How did I choose the Era, that is to say the setting in time, that my layout would display?
My druthers and what these druthers implied in terms of era:
I love large passenger trains.
Well, my layout’s too small for that so this will have to wait for a bigger layout…
I love funky small freight trains.
Any era will do for this…
I want steam locomotives but first generation diesels would be nice.
So we’re talking late 1930s through the 1940s
I want to model the period before the main San Francisco Bay bridges were built.
So pre 1939.
I love steam era maintenance of way equipment.
1910’s to 1940’s
I want my layout to be set during Prohibition.
1920 to 1933
I do not want to model The Depression
I want to freelance model the Northwestern Pacific Railroad during its peak years.
NWP’s peak year is generally considered to be 1927
NWP had mainly 4-6-0s and 4-4-0s
I’m freelancing a bit which means “I want room to take artistic license.” Therefore I was never going to choose “August 12, 1939” or any other excruciatingly narrow date range.
The era that met the most of my druthers was: the Roaring Twenties. Leaning more towards the late 20s than the early 20s.
What price am I paying?
Looking at my list above I’m going to not have the following:
Large passenger trains
First generation diesels
But I get all my other requirements. I’m okay with this compromise.
Additionally, I am SO fortunate that Bachmann is manufacturing such beautiful 4-6-0s lately and they have just released a perfect 4-4-0.