There is a timeless hobby that younger and older people never seem to grow tired of: model train sets. Just because you may be obsessed with assembling and then playing with trains when you are young does not necessarily mean you have to give it up later. In fact some people, like those at Atlantic Scale Modelers, manage to maintain that model train hobby far into adulthood — even adapting it to business and the latest 3D printing technology. The end result? Delightfully detailed and artistic model renderings of New England by miniature railroad.

train1

New England boasts over 200 lighthouses in 6 states, with the oldest located in Boston and dating back to 1716. This model lighthouse is the first of several featured buildings in the series, and you can see how it stands tall on rustic stilts, ready to brave potential harsh seaside weather and ensure all ships safe passage.

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I once lived in rural Waitsfield, Vermont and the above photo of a model bridge crossing a winding river reminds me of a nearby bridge that served as the gateway to a quaint village that rested on another lovely river. This bridge is outfitted for safe passage, and it is simple yet sturdy — communicating all confidence that its simplicity in design does not undermine its strength and endurance.

HDRtist HDR - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

This lighthouse rests securely on the edge, where land meets sea, and touches like the old-looking and weathered windows remind us of the time-tested function of a lighthouse. Not only did it guide ships through bad weather, but it also served as a home for its inhabitants. This model communicates both the function and adventure wrapped up in this deeply symbolic historic structure.

HDRtist HDR - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

This is one for the model train record books. A building that looks like a single family house functions as a “Yard Office” on the railroad line. According to American-rails.com, railyards functioned as outposts that supported the movement of freight from site to site:

“It did not take railroads long to realize that having locations of multiple tracks, particularly at division points or where two rail lines meet, for both freight car storage and organizing or reorganizing trains would increase efficiency. Today railroad yards range in size from just a few tracks to massive classification facilities that handle dozens of trains on a daily basis and can store or hold thousands of cars at once.”

Modest, yet a highly necessary addition to ensure railroad maintenance, train refueling, and freight delivery, in the past these yards were much more common. Railroads would build a yard about every one hundred miles because steam locomotives needed refueling, and there may have been many local customers who needed to be served by all that the train was carrying.

If you are a fan of miniature models, you can check more out at Shapeways Miniatures Marketplace. Discuss these impressive pieces in the 3D Printed Miniature Structures forum over at 3DPB.com.

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