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Discussion Starter #1
For my first layout I am wanting to do a theme somewhere around 1860-1890's. I haven't exactly decided yet, not that I am obssessed with realism in my first layout so if rollingstock or a building is slightly off timesiwe its no big deal.

Anyway my question is does anyone know of any sites on the web that would help me learn more about trains in this era and I would also like to see some pictures of similair layouts to get some inspiration. Everything I see is around 1950's era. Thanks.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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1860 is a tough period. The early years has the American 4-4-0 any rolling stock in any scale is not abundant. Actually trollies were more popular in that ime frame.It still can be done. 1930 to 50 is popular because this is the era of the big steamers . What you can do is pick a Line and google it. You may have to start and read up on the history of railroading.
I collected some period rolling stock in the 80's in HO. They were on sale at a local hobby shop.Probably going to have to deal with a coal or lumber theme. You have options though. I would say research is needed first.

Central Pacific

I tried 19th century railroad with some results. I got the the central pacific museum site. Local bookstores have hardcovers on history too. If you were to find a layout you need a name, like central pacific layout or trolley layout.
A quick visual may be on You tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I will consider exapnding my possible time era to 1920's although I am much more interesting in the later part of the ninteenth century.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Besides books, postcards may give you an idea. The golden era was 1905. If you review some RR ppostcards you may find something. Any station shown around 1905 was built prior to the date. The 1880's was the Victorian era so buildings with a Victorian style would fit. The Frank Jones Brewery in Portsmouth, NH fits the time period. Also you are at the end of the industrial revolution but industry was growing in the later part of the 19th century. New England mills were expanding. In the 1860's Newmarket, NH had seven mills in town fabricating union uniforms. You may have more luck with New England in that time period.In my gallery you will find a Baldwin Loco from 1915. At the Lowell Mill there is also an old Loco manufactured in Manchester,NH. I can't remember who owns it. I think it may be the B&M Historical railway Society. We did post about it. Picture
 
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