What is the Continental Northern Ry

blog photos 007                                                          The Continental Northern Railroad as envisioned is a class 1 railroad set in the early 1950’s running from the upper Midwest to the Pacific Northwest ( picture the Great Northern or the Northern Pacific ) . My original plan, when I had the space, was to do a large layout with a series of separate scenes depicting different areas of the country to give a sense of moving across the country. Why? Because I had wanted to model the Midwest -you model what you know.   I also wanted to model a harbor scene. I love ships and ship modeling and had seen some great railroad/harbor scenes modeled in magazines. When we built our present home I finally had the space to attempt to model this. Unfortunately, the layout went horribly wrong. I tried to cram too much into too small of a space. I also ignored everything I had read about layout planning, too tight of radius, bench work that was way too deep, inclines that were too steep ( I should have mentioned I was trying to build it as double deck layout ) and on and on. After not looking at the layout for about six months I went downstairs, took a good look at it, had a heart to heart with myself and decided there was no saving it.  I had to tear it down and start over. I also took out a wall between the layout room and my shop increasing the space by about 50%. I now had the space to build a layout where I could hope to accomplish what I envisioned. The true turning point came when I realized that I could model just the eastern end of the railroad. I had overlooked the fact that just 120 miles north of Minneapolis ( my starting point of the railroad ) is the port of Duluth. I could have my Midwest railroad and a harbor scene without overreaching.  So, that is what I am modeling- an eastern subdivision of the Continental Northern from the Twin Cities to Duluth.

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