Monday, May 4, 2015

The Model Railroad Right of Way

[The Model Railroad Right of Way by Oliver Wilson Whitwell, published by The Modelmaker Corporation, 1935. I bought this well preserved copy a couple of weeks ago for $20 US]

But remember those good long articles by George Allen ... they were long and strung out but intensely interesting. However, there aren’t too many George Allen’s around and incidentally I wonder what became of him.
E. L. Moore wonders what became of George Allen in his sales letter for 1973’s Bunn’s Feed and Seed to Model Railroader.
[About a quarter of the book's pages are dedicated to excellent line drawings such as these of tunnel openings. To me, this alone makes the book worthwhile. Both US and UK practices are covered.]

Discovering, among other things, we would have to build three culverts, we searched high and low for data. Our files not only failed to reveal a single sketch, but neither of us were in the mood to spend a raw, cold Saturday afternoon measuring some out on the wild moors of Long Island. Then I remembered Oliver Whitwell Wilson’s Model Railroad Right of Way (by the by, where is he these days?)
George Allen in Chapter 7 of 50,000 Spikes: Getting into the Groove with a River, a Mill, a Swampy Swamp, a Few Culverts... and a Waterfall That “Flows” Without Water from the April 1942 issue of Model Railroader wonders what became of Oliver Whitwell Wilson.
[There are also many photos of Mr. Whitwell's International Midland Railway used to illustrate the concepts. That bridge across Devil's Gulch isn't representative of the high quality modelling shown in the photos, but I was rather attracted to its quasi-abstract style. It must have been a distinctive feature on his layout.]

... I discuss the right of way and its problems. In order that the book can be complete as far as it goes, bridges and actual buildings are not considered. It does include, however, the background of the picture, the landscaping, tunnel mouths, culverts, fences and many another incidental unit which should line the right of way.
Oliver Wilson Whitwell introduces what his book is about in the Preface.

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