A question I’ve been asked fairly often over the years, as I’ve not lived in MP/TP territory for almost 50 years. I grew up in West Texas, with the T&P mainline running through town. I was always interested in trains as a kid - I remember a ghostly caboose one night in Seattle when I was about 4, as we headed towards Widby Island where my dad was stationed (PV-2s). A couple of years later I can remember making a huge fuss as my Grandfather refused to wait any longer for a freight that was switching behind some trees (Lake of the Woods area) to show itself. I remember the sound and smoke. My first impression of the T&P was on an excursion to the next town in 4th grade - I still remember that big blue & gray E unit waiting for us. However, I seldom saw any trains doing much as I was growing up - I expect switching was done at night.

Many years later, when I got back into model railroading after about a 10 year hiatus (usual reasons), I began thinking of a prototype to follow. I was living on the east coast at the time, and had no interest in those roads. About then I found out one of my great-grandfathers had been a brakeman for the MP in Missouri, and late my father-in-law had been a fireman for the MP out of North Little Rock (he was killed in a wreck in ’66 or ’67 when his engine went over on the fireman’s side during the accident). And being from Texas meant I had T&P roots as well. So, I picked the MP for my modeling prototype, and have stuck with it since. I now live in California, which means there aren’t many MP types around so my layout is somewhat distinctive. Due to the type of operations I enjoy (locals and switching) I finally settled on 1960 (can have GP18’s, keep the Alco’s running, and Jenks blue is in the future), and locale is Gurdon to Texarkana on the Arkansas Division. 

Ben Sevier
San Diego, CA