Several of my clubmates have attended the N Scale Weekend show in Bedford, Pennsylvania over the past several years, and have urged me to join them. The event is no longer held in Bedford—this year, it relocated to Altoona—but no matter. I went along, and had a great time. I somehow managed to make it home with a whopping 19¢ still in my pocket.
The big night is here: you’ve invited esteemed members of the local model-train community to operate your new Basement Empire for the very first time. You’ve printed out waybills and switch lists, set out snacks and beverages, even swept most of the junk off your workbench. As the guests filter in, you show them around the engine terminal, gesture towards the bare plywood where great mountains will arise, and hand out the throttles.
“So, what era are you modelling?” asks one of them.
“My railroad is set in the mid-Fifties,” you state proudly, as you survey the mixture of steam power and first-generation diesels in your yard.
“But the ICC banned billboard reefers in 1937,” he says, pointing to your wood-sided beer car. “This car doesn’t belong here.” (more…)
Model railroading is not necessarily a seasonal hobby, but many people treat it as such. When the warm weather arrives, there’s a garden to weed, or a Harley to ride, or a reunion to attend. The trains sit ’til autumn. I generally keep at the railroad activity through the summer—it’s a perfect time for taking messy jobs outside—but this year, not so much.
In addition to preparing for the RIT show, I’ve been frantically soldering another throttle together for an exhibition I’m setting up on Monday, documenting Chuck’s new throttle, and doing some emergency track repair on George’s railroad. I’ll have more details on all of these things soon, so bear with me.
Four years ago, I had an upcoming show for which I needed a reverse loop module. I had one week, and a minimal budget, to build one. With limited after-hours shop time at my disposal, I decided to forego wood and experiment with corrugated cardboard instead. I’ve written about the construction of this module elsewhere. So, how’s it holding up?
I’ve been working on Susquehannock Industrial Park for over six years now, not counting a few additional years spent sketching designs, and a few decades idly thinking about the project. Hey, you can’t rush these things.
This blog opens as I’m deeply into the construction of an N scale railroad for George. Benchwork, track, wiring, and rough scenery are complete, and I’ve got ground cover on one end of the railroad. Right now I’m doing the masonry work—more on that in the next post. After that, it’s the remaining ground cover, trees, structures, and other finishing touches, before I deliver it to George’s living room.