#45 -July 2010 Status Report

July 2, 2010

As in months past, this month, we’ll take another look at small details on the EnterTRAINment Junction layout.  Many have stories or show recognizable scenes from their time periods.  Most of those stories, of course, are not fully explained, and so leave a bit to the imagination of the viewer to fill in the details.


The first scene takes place in the Early Period, next to the church in the village near the coke ovens.  The preacher is handing a little girl an apple in an attempt to make her feel better after the funeral of a loved one, whose coffin rests in the nearby wagon (Figure 1).


Figure 1.   The Funeral


In the Middle Period town by the coal mine, children are playing as they did in the mid 1900s.  They’re doing those old kid tricks, like lying down in the middle of the carousel, trying to get dizzy, or rolling and controlling a hoop it with a stick (long before the invention of the hula hoop) (Figure 2).


Figure 2.  The Playground


The Middle Period city provides some challenges for viewers (and photographers) of the layout.  There are areas with marvelous details that are very hard to see because they are mostly hidden by the surrounding buildings.  Cases in point are the two parks in front of the central courthouse.  Each has a grassy area and trees, as well as a fountain with an obelisk at the center.  One of these can be seen beyond the rear corners of the fire escapes in Figure 3.  This park is the park closest to Union Station.


Figure 3.  The Courthouse Park


In the Middle Period Engine Servicing Facility, there’s a scene common to railroading before the use of radios.  A worker holds a forked pole with a message tied between the prongs of the fork (Figure 4).  When the intended locomotive passed, he would hold the fork high enough that a passing train crew could catch the message as they passed by, without needing to stop for it.


Figure 4.  The Message Pole


In the Modern City (Oakmore) at the entry to the Capital Drive subway station, we find a common scene from life today, a person scavenging in a trash can for recyclable aluminum cans (Figure 5).

Figure 5.  The Recycler


Down in the subway station itself, another familiar scene, a guitar player entertains the waiting passengers, hoping for a few donations (Figure 6).  Those of us who play guitar will notice something unusual about this musician.



Figure 6.  The Guitar Player


One of the most spectacular details on the subway station platform (mentioned last month) is an internally-lit advertising sign, suggesting a visit to EnterTRAINment Junction, touting the Oakmore Hotel as a place you can “rest in peace” (hopefully not in the way that first comes to mind from that phrase), and wanting you to buy diamonds (Figure 7).

Figure 7.  Subway Station Advertising Sign


The final detail in this installment is the subway platform and its system map.  The map shown in Figure 8 is on the Capital Drive Station platform, but there are other copies as well, on the platform and in the entryways above, in the parking lot.  The system looks quite extensive, and it is, in fact, quite famous around the world.  No, the “M” does not stand for “Moscow,” but if you could read the labels, you might find that they’re in Russian.


Figure 8.  The Subway System Map


Like many of the scenes in this layout, it’s the small details in this scene that make it more real and recognizable, like the trash can with it’s abandoned soda can, or the brochure littering the platform near the trash can’s base.  These little items do not appear by accident; the modelers have to consciously identify them in their plan and then deliberately add them to the scene.  That’s part of the beauty and the art makes this layout so outstanding.


© 2010 Tom Bartsch

MVGRS Big Train Project Coordinator