I’ve been reading your newsletter for a few years now, and I’ve decided to send in something of my own in case you’d find it useful to other members.
A little bit of background; I’ve had steam in my blood at least as far back as the age of 4. It runs through the family. My father introduced me to model trains at an early age, though I love any number of aspects of railroads, railroading and trains.
My earliest remembered experiences involve some HO trackage on a table my dad had built prior for his own collection of N-Scale, and then moving into G Scale sometime shortly thereafter. Most of my childhood revolved around G scale since it was easier for a child to work with, plus my father had some issues of arthritis creeping in with his own hands.
As I grew up, I also developed an interest in live steam, and of course, the real thing was the ultimate thrill for me. I left the hobby to the side during high school as other commitments didn’t really allow for much of anything else, but the spark was still inside, and after I turned 18 and had a license to drive, I started going to a local hobby shop to browse, and to a nearby station at night to watch the trains going through.
This kept up through college and a few years after I finished, the bug was back in full. While having an apartment of my own, I started working on a layout in N scale, using some leftover stock of my father’s, and building a new collection up.
I put that to the side when I got married and became a step-dad to two wonderful children, but I introduced them to the ideas, along with my step father, and my own dad, who’s layout was now the major occupant of a 20 x 20 room in his basement.
Finally, a year or so ago, we moved to a new duplex with room in the basement for me to restart building a layout in earnest.
It’s been slow progress, because budgets have to be watched at all times, but it’s been more meaningful as a result. My son and daughter aid me in regularly working our layout, a 11.5 x 12 J shaped layout, built in sections for the inevitable day when we have a home of our own.
We have a long way to go, but we have enough wiring on the mainline done to run our equipment most of the way around the layout (though not without some rough spots, since nothing is fastened down or smoothed out just yet. I’ll share some photos for you if you’d like, and I’m detailing my build more on my YouTube channel and personal website.
The layout is run using a DCC system, just because I was able to get a good price and it allowed for a bit more ease in some regards with the wiring. The kids have picked up some woodworking skills, the basics of wiring and even have started learning skills in soldering.
There is a long way to go before this layout will have a “finished” look, though as my dad always says, an empire like this is never truly finished.
I’m approaching 40 now and I try to use this layout as an inspiration to my generation (and younger ones) that this is such an amazing hobby, because there are so many things you can do and learn in the process of participating.
My kids (14 and 13 now) regularly show friends and teachers the work we do as well, and it seems to be piquing interests in others. Hopefully that will lead to this hobby having a bright future in this age of video games and electronic toys.
I hope, if you share, that your readers enjoy, and if you would like, I will continue to send updates as the layout grows.
my new loco arrived yesterday (the xmas present to myself ) one of the buffers was missing so rang the retailer who instantly said send it back, so no video of my new train, its one of the new 67 class in the pullman livery, looked very good.
So just did a short video on my phone of the Deltics blasting away, quality not great due to been taken on phone.
Hope to have the new one by next weekend.
A big thanks to Dave and Greg.
Loved what Greg has done – it’s easy to see how others want to get invloved when the see a layout spring to life. Can’t wait to see his updates!
That’s all for today folks, please do keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your layout.