One of the main reasons I switched from modelling a Maine two-footer to modelling the Canadian National in southern Ontario was practical: the real CNR Simcoe Sub is a lot easier to research.
When I modelled Maine, I was a 12-hour highway drive and an international border away from my inspiration. That meant setting aside several days, and incurring the expense of a hotel (plus lots of gas, meals, and so on). Those adventures were fun, but in the many years I modelled Maine I think I only visited three or four times.
Today, with Port Rowan, I can drive to Port Rowan and St. Williams in less than three hours. I’ve done several day-trips to the area, which always provides ideas for the layout.
The lesson is simple: The closer you are to what you model, the easier it’s going to be to explore your prototype. I mention this because my friend Bernard Hellen has written an amazing, inspirational piece about a potential prototype in his neighbourhood. To read more, click on the image at the top of this post – and enjoy if you visit.
While you’re there, have a look around Bernard’s blog, which is about modelling the Quebec Gatineau Railway – a modern short line running between Montreal and Quebec City. It’s worth the time.
(I’m turning off comments on this post: I encourage you to join the conversation about modelling local on Bernard’s blog.)