In January of 2015, I boldly wrote a post indicating that I had finally settled on an era. That post should be a”prerequisite” before you read this post.
After describing my many eras and locales I have modeled (or started to model), I then wrote that I had finally decided on the post-merger SP-DRGW era because–
1 — It is rich with having both DRGW and SP motive power and an occasional caboose.
2 — Home road cars of UP, MP, WP, SP, SSW, CNW and CNW. All favorites–just need some ATSF thrown in.
3 — The track plan holds great promise and having a shortline could offer a variety of operations as well as mini-operating sessions when desired.
4 — I am very tired of re-configuring my rosters!!!
5 — It operates in the part of the country that I love and is beautiful.
All of that continues to appeal to me a lot, but you may have noticed that my most recent track plan (January 10, 2016 post) features the BN and SP and there has been all this talk of early 1980s. What the *&^%)($#@ happened!?
Well, my teenage memories struck initiated by all those 1978-1981 slides I scanned and other late 1970s-early 1980s images I have been seeing.
When I started recalling how glorious early 1980s railroading was, I had to evolve further. The Asherton Branch was born. (Asherton is the name of a West Texas town near where my mom grew up — for a few years — in Brundage, Texas, actually in old Missouri Pacific country.) The Asherton (or Carrizo Springs) Branch is a mythical line set somewhere in the “West” in the late summer of 1982. It is jointly operated by BN and SP. Occasional former SL-SF units are on the line and an occasional loaner from DRGW or MP.
The intellectual underpinnings for the new era were revealed in my series entitled, Rail Memories Parts I through IV.
To summarize–cabooses, diversity of road names, single car shippers, 40-foot boxcars, first generation motive power, BN predecessor freight cars, the Southern Pacific, the automobiles, piggyback ramps, team tracks, closing days of “old school” operations, all-door boxcars, etc. To me, this is the golden era, it is my “transition era!”
Will I stay with this era? I sure hope so. I am selling off most items not consistent with that era. I have kept a little good stuff related to Roswell in the early 1990s just in case, but everything else must go. I don’t even want to be tempted to change eras!
So far, it feels very right. Maybe, it is also because in the early 1980s, it was a very carefree chapter in my life (other than college)–baseball, golf, great music, learning to love beer and college parties (probably a bit too much) and girls (kind of redundant with college parties) –and …I was dorky enough to keep loving trains. Doesn’t hurt that the late 70s and early 80s had some great music (and many uber cool 1960s and 70s cars were still on the road).
My only security blanket is the possibility of shifting a couple of years earlier or going with the Roswell in the early 1990s. At least I have eliminated modern, late 1990s and everything before the late 1970s.
I have more posts on Roswell, New Mexico in the early 1990s coming soon. I shot a lot of pictures in Roswell. I still really like aspects of that era.
Note: I know steam fans will not like this use of transition era. However, I never knew steam. First generation locomotives are my “steam.” I have to admit though, I do like the sounds of a steam engine!