Bill Briggs’ love for Western history inspired him to bring into existence a model railroad replica of the Wild West. He chose to model the Montana rail lines because it was his favorite state to visit. The model includes the Northern Pacific, the Milwaukee Road, and the Burlington. The towns of the M&YP model railroad were freelanced using prototypical locations as inspiration. In this video, Doug Hodgdon gives a behind-the-scenes tour of three of the M&YP towns called Bill, Two Dot and Lombard.
The Towns of the M&YP
Doug begins the tour on the west end of the M&YP layout. He shares the narrative behind the towns and the buildings that inhabit them. The first stop is Bill and Jody’s Ranch site in Bill, Montana. A grain elevator and stalk pens take up residence in the foreground. A road leads up the hillside for access to the ranch complex. The Railway Saloon and the Boarding House are also found in the town of Bill. The next town over is a mining and railroad junction town called Two Dot. This town is home to the depot station and a sizeable commercial area which includes the state bank of Two Dot and the Terratorial Enterprise Newspaper run by a famous railroad author. There is also a post office in town. The final stop is the town of Lombard located at the highest point in the layout. Lombard is another mining area and is served by the standard gauge leg of the M&YP Lombard Branch. Bill and Jody’s log cabin and mountain retreat are nestled on top of Lombard.
During the tour, Doug shares some inside secrets about the M&YP. For example, he reveals a weathering technique they used on all the buildings on the layout. He also points out some struggles Bill had with the scenery, including a particular accessory he searched long and hard for to add to the layout. Additionally, Doug highlights some not so obvious narratives hidden amongst the scenery.