Real but not realistic?

Sometimes when we’re trackside we’re presented with something that might just look too odd to try and recreate in miniature. I thought about that when I saw the bumper in this photo.
Look at the way the track appears to lift up from the roadbed. Further, there just doesn’t appear to be enough land under the track to hold up a loaded railcar. If modelled accurately, it might look sloppy to an observer not familiar with the prototype. As I explored around this simple track bumper, I wonder how this scene could be modelled and how did I feel about modelling something that, no matter how realistically done, might never look right.

This simple scene provided me with an opportunity to see something that caused me to question a personal convention. Have you ever seen something in “real” railroading that caused you to question how you approach the design of your models? Perhaps those boundries and defacto standards that underscore a typical scene you design and build into your model railway?



    1. Good morning

      Since it’s spring here in Atlantic Canada and everywhere things are heaving and sinking. When I first saw the siding, I assumed it was sinking in the areas where the cars would typically be placed and that the track at the bumper was the original height.

      While reflecting back on the Co-op mill and traffic patterns near it I remembered that it really only had one spot where a car could be unloaded. Running an engine out there to shift cars is probably too much of an expense so there must be another way to move cars. This is where I started thinking in line with what you asked and that perhaps the tail of the siding is slopped down to help move cars – that new cars are all placed at the end of the siding and then take advantage of the downgrade to creep toward the unloading area.

      As details go, it’s one that I didn’t expect to see or really be as curious about. While only minor, it’s a terrific example of the importance of getting out to see the real thing for the observations that can be brought home to our model railways.

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