I want to post a couple more thoughts about concept. This railroad is a "proto-freelance model railroad" It basically means that some of its real and some of its totally made up in my brain!
The real parts I chose was the basic setting. Time and place. I wanted the railroad to be set in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. I want the railroad to haul Wisconsin and Upper Michigan products. It should haul lumber, pulpwood, agriculture products, processed food, paper and iron ore. I'm not going to exclude other traffic, but I want to primarily focus on these times. I picked real cities in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, but I'm going to tweak their histories a bit. For example Poy Sippi...not sure if a railroad ever existed there. But it sure does on the Mascoutin Valley! We will explore each of the cities in detail as we progress through this blog.
Every good railroad needs a name. The Mascoutin Valley Railroad. How did I come up with that? With a little help from my wife, I choose the name based on a couple of factors. I wanted to capture a local theme. I used some local Native American history and a current day recreational trail name - The Mascoutin Valley Trail. Oddly enough the Mascoutin Valley Trail was a rails to trails program that used right of ways that appears on the Mascoutin Valley Railroad today! Apparently we didn't get the memo.
With the basic geographic area selected, the name of the railroad decided and what I want to haul on the railroad it was time to make a system map!
Here's the System Map of the Mascoutin Valley.
Lets break the divisions down.
The Northern Division primarily runs east-west. The Northern Division concentrates on Iron Ore traffic and Wood Products (Pulp, Lumber, Wood Chips and Paper. It connects with the CNW in Rhinelander and the E&LS and WC/CN in Iron Mountain. Ore traffic goes back and forth between Crandon and Iron Mountain. While logs, chips and paper gets hauled between Rhinelander and Iron Mountain. With the Goodman Lumber Mill and a sizable paper mill in Iron Mountain the Northern division is a major source of revenue for the Mascoutin Valley.
The Central Division is the connection between Northern and Southern Divisions. It is the main artery for paper and lumber traffic going south and grain and processed food heading north. With a major division yard in Clintonville the central division sees an immense amount of through traffic. Small industries keep the central division locals busy with various agri-businesses providing most of the revenue.
The Southern Division is a the most industrious and has the most diversity in terms of traffic. Ripon is the major connection point for the railroad. Ripon takes traffic from the north, east and west. Ripon also provides a connection with the Wisconsin Southern Railroad. Major Industries on the Southern Division include Princeton's Tiger Brewery, Ripon Good Cookies and Power Packaging. Other smaller industries provide a large amount of traffic almost on a daily basis.
With the concept down we can start filling the space.
Till Next time keep 'er in Notch 8!