "Walmart" size idea.

 

 

You touch on a very important topic that could actually make this project work.

Walmart is sitting on hundreds of properties all over the country that would be ideal for this venture; well, not exactly this venture as imagined and described, but a scaled down (sorry, couldn't resist) version that could actually be constructed and still meet the criteria of dwarfing Miniatur Wunderland.

There are many (former) Walmarts that have been closed when a Super Center Walmart was constructed down the road, and many Super Centers that were abandoned to make way for Super Duper Centers. Well-constructed buildings certified for human occupancy of between 100,000 square feet up to about 200,000 square feet. Full utilities and services; adequate parking; zoning and development tax issues resolved; highway access on all fronts; high ceilings, wide open spans, plenty of ingress and egress doors (safety), fire supression and alert systems, and plenty of loading docks.

Walmart would never sell or lease these properties to any of their competitors in a million years, so they sit empty and abandoned while blight springs up and grows throughout the entire neighborhood. And here's where the city (or other taxing authority) steps in with an interest. In general, they don't like blighted neighborhoods and abandoned buildings that serve as magnets for skateboarders and grafitti artists to hang out with the winos and druggies. So, there might be grants, tax-abatements, and other incentives for some enlightened developer to come in and pick up the slack.

A good idea that I've been reluctant to mention because I didn't want to do work for the OP without getting paid or without a MOU or contract in place.

Carry on.

 

This is interesting. There is not one abandoned Walmart that I know of in this region?

There are malls with empty anchor department stores, but Walmart has never just moved down the street to build the bigger store here.

And the one time I know of when it was considered, The county would not even consider the idea without a plan for the old store.......

And we are littered with Walmarts, I can leave my house and make a one hour loop and hit 4 or 5 easy. Give me 20 more minutes and I can hit 3 more and be back home.

Yes, as soon as I get a check for my design retainer, and you get one for the drafting, you and I will get started on this.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by JDawg on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 9:42 PM

I popped in to see what the commotion was about, I started reading and started laughing. I mean really laughing! Quite literally rolling on the floor. From a stupendously large layout, to HOA's and it just kept getting better. A Walmart full of trains!? I'm still wheezing at that one! Cool idea nonetheless. Can't hurt to dream! Crazy the stuff that comes up on cs.trains.com!

 

P.S. I'd love to have our artist friend show us some of his work, model railroading related or otherwise. Yet, I have this nagging feeling that there is going to be a YouTube troll video regarding this thread shortly. An eternal pessimist, I know, I know. Don't hate too much please. Im in such a good mood!Big SmileSmileBow

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

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Tomorrow is a Mystery.

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