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December 2002 - Page 36


Green Valley & Western Railroad
Jim Harringtons

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W
hen I first started model railroading, I overheard a conversation at my local hobby shop about a fantastic local layout. The reclusive builder and owner was described as a master in the art of converting everyday items and materials into believable railroad construction supplies. The layout was described as nothing short of amazing in detail and color. I was new to modeling and had not yet had the privilege of visiting any other layouts, but hoped I would get the chance to see this one someday. As luck would have it, I got my chance to see Jim Harringtons craftsmanship during our regional NMRA conventions home layout tour program. I had been asked to help chaperone one of the bus tours, with our first stop planned for the Harrington residence. During our initial trial run for the tour, I had the good fortune to spend some time with Jim and his wonderful Green Valley & Western layout. It turned out to be the first visit I had made to a layout other than my own. Jim was an excellent host, and I found him very open and eager to share his insights and techniques on layout construction. Three visits later, I am still impressed with the realistic and intense colors. Not quite the hermit he was previously described as, and always offering someone a visit to his home, his guests are treated to a remarkable visual display. His scenery almost glows with intensity. Almost every structure is fully detailed inside and out. The motive power is brass, and most of what you see on the layout is scratchbuilt or totally kitbashed beyond recognition from its original form. As one of the Louisville areas premier modelers, his work has been the inspiration for many of our local layouts, including my own. When Jim walks in the door at the monthly division level NMRA meeting with a model under his arm, you can bet the model contest competition is going to be stiff. Years of experience, a thoughtful eye for detail, a sense of color and a knack for bringing out the not so obvious has earned him the respect and admiration of his peers. I hope you enjoy the layout.

by Michael Bama Harman
Photos by Miles and Fran Hale

The business of railroading falls away as the engineer crosses the trestle at the Big Chad, and the scenic splendor allows a weary crew a few fleeting moments of reflection on the beauty of the world around them. Its amazing what can be done with a little (or a lot) of plaster and a few dabs of paint from a talented artist.

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The water tower stands sentinel at the entrance to Cody siding. A mishmash of small railroad structures offers respite to the laboring fleet of locomotives along the line. A last-minute dispatch and the train pulls out for the remainder of the run.

36 MODEL RAILROADING

DECEMBER 2002

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