“Al…first let me say how much I enjoy your blog. I owe my love of model railroading to my paternal grandfather.
As a young man he started working for Texas and Pacific Railroad as an apprentice dispatcher. He ultimately spent more than 40 years working for T&P and never left Texas. It is not an exaggeration to say that railroading was his life.
My grandfather’s parents emigrated from the United Kingdom to Texas while my grandfather was still a baby. They came from a small town in Devonshire called Totnes.
My grandfather once told me that there was a famous castle in Totnes and he was certain that it belonged to our family. I had my doubts, but perhaps that is why I have always had a castle on my layouts.
My grandfather was not only my inspiration, but my namesake as well. His given name, which I share, was James Robert. He was burdened with both nicknames and answered to Jim Bob all his life (using two nicknames was not uncommon in Texas at the time…what am I saying? It’s still not uncommon).
Thankfully for me, my parents decided to just call me Robert (Bob). However, I must say my grandfather was philosophical about his double nickname. Later in life, If someone made a disparaging comment about his name he would simply say, “I don’t care what you call me…just don’t call me late for supper.”
Thanks to Jim Bob I have been involved with model railroading for more than 50 years.
Like so many other hobbyists of my generation my first model trains were Lionel. HO scale came later. For more than 20 years, my wife, three children and I lived in a house with a 400 sq ft room over the garage.
My son put a sigh on the door that said DANGER! DAD’S TRAIN ROOM.
MY HO layout eventually filled more than two-thirds of the room. But, then we moved into our new house and I had to start over with no room over the garage.
The only dedicated space I had available for a layout was a corner of my office/library, so I am now an N scale modeler.
My current layout is approximately 5 ft x 10 ft and built on a movable table for access.
Because of limited space I decided to build up instead of out as you can see in the photographs. I typically run four trains…a mix of steam and early diesel locomotives. I hope you enjoy the photographs and thanks again for your hard work and dedication to this marvelous hobby.
Bob (not Jim Bob) in Texas”
just uploaded this video, shows some new plastic Railway Station signs, unfortunately Dave is not very good at painting on letters.
Also showing and listening to that magic sound from the Deltic and a few more trains running.
A big thanks to Bob. Loved the way he built up instead of out, and what a super narrative too.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if today is the day you are going to plan your own masterpiece.