Modeling The West River Model Railroad

A Diorama by Doug Cox

The West River Railroad is an intriguing part of the history of the West River Valley and its towns and villages. Its shape and history are reflections of the geology, politics, and natural and human resources of its place and time. Its evolution touches and reflects all aspects of social and economic life of the Valley from 1885-1936. How do we tell these stories in ways that capture the interest and imagination of young audiences and strengthen our sense of unique time and place?

Doug Cox is building a model of the West River Railroad as a living and moving representation of the forces that called it into existence and shaped its life. Best known as a violinmaker working in West Brattleboro, Doug Cox has had a long, but interrupted relationship with model railroading.  Growing up in the 50s watching and listening to the Boston & Maine mainline cross his family's farm in Plaistow, NH, he discovered modeling as a boy and developed a passion for fine hand work.  That passion led to violinmaking, and now back to modeling as an art form telling stories and exploring our memories and imagination.  The Brattleboro & West River Model Railroad has been in research for many years and under construction at Doug's home for three years.  The model of the Newfane Railroad Station can viewed during the 2012 Season at the Historical Society of Windham County.

Click here to read more about the West River Railroad model in the Brattleboro Reformer.