The HO scale Emporia Subdivision of the Santa Fe model railroad of Stephen and Cynthia Priest runs from Kansas City to Wellington, Kansas in July of 1978. Allen Keller asks Stephen the significance of that location and time period. For Stephen, there happens to be a lot of significance. He spent a lot of time railfanning in his youth, so for him the layout is very familiar and is a reflection on his childhood. He was interested in this time period because the prototype went through a lot of changes.
A lot of the first generation motive power ran with the new, so he was able to run a lot of the old F units as well as the new SD45s and 45-2s. There were a lot of equipment changes in this time as well, such as freight cars. It also allowed him to run bicentennials, use old paint schemes, and more.
For Stephen, he believes one of the first things model railroaders learn is concession. Due to the size of his basement, he realized he wasn’t going to be able to build the route he wanted as prototypical as he would have liked. Because of this, he chose specific areas to model very correctly while modeling the rest in a pseudo-prototypical manner.
He goes on to describe how he did so. To Stephen, so many people spend hours watching television, so he decided to devote that time instead to his railroad. He is happy to have been able to be a part of a cumulative hobby. Allen Keller goes on to ask Stephen why he double decked the railroad. For more Allen Keller videos, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.