The current issue of MRH (Model Railroad Hobbyist) magazine contains a column by me, for those who might be interested. The magazine is entirely electronic, no paper copies unless you print one out for yourself, and can be downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) to your computer. The magazine is free to anyone. To obtain a copy, go to http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/magazine .
The column is part of a series called “Getting Real,” intended as views of prototype modeling opportunities and challenges from a variety of prototype-oriented modelers. To date these include Joe Fugate (editor of MRH), Mike Rose, Jack Burgess, Marty McGuirk, and me. Each of us is writing a column in rotation, so we submit one every five months.
My piece this month is entitled “Choosing a Model Freight Car Fleet” (abbreviated in the MRH Table of Contents as “Freight Car Fleet”), and essentially follows a couple of my blog posts on the subject, though not repeating any of them. Focus is on both the Gilbert-Nelson idea of foreign-car presence on any railroad, and on the appropriate percentage of home-road cars. The former topic was first discussed in this blog at the post entitled “Choosing a model car fleet-2,” available at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2010/12/choosing-model-car-fleet-2.html , and including the bar graph of railroad fleet sizes. The latter topic was discussed first in my post called “Modeling freight traffic: Coast Line, 1953-Part 7,” which can be seen at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2011/03/modeling-freight-traffic-coast-line_11.html , a post which described finding an SP home-road percentage in a conductor’s time book.
I did include in the column the bar graph of SP car types in 1950, a graph included in each of my volumes on SP freight cars. Beyond that, the column included an SP yard photo, just for flavor, a photo which was also included as a double-page spread in my Volume 5 on Southern Pacific Freight Cars (Signature Press, 2008), pages 104 and 105. Here is a smaller version to show the overall impression:
I feel that Joe Fugate is doing something worthwhile with this series on prototype-oriented modeling, and hope I can keep up with the distinguished company of my fellow columnists.