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I chose to set my model railroad in the late 1930s somewhat indirectly: I was originally interested in modeling the high-traffic World War II era, but wanted to try out my waybill generator beforehand, not knowing how long it might take to work out the bugs.

It wasn't long before I realized two things:

The 1930s, despite the slow economic conditions, was a time of many transitions and innovations for America's railroads. Many of the conditions and transitions of the time have a direct bearing on the equipment a model railroader selects for his railroad. Some of the other things I found surprised me as well.  Maybe they'll surprise you, too.
Eventually, my research led me to take several years "off" from my regular modeling activities to compile a list of companies doing business in the period just before the war.  This list was once available in book or CD form as Tom's 1938 Register.
If you, too, are interested in the late 1930s drop me a line, and maybe we can share some information.
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