Tony Koester, editor of Kalmbach’s annual Model Railroad Planning and the Trains of Thought columnist and a contributing editor for Model Railroader, responded to an inquiry about his views of modeling a specific prototype vs. using one or more prototypes as the basis for a plausibly freelanced model railroad. Here’s Tony with more.
We keep trying to draw a line in the sand between prototype modeling and any form of freelancing. In my view, that’s both a waste of time and usually based upon faulty assumptions.
Let’s start with prototype modeling. As most of us who have done this to any extent have discovered, we are almost always faced with the choice of not getting much done, often owing to a lack of “complete” information, or the desire to make progress. “Analysis paralysis” is a very real aspect of prototype modeling. Many a grand plan has come to ruin on its shores.
Bob Hanmer sent details covering a special operating session on his HO scale Great Northern and Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range layout that serves the mining region. We think you will enjoy this.
Taconite is a hard rock found across the northern parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. It contains about 30% iron, so for most of the 20th century it was considered waste. That is until the war efforts of World War II and the Korean conflict severely depleted the existing reserves of high quality iron that could be fed directly (or with a little beneficiation) into a blast furnace.