Mike Burgett aims to fully immerse the operators in the Chesapeake & Ohio model railroad. He desires to give them a sense of actually working a shift on the railroad. His dedication to realism is beyond the imagination. As a matter of fact, Mike explains that there are times when operating sessions get so intense that at the end of the night they have to clear their mind and realize they were not working for the real railroad.
Creating a Realistic C&O
In part eight of the 11-part Chesapeake & Ohio series, Allen Keller and Mike Burgett discuss the realism of the layout. Mike took on the challenge of recreating the Chesapeake & Ohio without any tangible experience with the prototype. He strived for accurate scenes through extensive historic research. In this particular video, Allen guides Mike through a dialogue with respect to the operating sessions of the Chesapeake & Ohio. This video also offers some intimate footage of the model railroad while they speak.
The Chesapeake & Ohio team operates under full CTC rules just like the prototype would. The same guidelines and regulations enforced on the real railroad are applied to the operating session of the model railroad. Although the operating sessions are very strict and precise, Mike ensures that his team still has fun. He alludes to the concept “blending laughter with rules syndrome.” He explains how that description is applicable to the way in which his team functions together. He also mentions model railroad solutions versus prototype solutions and explains which option he believes to be the best choice in modeling.
Maintaining realism in a model railroad layout can be a challenging task. It requires a large amount of research, time and dedication. The Chesapeake & Ohio operating team perfectly illustrates the amount of effort it takes to perform an accurate operating session.