Ed’s model train story

“My hobby train story…

When growing up, my brother and I used to play with the trains which my father left me upon his passing. There were a couple of engines and a few cars and some layout accessories.

In 1963 I laid out a small circular track enjoying it for a short time before having to box up the set due to lack of space. In 2002 after moving into a house which provided room in the basement to design and build a nice layout, I recaptured my train enthusiasm in earnest.

The original layout I designed in that first house, was just a little smaller than the one I have today in a larger basement. When I finished building the tables I begin to design a track layout then the town and countryside layout.

Once I completed the track layout I found I needed to purchase more cars and engines plus a good deal of accessories, people, cars, buildings etc. I used eBay for some of the equipment, but then I joined the TCA and started going to their shows.

At those shows I purchased most of the equipment I have today, along with getting display layout ideas from various train enthusiasts. I gained valuable knowledge from their generously shared expertise.

My first table design consisted of a city, coal yard, rock quarry, warehouse district, oil refinery area, cattle holding pen, farm area, an airport, in addition to a mountain & lake area. Over the next two years I developed my original layout adding a considerable number of trains (new and vintage) along with more landscape scenes.

In 2007 we moved to a new home which provided even more space to expand my layout. Taking down the old layout, piece by piece, not to mention all the grains of sand & gravel, and moving it to the new house presented a real challenge and one I would not wish to do again. Once moved I started to rebuild, expanding the layout at the same time.

On the new layout I added new mountain ranges with a bridge connecting one peak to another peak over a road leading from town to lake & farm area through the mountains. I also added a train switching yard and a carnival. Along with several other displays…hobo area, trailer park, military base, auto repair shop and baseball field with a park attached. Hanging from the ceiling commercial and military aircraft fly over the layout.

My most recent addition is a trolley running from one end of town to the other end of town. When I decided to add the trolley I wanted it to run down the middle of Main Street, however, that would require too many changes to the city structure.

After giving it some thought I decided to build the tracks over the city, similar to Chicago’s “L”. It worked out great, fits in very nicely and adds a different dimension to my layout. I am always looking for vintage and new pieces that will fit in with my layout, but space-wise I have been told by my wife that expansion is not feasible unless we get a bigger house. Hmmm.

I design my layouts by focusing on what I want on the tables and how it should flow, knowing what I want my layout to be but having no major design on paper or computer. I just looked at what space I had and started laying track then fit in the buildings, bridges, tunnels, roads, etc. From time to time I have changed some of the existing layout areas but mostly just enhancing the landscape and set-up. I enjoy being creative with my layout.

I am not a collector, just someone who was given a few treasured pieces of an S Scale train set; deciding to make it a hobby and it has grown from there. I have several pieces of American Flyer which date back to the 50’s, also inherited from my father.

Recently I joined the Washington & Old Dominion S Gaugers. I enjoy the camaraderie with its members during meetings and while doing train shows.

Ed”

Great stuff from Ed – bags and bags of character in that layout. I loved the narrative too.

Now on to the latest set of print out scenery – which can only mean one thing: another bonkers video from my good friend John.

It’s all HO scale, so if you want N scale, just reduce the print by 50%.

The latest scenery (it’s scenery that you print out and stick together, in case you didn’t know) is a old saloon / hotel, some wonderful fences and a set of patios too.

Here’s the saloon – or hotel – depending on what sign you stick on it (you get both with the print).

And if you’ve watched the video below, you’ll also see that John used the same print to make this little shed:

And here are the fences – here the pics only show a short length of them – but of course, you can print out as many as you like and make the fences as long as you like.

The patios are included in this set of prints too – but I didn’t take any pics – you’ll see them on the vid though. John also made a wall out of one of the patio prints too:

Here’s the vid:



As with all the new scenery, they are in the store at full price, but right now, you can get all three for just $11.97 – that’s less than $4 each!

Just click here, or the button below, to buy them right now at the discount price, and save yourself $18. Course, I’m biased, but that’s not a bad saving at all.

That’s all this time folks. Hope you enjoyed John’s video as much as me – I think he’s been on the coffee again.

Best

Al

PS Looking for the Beginner’s Guide? It’s here.

6 Responses to Ed’s model train story

  1. Ralph Berry says:

    That”s one fine layout Ed.

  2. Bob Shipley says:

    Great story and layout Ed. I am currently modeling in O but my cousin had AF’s as a kid and they were very nice. I think I heard someone say bigger house?

  3. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Great looking layout,nice to see someone modeling in “S” gauge

  4. Thomas Murphy says:

    Ed’s narrative is quite the ticket; especially when precise photos accompany it. All his work & sweat makes his pictures worthwhile viewing.
    As for John’s video he always provides me with inspiration to do something that’s creative. Of course his videos are always laced with humor and craftsmanship.
    Regards, Tom (USA).

  5. Jeanne says:

    To see Ed’s or as I like to call him Dad’s train set live and up close is truly amazing. The detail and hours of craftsmanship really shows throughout each area of town. All of it has been laid out with a meticulous and steady hand. Excellent Job, Dad. The City Planning Commissioner aka, Wife will not approve additional zoning.

  6. Ian McDonald says:

    great story Ed with great pictures to go with it looking at the layout you haven’t had much spare time, thanks for sharing. nice video simple to follow thanks again.

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