Sunday morning railfanning

I’m sort of famous for the lousy photos I’ve taken trackside and still I keep posting them online. Since it’s Father’s Day, I figured it would be terrific to share these three of a Sorry Valley wayfreight on Prince Street rails. In these days of modern shortlines, it’s terrific to see familiar equipment as the SVR legacy extends to new territory.

The prototypes these models are based on are familiar enough but on Father’s Day, I think these models themselves are just that much more important. Today’s N scale is rich with terrific models. We owe a lot of this evolution to the Atlas-Kato partnership that produced the RS3 in the above photo. I think this single model is as important in the evolution of N scale as any other. When they were first released, Atlas always featured a Norfolk and Western decorated model in their adverts and this model started as one too. Of course, those original N&W colours would never do on a railroad as proud of its image as Dad’s Sorry Valley and it was soon carefully repainted into SVR corporate colours. Over time a few extra detail parts were added. Along with an Atlas RS11, this was one of the SVR’s main roadswitchers and featured in most SVR operating sessions. Also in this same train are a couple of the oldest surviving SVR freight cars, themselves approaching the forty year age mark.

Soon after I launched into the current layout I had remarked to Dad about what I was working on. About a week later, a carefully wrapped case of N scale equipment arrived and in that box was the entire SVR N scale collection. I can’t even begin to think of the words to express how honoured I am to have this here in my house and it’s with an equal measure of pride that I thought I’d attempt some N scale railfanning on the line with this photo-freight.

I credit this hobby as inspiration for so many great things in my life, either as a direct or indirect influence. I wouldn’t have any of that to credit if I had not had the great Dad that I have. My involvement in this hobby is entirely thanks to my exposure to Dad’s Sorry Valley and is only one example of those many great gifts he’s shared over my lifetime. I hope he realises how much of a terrific influence he is and how much he gave us and how much all of us kids appreciate that.



  1. I wonder if fathers realize the impact they have, Chris…probably not the full extent thereof.

    A nice story! And I don’t think you’re photos are lousy. I’ll show you lousy photos!!

    Your post coincides with my thinking about my summer front-step layout I’m playing. A Timesaver. Question – I’m beginning to think last summer’s layout was a Timesaver on a curve!
    More comparisons to follow.

    I’ve already came up with a layout name – the Great Cataraqui Lines. This is based on the fictitious railway my Dad based some of his earliest hand-built cars – The Cataraqui Northern Lines, which had reporting marks CTQ. ‘GCL’ is also Dad’s initials in reverse. Impact on us, indeed! And I’m planning a post on those early freight cars – so cool, rudimentary and elementary!

    Thanks for sharing this for Father’s Day,

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