Route of the Broadway Lion, The largest Subway Layout in North Dakotaat Assumption Abbey, Richardton North Dakota
The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota
The Route of the Broadway LION is the work of Br. Elias Thienpont, a monk of Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota. It is recommended that monks have hobbies, most are not as elaborate as this. And while hobbies are ok, spending large sums of money on them is not. Thus the Route of the Broadway LION is a study in frugal railroad building. The room in which the railroad is built is a 24’ x 27’ former classroom on the third floor of our library building. The space is available, since we closed our schools in the early 1970s. The lumber all comes from buildings that we have torn down over the years. Our carpentry shop being well up to the task of re-fabricating used lumber. Wire, nails, Celotex, foam boards, fiberglass boards, and a whole host of other materials are all previously used. But “building on the cheap” does not just include the reuse of materials, it is also evident in the paucity of building and modeling skills used by the builder, and the slap-dash make-do methods of construction. The NMRA, the FRA, Model Railroader and any other purveyor of building codes would be somewhat dismayed at my construction methods. However with sharing my results with other modelers, they are nonetheless impressed with the end result, and encourage me by reminding me that I only have to please myself. So let me give hope in turn all the other modelers who only want to see the trains run as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.
Br. Elias is the Broadway Lion, and has had a life-long interest in railroading and model railroading. Always with passenger trains. If a train doesn't carry passengers, the LION is not interested in it. Passengers, after all are tasty and make good LION FOOD! This is the third train layout created by Br. Elias since becoming a monk at Assumption Abbey. The first layout, built upon two ping-pong tables in an old basement room that was used for many different hobbies. That railroad was called the Eastern SouthWest North Dakota Central Railroad, (serving the middle of nowhere), and it existed until word came from on high that this room was to be remodeled and become our Centennial Room, with carpeting and nice paneled walls and with good furniture in it. And no, a railroad layout was not part of the plan. After this, Br. Elias identified a room, a former classroom above the library which would make a suitable train room. Never mind that someone else was using it for something else. It was "under used" and through negotiations with said other persons, Elias moved into the room and built his second train layout, called the "Eregion Railroad" after JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth. This was a very elaborate layout, which grew as the years passed, but was somehow never really ever finished. It was also a little too complicated to maintain. Eventually Elias stopped going up there regularly, enamored perhaps by a new computer and the neat things that could be done on line. And because fixing things was becoming too much of a task, Elias getting older, and not as limber at climbing under tables to fix wiring and all that sort of stuff.