While it is possible for any given model (of anything at all) to be very close to scale, all model railroads are a caricature of the prototype. The most fanatical fine-scaler still uses curves sharper than any prototype and the largest model empire still has no more than a few scale miles of track. It always comes back to different-strokes-for-different-folks or whatever-floats-your-boat. That is, is it fun?

   Personally I am of the Frank Ellison school in viewing the layout as a stage and the rolling stock as the actors in a play that I put on. Operation is my thing and I stick with bullet-proof truck-mounted "lobster claws", oversized flanges and the third rail for the sake of near-100% coupling/uncoupling performance, zero derailments and 100% no-stall electrical performance.

   I use Lionel near-scale NW2s, near-scale F3s, near scale extruded aluminum passenger cars, and MTH near-scale freight rolling stock rolling along on semi-realistic Fastrack through semi-realistic scenery. To my eye and brain this stuff looks and acts like real trains in miniature. I have watched more than a few prototype coupling/uncoupling operations and the lobster-claws are large enough to visibly evoke the real thing in my brain. When I look at the oversized flanges and 5' gauge in my mind I see the real thing. Again, to me it is all caricature and mind games and it is fun.

    As such I do enjoy the 3rs forum but probably have nothing to contribute there.





Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

I must be a 3-rail scale person, too although my third rail is about 4½ inches above the center of the track!


Later Gator,



Here comes a Yankee with a blackened soul,
Heading to Gatow with a load of coal.
......Anonymous U. S. pilot during the Berlin Airlift


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PRRMP54 posted:

I must be a 3-rail scale person, too although my third rail is about 4½ inches above the center of the track!


Very nice trolley work. Is there a 1920s era bus model to go with it, instead of that modern vehicle?


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