Model Railroading – Time to Start Again

When I was a teen I was crazy about Model Railroading. I loved (and still do) steam engines and I started to build this huge layout in my bedroom.

It was really way too big, and I didn’t really have any sort of track plan for it, so it never really went anywhere. It ended up getting torn down after a bit and I never really built another one.

I still bought the occasional piece of rolling stock when I saw one that I liked and even an engine or two. But it all ended up in boxes that moved with me a few times and then ended up in the basement.

When we had kids there really wasn’t any space to build a layout. I thought about the attic, and even got a land grant from my wife, but the space up there is a really weird shape and the slanted ceilings are too low. There just wasn’t any way to put a layout up there.

But now the kids are moved out and I got the okay to build in one of the bedrooms. I’m not going to fill the room with a huge layout, but rather a switching plan that fits in the corner.

I’m getting super excited about this project and I dug out all the boxes that have been in the basement since we moved in over 28 years ago.

It turns out I have way more model railroad stuff than I remembered! There was a ton of sectional track which I’m not going to use since the track made these days is far superior to the 35+ year old stuff I have. But I also discovered I probably have all the rolling stock I’ll need for a long time, including a brand new in the box steam engine.

All the boxes have freight cars in them. The steam engine in front is pretty much brand new. The plastic bags have building kits in them. One I had, one that I just bought.

I’ve been having a lot of fun using the SCARM (Simple Computer Aided Railway Modeller) software to figure out what I can fit in the space I have allocated. I’ve also been having fun looking at all the building kits available and choosing some for my layout.

This is the current (sixth) rendition of the track plan. I think this is close to what I will be building. The two tracks on the left will continue down on a removable piece that goes in front of a window.

I sold off some of the stuff I had purchased in the past that I knew I was never going to use due to the time period of the layout – early 1950’s so I can have late steam and early diesels.

I even bought a desk today (in the photo under the rolling stock) so that I’ll have a dedicated space to build the kits and work on the rolling stock.

I probably won’t start building the bench work for the layout until spring when I can cut up plywood in the garage. But I have lots of train cars and buildings to build, weather and get ready. I also discovered that I seem to have a life-time supply of Kadee couplers to install. I have no idea why I bought so many in the past.

So there will be blog posts coming about building the kits and other prep work. When I remember to make them anyway.

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