|Modern industrial railroading, up close and personal. The size and mass of O scale allows one to capture this perspective on a layout, transporting operators into the scene. The location is eastern Pennsylvania, but could be anywhere in the country.|
My NCIR has no specific geographical location, other than being in the eastern US. This may seem like heresy when compared to popular layout design thinking, but I wanted prototypical operations and scenery without the limitation of one specific location. My wife and I travel extensively and visit many interesting areas across the US and Canada. My layout may be set in Pennsylvania for now. Later, I may think of the NCIR being located on the Delmarva Peninsula. A few years later the railroad may be in Virginia or in upstate New York.
Industrial switching layouts (ISL's) are great for this type of "generic-prototype” modeling. Modern industrial park architecture is often similar from one city to the next (those large shoebox designs are good for some things). My scenery, while based on an actual industrial branch near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is generic enough to pass for many locations in the eastern US. My second-hand locomotives are representative of those found on small switching operations today. Since I stage inbound cars on the layout, there is no need to own locomotives for the connecting railroad. As for the name New Castle Industrial Railroad: the Industrial Railroad part was easy enough; I happen to like the ring of New Castle and it is a name found on many state maps.