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Statement from Ixion Model Railways Ltd
I consider myself a strict prototype modeler...and happily so. I like the boundaries that this approach provides, as they simplify life, help me focus on contentment in building with the things I have, and keep my spending in check. Without those boundaries, I have a tendency to become more of a collector than a modeler.
As much as I wanted to stay within strict proto parameters for everything regarding my modeling, there were a few things I really couldn't accept if I was going to have more than a couple customers for my local to work, i.e. none of the fertilizer dealers on my prototype - accounting for three of the five customers on the rural portions of the railroad - got a single car in May 2005. However, they got plenty in April and June of that year, so it seemed wrong not to represent that activity. If I was going to compromise on that point, though, I wanted to have some parameters around it so I didn't go back into "collector" mode.
With that in mind, I defined my expanded boundaries: If a customer didn't get any cars in May 2005, but that same customer did see action both before and after that time, I'd consider that a temporary lapse in service, and would treat them in my op sessions as though they were active throughout the month. That's worked really well for me, satisfying my desire to keep a strict handle on what I ran, while also allowing for moves that really were natural fits with my prototype.
Along those lines...three months after my era, a local Ready Mixed concrete plant started receiving 2-bay cement covered hoppers - a favorite car type of mine, and yet one that I've never been able to run. For years, I thought that customer was off-limits for my modeling since they didn't meet the conditions mentioned above, only starting service after my era.
The customer was in business in the month I model (and for many decades before and after, still going strong today), and the siding adjacent to their facility (the remains of the original RI yard in town) was active, but the only moves there were storage cars and off-spots from others customers - nothing for Ready Mixed. I've always planned to model the plant as "scenery", but thought I had to do without those 2-bay covered hoppers I like. Thankfully, last week Dave Husman came through with a satellite image he'd found showing cars spotted at that Ready Mixed plant in 1969, and that service could very well have continued for many years after that. So while they had lapses in service, the above discovery, combined with their September 2005 resumption of rail use, was close enough to satisfy my definition of "active".
So please welcome Ready Mixed to the list of active customers on IAIS's West End.
More info and photos to follow in my first reply below.
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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