Friday, May 30, 2014

Sturgeon Falls, MI - A Fictional Town

Roughly a month ago, I started to get myself some model trains.  At first I was just going to have them as static displays.  Then I decided that it would be much more fun to set up some track and start to play with them.  So I set up a rudimentary track system.  Then I decided to get another controller so that I could run two trains at once.  Then I made my setup a little more complicated.
After a while of playing around with it, I decided that I needed some buildings.  With that I also decided to base it on a setting I'm familiar with.  So I present Sturgeon Falls (there is a real one but this is not that one).  It is loosely based on some of the smaller towns I find in my travels around the state.  Rather than going out to buy the buildings, I've decided to try to building them myself.

The first building I created was the passenger depot.  It is loosely based on the one in Ypsilanti.  For now I'm going to keep the basic look but I think I want to paint it and make it look more realistic.

Sturgeon Falls was established in 1855.  Like many towns in Michigan it was in response to the lumber boom.  As the forests were depleted, they were converted over to farm land.  The first train passed through Sturgeon Falls in the 1870's, like many of the trains at the time, it was run by the Michigan Central Railroad.  The passenger depot was built in 1885.
The other buildings are loosely based on what I call "Standard Midwestern Town".  I imagine there is a blueprint somewhere that is titled that.  I also plan on painting these at some point.  So far, I have a trackside restaurant called "Eat", a hardware store, general store and hotel.   The hotel is known as the Railway Arms and was built in 1895 by the Michigan Central Railroad.  In its day it was a pretty nice place to stay.
Just an overall shot of the town.  I also plan to add a couple more buildings to the downtown area.
Sturgeon Falls is serviced by 5 of the major railroads.
An overall shot of my layout as it currently stands.  There is a small rail yard at one side and I guess something that would represent destinations.  Another building I plan to add is some sort of grain elevator.
A shot of my Union Pacific engine.
Same engine from a slightly different angle.
A shot of my small rail yard.  I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with the switcher though.  I like my layout so far though.

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