This page provides links to web sites that describe the state and development of my modules to-date. By documenting my progress on these modules I hope to help others avoid some of the same mistakes I made along the way.
Over the years I have collected equipment in both HO and N scale. I often struggled with a way to incorporate multiple scales in my envisioned railroad empire. Then one day, a few years ago, I realized that the economics of time and space would never come to be. That is when I decided to pursue multi-scale modular railroading.
Multi-Scale Modular Railroading allows me to exploit the benefits of each scale while avoiding the drawbacks. The smaller the scale the more equipment I have and the more modern the era. As the scale gets larger I buy less equipment but of higher quality and a later era. For example, in N scale I model the modern era and use only ready-to-run equipment. In HO I model the late 70's (my teenage years) and buy brass and high quality kits and if I ever get started in O I might consider steam / diesel 50's era or perhaps a turn of the century logging railroad with mostly scratch-built equipment. Anyway, you get the idea.
I pursue my multi-scale interests by building free-mo modules in both HO and N scale. Free-mo promotes prototypical look and operations by defining a simple single-line main that traverses the length of the module. The following links offer more information on free-mo modeling.
My Modeling Rules
I prefer prototypical modeling over toy-train like displays so, in an effort to achieve that, I try to follow a set of simple rules that will keep me focused on this goal.
- The land came before the tracks. Form the landscape so as to suggest that nature laid the land before we laid the tracks.
- Make everything dirty. It has been my experience in the real world that there are very few, if any, clean objects on or near the railroad tracks.
- Avoid static animations. As much as possible avoid scenic elements that statically depict a normally animated scene. This would include elements such as figures in motion, vehicles on roadways (parked vehicles are OK), running water, etc. Remember: Any single item that detracts from the realism will reinforce the deception.
A 2-unit set of HO free-mo modules.
Vernon is a small town in south central British Columbia where I grew up as a teenager in the 70s. The terrain is very similar to southern California, dry and desert like. I passed the CP branch line freight yard everyday on my walk to and from school. This yard served a number of local industries including fruit packing, an ice plant and a cement factory.
A 4' free-moN mini-mo module.
Denway is a fictitious area located along the CN main lines in eastern Canada (the name is a contraction of the title of an article that appeared in the Oct. 2001 issue of Model Railroader called "Wooden Highway Overpass").
A 4' free-moN mini-mo module.
The Ottertail Creek Bridge is a 120 ft. steel girder span over the Ottertail river in central British Columbia, Canada.
A 4' Frend Track module (dual standard Bend Track and Free-moN).
Ashland is a fictitious small town located along the CN main line in central British Columbia Canada (the name is a contraction of two places in BC that I am familiar with: Ashcroft and Peachland). This module will attempt to capture the spirit of the light industrial area surrounding these small town communities.
Personal circumstances have forced me to sell these modules to worthy colleagues so I am no longer actively updating them.