|Romulus AB is a 26ft by 8ft HO (1:87) layout centred on a Grain Elevator
in the Canadian Prairies south of Calgary AB. It is loosely based upon
a real place called Vulcan AB, and in particular the Pioneer elevator on
the north side of town which is on the Canadian Pacific Railway
(CP). The fictional Romulus AB is on the Canadian National Railway (CN).
If you don't understand the reason for the name, ask a Trekkie and they'll
explain it to you in excrutiating detail! In most respects, Romulus is
Vulcan - Calgary is to the North, Lethbridge to the South. From
Lethbridge, a joint line owned by CP/BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe)
goes south across the US border at Coutts into the USA, connecting with BNSF's
transcontinental main line at Shelby Montana. From there the BNSF main line
heads west across Montana, through the Glacier National Park to Spokane
Washington and the big West Coast cities, and east across North Dakota to
Minneapolis St Paul and Chicago.
In the model form, Romulus AB is on a secondary feeder route
for CN bringing grain and other agricultural products to be sorted and
forwarded onwards. CN also serves local industry along the route; the
timber retail business on Romulus' main street amongst them.
For BNSF, it's a gateway (bridge line) to the raw materials of the
Canadian West, the thriving oil and business communities of Alberta and
to traffic from the new massive intermodal container port and
longtime grain loading facility at Prince Rupert,
BC bringing in goods from China and other parts of South-East Asia and
exporting grain. Occasional diversions of the Canadian Pacific Railway
also pass through town. Romulus AB sees passing passenger trains operating a
joint Amtrak/VIA service between Spokane, Washington and Calgary via
Glacier National Park, Shelby Montana, and Lethbridge Alberta. Since
Amtrak's existing Empire Builder service operates through Spokane WA at
around 1am daily in both directions, this (fictional) Calgary-bound service
provides a more timely route up into the National Park and to remote
communities in Montana, as well as serving Calgary and the Northern Rockies.
Among the unit trains likely to be seen passing Romulus, in addition to the
obvious grain trains, are Corn Syrup cars heading between a factory on a
branch line that leaves the main line just south of town (off scene);
through coal drags from Tumbler Ridge BC to Wisconsin Public Electric (WPEX)
via BNSF, and Chlorine cars heading to the paper and wood product mills
in BC and northern Alberta.