Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EVRR: N scale beginnings

I’m going to build a 'sort of' replica of E. L. Moore’s Elizabeth Valley Railroad Road in N scale over the winter. At a leisurely pace of course :-) Hopefully it'll be a winter-long project.
[Some holes were drilled in the centre strut for wiring.]

I've been thinking about how to approach this project for awhile. The EVRR isn’t about simulating railroad business operations. In fact there’s very little about it that deals with any sort of business or industry. It’s leisurely. It’s laid-back. It’s mellow. The trains run just to run; to take passengers here and there; to see the sights; to go fishing. It’s a nostalgic look at a time past in America. It’s set around the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century. Before world wars and the great depression. Even before the automobile took over and airships seemed like the future of flight. But at the same time it’s not historically accurate. It’s not cynical, ironic, steam-punky or arch. There’s good natured ribbing. As a model railroad, it isn’t modular; it’s complete unto itself; it’s loop-based; it doesn’t model a specific prototype; it isn’t finescale, but it’s highly scratchbuilt.
[I had to screw the centre strut into the perimeter frame.]

On the other hand, I’m a hobbyist. A model builder. I’m not an archeologist or historian or archivist or restorer. I don’t even play one on tv :-) I’ll be respecting the original EVRR, but this project won’t be a 100% replication. First of all, I don’t have complete information about it, just bits and pieces I’ve harvested from old magazines. I don’t think a complete published record exists. So, based on that alone, this project can’t claim to be a complete and fully accurate replication. Then there’s constraints I bring to the table. I can’t house or pay for a full-size HO-scale replica: hence going to N-scale. I have an interest in electric trolleys and trams, especially the Lowe Mountain railway that opened in 1893 – right in the EVRR timeframe. By his own admission, E. L. Moore wasn’t a trolley man. I am. So, just as Mr. Moore superimposed the Eagleroost & Koontree on the EVRR, I’m likely to superimpose a small, touristy electric railway in place of the narrow gauge E&K.

Which is all a very longwinded way of saying I drilled some holes for wiring in the centre strut and screwed it into the perimeter frame.

Ok, well, I let the frame sit in the house for a longtime without doing anything to it to see if it would warp as the humidity of the house changed in response to going from summer to winter conditions. It turns out the centre strut separated a little from the perimeter frame, so I added a pair of screws.

The next step will be to add some sort of sound deadening layer - either cork or foam - to the frame and transfer the trackplan to the surface. Once that's done I'll be able to determine what size of switches to buy. I plan to go with Peco switches, but there's various sizes, so some preparation is needed.

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