Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update: In transition.

Presently there are two Laurel Valley GP20's holding fort on the layout.  All of the other locomotives have been boxed up or sold.  The staging yards have been cleared out, the engine terminal is officially closed, and the lift bridge across the aisle has been permanently removed.  There's probably still about 200 freight cars scattered around the layout.  At some point I'll go down there and do a clean up detail to box up what's left.

I've started pulling some of the structures, some for re-use, some for sale.  At present, I believe I'll be using the Cumberland Station as the focal point of a OneTrak module following the BanTrak standards, and some of the other signature structures will be boxed up for further consideration.  Various scenic elements will also be salvaged as completely as possible, pending arrangements for reasonable storage.

Offers for various parts of the layout, assuming they can be salvaged intact, will be entertained.  It is possible to pull the yard in its entirety as a single unit, assuming it can be maneuvered down the stairs and out the door.  (It's 14' and change long x about 30")

The sections that can't be salvaged will be stripped of track and other valuable components, which will be set aside for future use or sold as needed.

The good news is that like my relationships with my kids and other people in my life, all of this is an opportunity for renewal. 

As has been previously discussed, there were many shortcomings that I discovered as construction and operations progressed, and I'm hoping some lessons learned should I ever feel compelled to take on such a large project again.

The biggest problem was my desire to fit 10 pounds of layout into a 5 pound room.  It would have been far more prudent, and probably in the end more satisfactory to acknowledge the limitations of the space available, and design something that was more manageable.  That would include time and budget, as well as construction and ops.

Anyway, I expect that by Spring 2013, the layout will be fully dismantled and dispensed with.  Going forward, I expect to continue to enjoy the hobby by helping out with the basement empires of a couple of close friends, possibly getting more active with the local N trak tribe, and at the very least, building dioramas to keep my fingers in the pie.

I'll also continue to write my N Scale Approach column for N Scale magazine, and I'll look forward to hearing from you about your model railroading projects.

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