The impact of Hurricane Irene on railroads throughout the Eastern United States has brought up the idea again about how to model (or if to model) a natural disaster on your layout.
Seeing the flooding in Trenton, NJ this week along the Northeast Corridor should remind us what a powerful force Mother Nature can be.
Amtrak just restored service to this segment days after the hurricane passed.
The major class one railroads in the Northeast, CSX and NS both have been significantly impacted due to damage to the infrastructure. Restoring service to customers is the first step, the second step is dealing with the bottlenecks caused by all of the delayed trains.
Rerouting and detours will probably continue for at least several weeks as more major damage is repaired.
Modeling a disaster scene on your layout is sure to make for interesting operations and could even be used to “cover-up” areas of future development. How about a landslide which closes off a route diverging off the layout?
Entire layouts have been designed which show blizzard conditions, but I’ve never heard of one which showed significant flooding. What other natural disasters could we model?
Even if you don’t model a disaster on your layout, an “off-line” disaster could help explain foreign power detouring over your route. This is as true in the 21st Century as it would be in earlier eras that many of us model.
Let me know if you have ever tried this on your layout.