Introduction to Musselshell & Yogo Peak Railroad

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The Musselshell and Yogo Peak Railroad, or the M&YK for short, is a layout created by Doug Hodgdon and Bill Briggs. In this video, Hodgdon gives an introduction to the layout, and details how he started in the model railroading hobby and profession.

The Musselshell and Yogo Peak Railroad is a Montana railway modeled after the 1960’s era. There are four intertwining and interconnecting mainline railroads; the North Pacific, Milwaukee Road, the Burlington, and the M&YK. The M&YK is Briggs’ freelance railroad. The scenery of the model contains real rocks from Montana, making it the heaviest layout in town. The layout also consists of concrete, hardshell plaster, ground foam, and other natural materials.

Before Hodgdon and Briggs started working on the M&YK together, Hodgdon knew him as one of his top railroad construction customers. Hodgdon was introduced to model railroading at three years old when he received a windup train for Christmas. St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where he grew up, was an industrial suburb of Minneapolis and was heavy with railroad activity. For neighbors he had both a freight conductor of the Minneapolis Northfield and Southern Railroads, and a model railroader who went on to become the president of the National Model Railroad Association.

Hodgdon’s love for trains grew as he accompanied his neighbor in train caboose rides, learning the real operations of a shortline railroad. His inspiration to model railroads was sparked by neighbor Gene Hickey, who had an HO scale basement layout. Hodgdon later absorbed this layout, started HO scale modeling, and went on to start a model railroad construction business. Briggs’ passed away in the spring of 2009, leaving friend and partner Hodgdon to describe their incredible work.

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