|A fraction of things that no longer have a place in the collection...|
No toddler starts walking on his two feet the first time he tries and the same applies to all the aspects of our lives. At some point, you've got to experiment and start grasping the several aspects of the surrounding environment. The small 0-6-0 saddle tank speaks of a time when I was investigating local limestone and marble quarry operations, which led me to discover the presence of Maine Central in Southern Quebec which opened a larger door into Northeastern railways in general, both in Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Even a single picture of Ciment St-Laurent plant put me on the track to discover the Shawmut Line, its coal mines and the intricate history of Pennsylvania Railroad's coal hopper fleet.
At some point, I'm doing archeological work on my own life and turning upside down at least 15 years of active modelling since I decided to get a layout of my own once for all.
As I recently said, what recently surprised me was the large fleet of American cars I had while I generally don't model such roads. However, looking back at Harlem Station, I couldn't help but see many interesting projects that would fit perfectly that layout theme. Funny how I'm constantly brought back to that layout since the first time I witnessed that prototype back in 2010 when Jack Trollope was creating a version of it presented by the late Carl Arendt on his wonderful Micro-Layout website. Little I did know at that time Harlem Station would became a fascination for me. And while all the other New York harbor terminals are much famous because of their intricate track plan, I was in fact attracted by Erie's diminutive yet highly efficient use of space. At Harlem Station, you can't add or remove a track, everything is highly optimized in that weird spartan railway fashion. And while small, this terminal - for me at least - is a window on the 1950s United States since cars from everywhere in the country gathered on that small city block.
And while you think I'm diverting from my propos, in fact I must admit thinking about the Harlem Station layout is a good way to see if something can have a second life or if it is truly unneeded in my collection.
Except a few emotional pieces, many were steps I won't visit again and if I ever do, my approach will be drastically different and shouldn't be tied down by a collection built when I was ignorant about the subject. They served their purpose and clinging to them wouldn't make me move forward.