"Lost" Photos from MRP 2010
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Copyrighted Internet photos would have improved N scale layout article

My "Dallas on a Door" article in Model Railroad Planning 2010 was based on a very interesting real-life location on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (M-K-T or "Katy") in Dallas. It was extremely frustrating for me (and for MRP editor Tony Koester, based on his editorial in the same issue) that we could not clear copyrights for some key photos that would have illustrated the real-life locale very well. Instead, Kalmbach editors substituted some locomotive shots from the area that were available on file.

This highlights one of the most exasperating things I experience in writing for the commercial press (traditional print or mediazine) -- finding myself unable to use photos that are widely disseminated on the Internet. And this is even though the publications' editors are more than willing to pay for the use of the images!

In this case, there are some photos that would have been fantastic complements to the article. I spent literally a dozen hours (or more) working to clear the copyrights and obtain higher quality versions of these images, but failed. Either the photographer could not be located or I found the photographer, but the high-quality version of the photo had been lost in the intervening years.

But rather than sit and stew about what might have been, I decided to link the photos here in the hope that at least a few people will be able to see them in the context of the article.

This first photo is a wonderful aerial shot by Terry Houchins from 1986 that shows all the major elements of the layout in their real-life perspectives.  Click here for a larger view.


As you can read at the Flickr page referenced above, this area was radically changed in the last 10-15 years with development of the American Airlines Center and other facilities.


I've done a rough drawing (lower right) to highlight the relative locations of the Burrus Mills Elevator, the Dallas Power and Light Plant, the M-K-T yard and engine service facility, and the brick warehouses. Click that sketch for a larger view.


Also below left is a view from ground level in a 1980 photo taken by Jimmy Duncan that shows the engine service area with the DP&L plant, Burrus Mills, and the water tower in the background (all featured on the layout). Click that image to see Mr. Duncan's photo on RR Pictures




Those of you who have seen the track plan in MRP can see how well the real-life area translated to the 30"X80" hollow core door N scale layout.

Two more photos by Bill Phillips (from George Elwood's excellent Fallen Flags site) offer more terrific views of the area. The top photo from 1974 shows a closer-in view of the engine service and shops area. Again the power plant and grain elevator can be seen looming in the background.


The second Bill Phillips photo features SW1500 #52 working in front of one of the brick structures in the area in 1983, with the top of the elevator just visible in the background. (Click on either photo to see the larger images on the Fallen Flags site -- photos are linked with permission).



Great photos like these are a tremendous resource for modeling. It's a shame they couldn’t have been part of my layout article in Model Railroad Planning!


Copyright 2010 by Byron Henderson

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