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.



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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