MRA Editors

Using Applied History to Duplicate a Prototype Railroad

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Duration:   3  mins

When it comes to prototyping a model railroad layout, nothing is more essential to the success of a duplication than thorough research. It should come as no surprise that some of the world’s best prototypers are also lifelong railfans and highly dedicated researchers. Such is the case for master modeler Jack Burgess, builder of Yosemite Valley Railway and strong advocate of the use of applied history.

In this segment, host Allen Keller visits Jack’s workshop to learn about his process for researching, designing and creating a scale duplicate with the help of applied history. Jack introduces a variety of the research tools and artifacts he utilized to recreate one of California’s most vital railroads of the 1930s. You’ll learn how the YV came to life thanks to artifacts such as railway registries — complete with equipment specifications and dimensions — official timetables and dispatcher sheets. Jack explains why, in his mind, there’s no such thing as too much research or too many artifacts. We think you’ll understand what he means when you take a look at his spectacular layout!

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