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January-February 1984 - Page 6


a message t o our readers
E d Woj ta s

M anageable a nd m odelable
m t imes h ave y isited m odel H owneoranycity hundredsou fvmilesCaahicago Aartailroad with o t erminal r epresenting nd a nother n amed f a o way? a m oderate p ace, i t u sually t akes o nly a f ew m inutes t o t raverse e ven a r el atively l arge l ayout. Gee , f rom D enver t o S an F rancisco a nd I 've g ot h alf a b eer l eft-and i t 's s till cold! E ven television's s hort-lived S upertrain c ou ldn 't m ake a t rip l ike t hat . M aybe t hat 's w hy s o m any m odelers p refer t o t ake a n a lter nate a pproach. Q uite o ften, a p ortion o f a m ainline o peration i s r epresented , w here o ne p rimary t erminal h andles t he b ulk o f t he s witching a nd o ther l arg'er t erminals a re i mplied a s t he t rains p ass t hrough a f ew s mall t owns a nd d isappear i nto t he s cenery. A nother c ommon a pproach t o a chieving c redi bili ty i n a s cale-length r ailroad i s t o s tart w ith a b ranch l ine o f a l arger r oad . T hen a gain , t his o ften m eans s acrificing t he s ervice f acilities a nd v ariety o f e quipment w e s eem t o be a ttracted to. H ow a bout b eginning w ith a s hort l ine r ail road? T hat g uarantees a ll t he w ork t rains a nd a ssociated m aintenance-of-way p eriphernalia o utside t he e nginehouse , a nd i f w e a lways o perate t he r ailroad w ith t he s ame c aboose a nd f our e ng'ines , t hat's O K 'cause t hat 's a ll t here is! F or t hose o f y ou l ooking f or a p ractical p rototype , t his i ssue m ay be o f i nterest. T his m onth 's P rototype P rofile f eatures t he C orinth & C ounce R ailroad c ompany , l ocated n ear t he i ntersection o f M ississippi , T ennessee a nd A labama . T he r ailroad o perates

a t otal o f o nly 2 6 m iles o f t rack, i ncluding t he l O-mile Yellow C reek b ranch b uilt b y t he T ennessee V alley A uthority , b ut CCR's m anagement f eels t hat t heir t rim s ize i s a n a dvantage b ecause i t 's r elatively e asy f or t hem t o k eep t rack o f o perations o n t he e ntire r ailroad. "Manageable ," i s t he t erm t hey u se , b ut i n t he o verall s cheme o f t hings i t t ranslates i nto "efficient ," a nd t hat s pells " profitable. " T he C CR i s a n a dmirable o peration , w hose 6 50 b oxcars e njoy t he h ighest c ar u tilization r ate i n t he c ountry. W ith t hree -m an c rews t raversing t he r ail l in e f rom C orinth (Miss.) t o C ounce ( Tenn .) a nd b ack t wice a d ay , t he p oint -to-point o peration b egs t o b e m odeled. I magine: y ards w ith r unarounds a t b oth e nds , a s tub-end b ranch , a nd i nterchanges a t C orinth w ith t he I llinois C entral G ulf a nd S outhern r ailroads. T he o perational f eatures a lone p rovide t he m ainline r unning , w ayfreight s witching a nd y ard w ork w e m odelers e njoy , a nd t he r ailroad c an be c onvincjngJy r e presented i n a r easonab le a mount o f s pace. W ith a ll n ecessary e quipment e ither a vailab le r eady-to-run o r e asily k itbashed i n a ll m ajor s cales , t he CCR p rovides a p ro toty pe f or a t ruly c lass y, y et p ractical , m ode l r ailroad. W hat m ore c ould a c ontemporary m odeler a sk f or?

E ditor, P ROTOTY PE M ODELER

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P ROTOTYPE M ODELER

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