Category Archives: Prototype

Short line Inspiration 1: The North Stratford Railroad

NSRC Boxcar

Looking for a small railroad on which to base a model? Like rolling countryside and boxcars? Have a penchant for small diesel engines? Want simple layouts that can be built as stand-alone modules, and connected together when there is more space?

Then look no further than the North Stratford Railroad Corporation (NSRC), an example of New England Yankee thrift and ingenuity.

To be honest, there was not much to it: a 44-tonner, an Alco S1, and 100 40′ boxcars, all of which have been or are in production in most modelling scales. Trains ran on a couple of days a week: firstly to sort out the loaded cars and swap them with the empties, and then to run the loads down to the CN (Grand Trunk) interchange, returning with new empties. The primary service was a furniture factory in Vermont, but the railroad was supported by the State of New Hampshire, which provided the lease on the track bed.


The terminus, at Beecher Falls, was just south of the Canadian border.

Canada ahoy!

There are some very nice pictures on the net: a simple search will turn them up, but for more information including layout plans, look no further than the ever wonderful Trainlife website, where all is explained.

Inspiration – and agreement

One of the things which has restored my mojo, and help me through the jungle of diversions to the oasis of focused calm is Trevor Marshall’s rather wonderful blog, about his project to model the CNR’s branch to Port Rowan. It is well worth a visit, but be warned, like many prodigious bloggers, his modelling output is fairly rapid, too. There’s a lot to read…

By pure chance (we never notice coincidences when they don’t happen) his latest post mentions that he weathers his scenery, to produce subtle variation in tone, and take off the plastic look. As you can see, this approach to colour as part of the finescale approach is well worth the effort.