Welcome!   Use a browser to view the website's pages at right

HO Railroad That Grows

"I get attached to things, Reggie!"
-- Nick Nolte, Another 48 Hours

I wouldn't say I never throw anything away.  But I pretty much hate to throw things away.  Especially if they've got remaining value, and/or, invested "sweat equity".  And I definitely hate to do things over.

This is some combination of influences that includes:
    • The lazy man,
    • The thrifty Dutchman,
    • The conservationist,
    • The waste-abhorring accountant, and
    • The aging frugal Dad.

Anyway, the current Suffolk Northern contains elements from (count 'em) three prior layouts.  I didn't exactly begin life in the hobby with the expectation I would re-use almost everything I'd ever built.  However, every time I had the opportunity to build a new layout, the previous one just seemed to fit right in.  The real estate developer will tell you it's cheaper just to bulldoze and start fresh, but for me that wrecks a lot of character and history.  Plus I like the challenge of adapting what's already in existence.

The track plan below shows the evolution of the current SNR.

I built the Timesaver the summer between high school and college, mainly to prove to myself I could handlay track, so that I'd never have to do it again.  I even cut my own ties on a table saw - my friend Darren Williamson is fond of pointing out that such an effort should have yielded approximately 4x as much sawdust as product.  (It did.)  The Timesaver folded up so it could be carried, like a briefcase, and the original hinges are still in place under the buildings in St Amour.  It's bumpy track, but reliable - fairly ideal for an industrial area.

I extended the Timesaver into the shelf layout for the first apartment my wife and I had, which was the first floor of a  two-family.  From there it went with us on a two-year assignment to Seattle and back.  It featured staging on a piece of shelving that could be attached to the RH end, allowing cuts of cars to be moved on and off the layout similar to a car ferry.  That shelf is still in use too (although now stationary), above the workbench.

In the previous house I re-used the shelf layout as the back half of the industrial switching district St. Amour, which was handy since the building flats were already done for it.  The layout occupied about a 12' x 16' space, plus the staging loops around and behind the bridge module.

When we moved into the current house, some of the track alignments had to be changed at the interfaces with the new parts, but the components are all substantially the same as when originally built in 1993-94.  

1 comment:

  1. They way St. Amour has a layer in a 4 generations is cool...It's not just a lengthening but also layered back to front too....