About the MFR

The Metaline Falls Railroad (MFR) is a proto-freelanced model railroad based on the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad located in northern Idaho and north eastern Washington State. For the very latest on the layout, please visit my YouTube channel and follow along with my Instagram account.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lions Club Excursion

I found a video showing off the real-world trackage that my proto-freelanced layout will be rolling over. Today it mostly sees tourists trips, but I will be bringing freight traffic back to the rails!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The times, they are a changing...

I never meant to get back into the hobby... at least, not this soon.  Highschool was over, college was ahead of me.  I had more important things to worry about.  Exams, my eventual career, wife, kids, etc. It was time to put my trains in a box and focus on other stuff.  Perhaps in 30 years I'd pull that box of rolling stock back out and get back to building model railroads.
That was 12 years ago...  In February I wandered back into a train shop.  I hadn't been in one for years. Curious to see what the manufacturers were doing now, I picked an Athearn 2 bay covered hopper up off the shelf.  My jaw hit the floor.

Metal wheels, wire grab irons, detailed undercarrage and etched metal roof walks! This was a level of detail I'd only ever seen in Model Railroader Magazine. It was a level of detail I always wanted, yet never thought I could have due to time/skill/patience restraints. How was it possible that all of this was available in a ready-to-run car? Amazing! I bought the car without hesitation.

Then I went home and got online to see what else I've been missing out on in the last decade or so.  DCC controlled lighting and sound decoders were bringing an amazing amount of life to locomotives, lasercut products were getting cheaper and cheaper,  great new inovations in scenic products have brought a whole new level of realism to the hobby.

The internet itself has been an amazing addition to the hobby.  Youtube is full of inspiration layout visits, informative how-to videos, and entertaining videos of real world railroads.  Fantastic, searchable databases of photos allow modelers to find information on just about any engine or car in seconds, communities of builders and blogs inspire everyone to build better, and podcasts help those long trips to and from work go so much easier!

And so now I am back in the hobby, and it seems that I've picked the perfect time to jump back in!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Welcome to the Metaline Falls Terminal Railroad

Welcome to the Metaline Falls Terminal Railroad! This is the first in what I hope to be a great many posts about the construction and operations of my own little railroad empire. Please feel free to join me on my new adventure!

So what is the MFTR?  Well, it's a Modern-Era freelance railroad inspired by the grand vista and the tough and resilent people of the Pend Oreille Valley in eastern Washington state.  In the real world, the area is serviced by the POVA and doesn't see as much traffic as it once may have.  For my purposes I have decided to give the area a bit of a different history:

Thanks to a strong logging industry and a large Cement Factory, The towns of Ione and Metaline Falls experienced good prosperity through the mid nineties.  In recent years however, demand for east Washington timber has slowed and a sluggish economy has taken its toll on the cement industry.  In response, the BNSF decided to shut down operations in the Pend Oreille Valley north of Newport.

Rather than see the line shut down, the citizens of the Pend Oreille Valley joined together to form the Metaline Falls Terminal Railroad to continue service to the industries so vital to the prosperity of the area.

The Model Railroad itself is a small one. I do not have much room or money for a large railroad, and so I've decided to model a small HO scale shelf layout. along an 10 foot section of wall.  I've taken much inspiration from a number of model railroads recently.  Namely the NCIR: http://oscalewcor.blogspot.com/ and Dawson Station: http://dawson-station.blogspot.com/ I am a big believer in the idea of small model railroads.  Most people seem to think that to build an interesting and engaging layout, one must spend a small fortune and give an entire room of their house over to their trains.  I intend to prove that this is not the case!