Ooo… it’s the “leather” anniversary

Three years ago today – August 29, 2011 – I started blogging about my plans for an S scale model railway depicting the CNR branch line to Port Rowan, Ontario.

Over the past 1,000+ days, I’ve written hundreds of blog posts and – via a few thousand comments – you (and you, and also you) and I have exchanged many great ideas about my prototype, my model of it, CNR and steam-era railroading in general, the state of the hobby and more. Thank you, everyone, for being so interested, for being informative and entertaining, and for being respectful.

Rather than list a bunch of blogging stats here, I decided it would be more fun to drop some of the highlights into a video. So if you want to know more about how this blog is doing (and personally, I’m thrilled), enjoy this quick anniversary run as CNR mixed train M233 steams westbound to Port Rowan.

(You may also watch this directly on YouTube, where you may be able to view it in larger formats)

I’m looking forward to more great conversations in the year ahead!

11 thoughts on “Ooo… it’s the “leather” anniversary

  1. Super job, quite inspirational
    Your Mogul No. 86 was the last engine on CN’s Westport Subdivision, August 30, 1952, and perhaps a couple of times later for the clean up train and for rail removal. Now she sits at the Western Fair Grounds in London, Ontario. Too bad that she could not have been preserved in Brockville.

    A question about Port Rowan. Was there a track to the wharf? If so, have you modelled it? If so, I would be curious about the wharf itself as I am trying to figure out an appropriate design for my wharf along the St. Lawrence River.

    Again, congratulations.

    • Hi Philip:

      No – no track to the wharf/water. The yard was at the north end of town and if there wasn’t a sign on the station that included the word “Port”, there would be nothing to suggest that Lake Erie was at the south end of town.

      Here’s the prototype map for all trackage in Port Rowan – click for a larger image:
      Port Rowan track arrangement photo PortRowan-Plot-Web.jpg

      The path of the former rail line is obvious in this aerial view of Port Rowan. Can you see it? Click on the image for the answer:
      Port Rowan from the air photo PtR.jpg

      In looking through Steam Over Palmerston by Ian Wilson, I see that wharves tended to be fairly simple affairs. One could model it with a concrete wall at the water, with suitable details to tie up boats along the top of the wall and “street trackage” – e.g. two rails, no ties, in asphalt.

      Hope this helps.


  2. Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun? Happiness is all the great thoughts and hardware you have put into this effort and the high level of rewards.
    Thanks and looking forward to many more years of enjoying, learning and thinking…

  3. Congrats on your 3rd year anniversary. I think I started reading about a year ago. I thoroughly enjoy reading it. I Liked it
    so much I went back to the beginning. I also like your achievable layouts and steam in the garden blogs as well. Thanks for all the great writing.

  4. I model N scale, however, I strongly believe that I can learn from any scale. I have been reading your blog for about a year and have picked up quite a few “gems.” Thanks for sharing with us all.

  5. Happy Anniversary! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful railroad and ideas of modeling. Also your blogs on people, dogs, food and drink, and the state of model railroading in general. Looking forward to the next year of inspiring work and info.
    Cheers, Gord

  6. Kudos to you Trevor for all your work, dedication and “gems” that you have shared.
    Your blog has been my main info source as I am working on a prairie 3 elevator rail yard in a small Manitoba village in “S”. I have learned much and been inspired.
    Great communication, – and hope to keep connected.
    Neil Froese

  7. Trevor,

    Congratulations your anniversary. Layouts of any sort take a lot of time and efforts, all enjoyable. I have been following along for some time now and have learned a lot and have enjoyed your posts. You have given me a lot of ideas on how to operate and build a “manageable layout”. It looks like my current layout might be under going some changes to downsize, even though I only have 13 turnouts on the railroad. Thanks for taking the efforts.

    Mike S.

  8. Congratulations on your third, Trevor. I’m a late comer to this party, but I’ve enjoyed following your progress in the short time that I’ve been here.

    I look forward to your blog posts…keep ’em coming!


  9. While I was watching your video in “Going Home”, and also your Third Anniversary video, one thing that I noticed is that while everything on your Railway in miniature could stand on its own, the total effect is truly magical. Details like the multiple styles of fences, as well as modeling only the fence on (I assume – not always a good idea! ) the property line between the fields and the forest, not along the forest or the fields shows attention to detail. I think most modelers (me included) would think if I’m going to add a fence, it has to fence in everything, which isn’t always the case. Nothing stands out (even if everything is outstanding [pun intended of course : )]), everything blends into a harmonious whole. So often I can look at a model and say, “Oh, it’s an HO Scale layout – look at those Walthers buildings”, or “that’s a great N Scale model railway” and know that because of the track, it is indeed N Scale. When I look at the Port Rowan, it’s more like looking at the real thing and that’s how I “see” it.

    Likewise, I really like that everything is weathered, but not like the equipment is being sent to the scrap yard! While such cars did (and do) exist on the prototype, some modelers seem to think that every car has to be that way.

    Finally, I love that so much that you have posted is “scale less”, in other words, subjects and information that anyone can use, if they are wise enough to do so!

    Well okay, one more thing, your writing style is great too. Good humor and friendly, it’s like you are talking to me specifically instead of 446 other people.

    Thanks for the last three years, and here’s to the next three years!


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