Fun diversions

Carrollton depot on John’s older layout.

With the holidays over and winter settling in, I’ve been organizing the spare room to set up a workbench and test track. It’s a tough puzzle as five boxes need to move before I can move some other boxes into the space the five boxes were sitting. If I move too many boxes, then I have a hard time weaving through the narrow openings to the door. I’ve already moved a couple of the boxes out to the storage barn, but the space is tight. I received a couple of emails to offer a welcome break from the unending movement of boxes. My friend John in Ohio is wrapping up room prep on his new 12×22 foot layout space and wanted suggestions for the area. I enjoy a trackplanning challenge! The image above was taken on his old layout.

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Beginnings

 1978 layout.

I was reorganizing boxes of hobby materials and other ephemera the other day and I came across a box of old photographs. A few loose pictures caught my eye and I thumbed through a small stack. Among those were several images of my first HO scale layout. The image above shows the overall scope of the project. Click on it to see a larger version. My father had a 4×8 table built at a local lumber yard and we built a plan from an Atlas plan book of John Armstrong designs.

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The Thrill of Discovery

Newburgh crossing portion of the 1919 N&SS system map.

   REPOST: originally posted in July 2010.

A recent summer weekday was spent in a library, specifically, the special collections room of the Cleveland State University Library. Upon entering, my eyes were drawn to several large images of Cleveland’s past and a large collection of O scale model trolleys positioned atop a long shelving unit. This is really one cool joint. Among the railroad archives collected here are documents from the Nickel Plate, Erie-Lackawanna, Wheeling & Lake Erie, and the Newburgh & South Shore. I went in search of W&LE maps and N&SS images. I did not find those specific items, but I did find and review W&LE images and N&SS maps. Reviewing these items were well worth the time.

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Hitting the fan

Trackside in Newburgh.

    Repost: from January 2011

Over the years I’ve assisted with several model railroad designs and worked on the construction end, too. These have been for friends, a model railroad club and for myself. In almost every instance there is one constant through the design and build steps of each project. Believe it or not, whatever is on the paper may not fit properly or look right when the track starts to be installed. Really, I’m not joking. No matter how many measurements were taken, data compiled, and fussing done over the details for the design, it all comes down to the full size build with the form and fit. It is one of the most thrilling and disappointing moments of building a model railroad. And that is where I am right now.

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Discovering a new tool

Action on the mainline.

 REPOST: From late October 2011.

Before I departed Cleveland I participated in an operating session on Jerry’s Penn Central layout. Two years ago I shared an experience on this layout. I’ve been lucky to have attended several sessions here and have grown to appreciate the jobs and crew.

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