Wish List

Most modelers' lists likely contain all manner of prototype and/or operations-oriented features. Me, I'm not a prototype or even a proto-lance modeler, and I don't do operation. My list is populated mostly by visual scenes and, perhaps even stranger, many small details. Note, too, that quite a few items are not railroad-related; as I've already confessed, I'm not a model railroader. The big question is: With nearly 150 Wish List items and counting (plus another 60+ effects projects), how many of them will I get to cross off the list before I die—assuming I even get the chance to start the layout? I prefer not to think about it.

The items are loosely organized into categories alphabetically; there's absolutely no distinction as to their priority or preference. There is, however, a separate "Dream List" that contains those things I'd dearly love to model but know I'll never be able to given my space and time constraints. Also note that the lists will more than likely grow over time. I've been adding reference photos to illustrate what I hope to accomplish, with more to come. Incidentally, there are tons more reference photos at David's Modeling Reference.

Wish List




  • elevated industrial branchlines
  • elevated mainline with stone walls
  • elevated track cutting through notch in building roof
  • elevated track tunneling through side of building
  • elevated station
  • industrial shipping docks under elevated line



  • abandoned equipment on siding
  • abandoned gondolas full of trees
  • small long-abandoned, partially-filled turntable pit
  • utility pipes suspended across river
  • utility pipes suspended under bridges




  • asphalt street with concrete strip down the center from old trolley line
  • decrepit iron overpass bridge
  • five-way intersection
  • highway tunneling under urban area
  • multi-headed grade crossing signals
  • old stone highway ramp
  • old streets with multiple pavement types
  • open-deck road bridge
  • pole-mounted transformers
  • road split under concrete overpass, with sidewalk tunnels
  • roadway intersection over track
  • sidewalks cracked and heaved from roots
  • street tunneling through factory
  • trees carved up to clear utility lines
  • tiny wooden rural overpass bridge



  • laundry hanging in alley
  • long row of similar old suburban houses
  • small flea market
  • small old shopping center
  • small supermarket with shopping cars
  • track running down middle of divided street


  • 30s gas station
  • 60s gas station
  • abandoned parking lot
  • backs of row homes
  • building being demolished
  • classic diner
  • classic ice cream stand
  • cluttered alley
  • corner bar with pool room
  • dense urban neighborhood
  • empty building lot with temporary retaining walls and security fencing
  • forgotten billboard with multiple old ads
  • gas station repurposed as florist
  • ghost buildings
  • ghost signs
  • jungle of fire escapes
  • junkyard
  • long city street with old, plain buildings
  • mini-park with memorial statue
  • old concrete pedestrian stairs
  • parking garage
  • people fishing from urban bridge
  • restaurant with outdoor dining area
  • rooftop urban micro-community
  • skywalks of various types and sizes
  • small burned-out building
  • small old building sandwiched between larger modern buildings
  • street vendors
  • track cutting under corner of building
  • urban building with scaffolding
  • urban buildings on steep-ish incline
  • used car dealer

Dream List

  • abandoned coal mine
  • abandoned industrial siding roadbed cutting through neighborhood, partially filled in with new row houses
  • all four seasons
  • canal cutting through small town
  • canal tunnel
  • coal-fired power plant
  • collapsing steel trestle
  • combined railroad and road bridge
  • complete narrow gauge logging railroad
  • complete steel mill
  • dense city center with small skyscrapers
  • double-track bridge single-tracked
  • dual-gauge railroad interchange
  • electrified mainline
  • Fallingwater-like home
  • flatiron-like building
  • full highway interchange
  • functional 18" industrial railroad
  • gorge cutting through city (Ithica, NY)
  • gravity railroad
  • large abandoned concrete coal tower
  • large abandoned stone quarry with ponds
  • large abandoned yard in urban area
  • large functional steam engine facility with turntable and roundhouse
  • large rugged stone canyon
  • line sandwiched between river and canal
  • locomotive scrapping yard
  • long cut followed by long fill
  • long-forgotten railroad artifacts deep in the woods
  • long parallel steel trestles on different levels
  • long stone viaduct through rural area
  • long truss over wide river
  • long, winding riverside run
  • medium-sized farm with cattle and cornfield
  • minor steam-era train wreck
  • mountainside tunnel gallery
  • multiple industrial bridge cranes
  • multiple parallel rolling lift bridges
  • multiple short tunnels in sequence
  • railroad museum with tourist line
  • refinery
  • scenic canyon with river
  • small airport
  • small functional traction line
  • small zoo and/or amusement park
  • station that extends over road bridge
  • subway system
  • swing bridge
  • tall wooden trestle in rocky gorge
  • three-way stub switch
  • track emerging from tunnel, crossing another track, and crossing a bridge in short order
  • track replacement scene
  • transition from street-level to elevated trolley line
  • two mainlines crossing in urban area, with lower abandoned line flooded
  • urban freight terminal with ferry

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