Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Juice Modeling in the Wild: Heavy Electric Railroad Modeling

One of my goals for Up Dunes Junction is to become a resource for modelers who like their electrics, and so I am kicking off 'Juice Modeling in the Wild', an occasional series on examples of big traction models on the web.

Heavy electric modeling is fairly rare.  There's a whole model railroading world out there of Union Pacific, narrow gauge, Appalachian coal haulers, circus trains, late model diesels, and lot of other big and small niches that get a lot of play in the big model railroading magazines and web sites, but catenary and pantographs don't get no respect.

The last ten or fifteen years have seen a lot of manufacturer interest in American electrics--Atlas' AEM-7, Bachmann's modern Amtrak and EL-C/E-33 offerings, and a steady stream of 'premium' big electrics from MTH, Broadway, and even Trix. For cryin' out loud, for as many GG-1s have been offered in the past ten years (MTH is doing one this year), one would think there's a closet heavy electric modeler in every county, though there are probably several states that don't have any.

There are a couple of notable online resources for heavy electric model railroads. For a great start, check out  this page at Model Memories.

For the first installment of 'Juice Modeling in the Wild', let's have a look at Rick Abramson's outstanding New Haven layout. Model Railroader magazine featured Rick's layout in its August 2004 issue (not linkable, unfortunately) but luckily there are several ways to get a glimpse of it online (try Model MemoriesMetro North NMRA, and Rapido Trains ) including this preview video for FOS Scale Models' new DVD:

Know of a heavy electric layout or modeler that should be featured here? Let me know!