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anomaly: A regional Class I still run- ning its own first-rate passenger train behind venerable F units; a mountain railroad that ran short hotshot trailer trains across its system; a unique and independent railroad entity operating over two of the most famous mountain routes on the continent. However, by 1984 Amtrak had taken over passenger operations, and only a few years later that independence was gone. Today Tennessee Pass lies mothballed, the black and Grande Gold paint has all but disappeared, and the Moffat Road is but another route of a massive trans- portation mega-corporation. But the story isn’t over. Railroading continues to evolve over the 150 year-old route, and will continue to do so. BNSF track- age-rights trains now ply the rails and strong demand for Colorado and Utah coal keeps a steady stream of traffic moving through the seemingly-ageless peaks and valleys of the Rockies. A lot has changed over the past three decades, but a lot is just the same as it was 30 or 100 years ago, just as in- triguing as ever. If I needed any further inspiration to get out and explore the “Scenic Line of the World” myself, I cer- tainly found it in these pages.– NICHOLAS D’AMATO


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There’s a saying popularized by Toy- ota in the automaker’s production sys- tem that translates as “Go and See.” It’s a reminder to managers and execu- tives that sitting in an office and rely- ing on what others tell you is not the way to understand a problem or a process. The only way to gain true in- sight is to witness it for oneself. The ability to “Go and See” is one of the big advantages of modeling a rail- road set in the present day. After all, if we have a question about what a par- ticular modern locomotive or freight car looks like, a visit trackside provides the answer. And if we have questions about how railroads work today? Well… go have a look.


But there’s a difference between “looking” and “seeing.” “Seeing” implies understanding and that is where we, as modelers, sometimes fall short. For his latest book, author Lance Mindheim not only went for a look, he also picked the brains of professional railroaders, including Barry Karlberg and Jim Lincoln. The result (as the book’s title makes clear) is a tutorial on how to operate switching layout set in the present day. Having read through it a couple of times, I highly recom- mend it to anybody who is interested in what today’s railroaders do for a living, regardless of whether this is the partic- ular flavor of layout one intends to build.


Topics include prototype rules and procedures, car movement and job strategies, and handling paperwork. Sound like work? It’s actually big fun, and the author does a fine job of ex- plaining why. As with his previous books on designing and building switch- ing layouts, much of the value comes from the author’s philosophy that big-


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