The Bedford Valley Rail Road
Pioneering Railroading in the Antebellum Era
It's the early 1800s and a virulent disease is spreading across the globe: Railroad Fever. Some see the railroad as the future. Some see it as utter madness, its insanely high speeds sure to drive one insane. And some see it as the tool of the Devil himself! While most people aren't quite sure what use it will be be to their daily lives, the majority seem to want one in their town just the same. To them it is a status symbol; it says that their town is an important enough one to require the newest of new-fangled inventions... even if the Devil's tool will drive them insane.
Born of my research into the history of the Worcester, Nashua & Portland, as well as a general pre-existing curiosity about the earliest of railroads, the fictional Bedford Valley Rail Road would be set in either Southern New England or the Hudson Valley of New York State some time in range of the late 1820s to 1840. The BV links several communities in its namesake valley with a boat landing, where schooners, and maybe an early steam ferry, connect the valley to the outside world. Most of the traffic would be freight, but a growing number of the curious would be filling the seats of the road's passenger trains.
Due to the diminutive size of locomotives and rolling stock in those pioneering days, the BV would be built in 1/4" scale or larger as virtually everything would have to be scratchbuilt. Note: I'm using 1/4" instead of O-scale or 1:48 scale as the term for the scale because the BV, if built, probably wouldn't be compatible with either conventional O-scale, nor Proto:48. For one thing, I would probably build the track using strap rail (power would likely be from on-board batteries ala DeadRail), and the track gauge would be non-standard: something like 4-foot, 5-foot, etc.