Inspired by a post on Jack Hill’s blog, Chris Mears wrote a lovely post of his own about the Manheim Industrial Railroad, a shortline that serves a single LPG customer in Manheim PA.
At less than two miles in length with only a single turnout, such micro operations are often of little interest to a majority of modelers, though Chris and Jack among others make their enthusiasm for such lines clear.
While I can only speak from my own experience, such simple operations are a place where time is collected. There is time and opportunity to appreciate the slow and steady motion of a train. We understand these machines are massive things weighing many tons each. As such, we take note of all the unhurried moves a switchman makes to unlock a turnout, throw the points and secure things before the next move.
There is time to be deliberate in studying the track and environment and learn to appreciate that the railroad is part of the landscape, not removed from it.
This is railroading in its most basic form: serving the needs of a customer and a community at once.
Tracing the line via Google Earth photos, I’m struck by how similar it is to my own Mill Road cameo. This confirms for me that I’m on a solid path with the layout, one that is rooted in reality, rather than fantasy.
Thank you Chris for your enthusiasm and for sharing it with us.