Jeff’s been in touch with his HO scale 8×15 layout:
I’d like to share with you and your readers my model railroading experience.
I remember when I was 8 or 9 years old I received an HO scale train set which we would set up around the Christmas tree.
When my oldest son was about 8 years old we put together a very modest 4×8 HO scale layout. A twice-around pike with a couple of turnouts and short sidings.
That project didn’t last very long as his interests turned to other things more important in his life (sports, etc.), and the layout ended up leaning against the wall in the basement.
While cleaning the basement after some 20+ years, I thought of selling it but getting it out rekindled my interest!
Having recently retired and talking with my wife about it, she told me I could have the “office” for a train room.
Off I went, designing my first real attempt at a model railroad layout, working with the real estate I had.
My choice was an HO scale layout 8×15 DC layout consisting of a double loop passenger line encompassing a double loop and figure 8 freight line representing the fictitious “Somerfield Valley R.R.” surrounding the main street area of the Village of Somerfield, and some outskirts.
Removable areas at the farm and village allow for access to the ill-fated derailment or track maintenance. I can operate 3 different trains at one time and the grandkids love watching!
My design was based on 2 criteria…
#1 – Nothing against steam but I’m a bit partial to Diesel Power, especially EMD model locos. Reason being, I happened to have been gainfully employed by Electro-Motive at their McCook facility for the better part of 16 years.
Electro-Motive had been very good to me and my family. I have had more than 20 family members employed by them totaling more than 400 years of service, including my father, 4 of his brothers, his uncle and myself attributing for more than 200 of those years.
#2 – Set in the late 60’s-early 70’s, most of the people and buildings represent someone or something in my lifetime (family, friends, favorite establishments, etc.).
My wife and I have 7 grown children (three sets of twins and a single) and each is an intricate part of the layout, including their “significant other” and their children. Each representing their particular endeavor in life. Three of my sons have engineering degrees, therefore “3 Brothers Engineering”.
The fourth has a degree in biology and does clinical testing on water samples. (He can be seen climbing the water tower to take samples. Someone in town complained of a funny taste!)
Two of my three girls are involved with teaching “special needs” children (red schoolhouse) and the third is a college administrator but is very active in finding new homes for abandoned pooches (ergo “Kat’s Dogs”).
My wife worked at a bank for a time B.C.(before children) and I now enjoy gardening in my spare time (“Lucky Seven” farm). By the way…the farmhouse is an actual scratch-built scale model of our current home.
My parents also enjoyed gardening after retirement and sold produce (“B&B Produce and Honey”) as a hobby. Dad was also a beekeeper and harvested honey.
Aside from the Police Department, the Fire Department and Post Office (which all towns should have), most of the buildings about town represent something in my life.
A couple of ex-employers are Saxon and Motorcycle Headquarters. Enzo’s was a favorite pizza joint we frequented and “JC Fabricating” is dedicated to my brother-in-law who’s been battling cancer for the past 5 years.
The couple entering “Harold’s Hideaway” (favorite pub) are the two people responsible for introducing me to my wife.
I would like to thank Al for all he does for this site and to all others for their contributions.
I’ve learned so much about model railroading and continue to learn more each time I read this blog.
Hope you all enjoy my story and simple efforts for my HO scale layout. I’ve enjoyed working on this project and look forward to the next.
What a HO scale layout 8×15!
A huge big thanks to Jeff for sharing his layout pics with us – and for taking the time to write the narrative too.
I do enjoy reading how a layout comes together, and in particular the personal touches that are added to them. Makes them come alive!
If you enjoyed this post, have a look at Wayne’s HO scale 8×15.
And if you’re after more HO scale layouts of varying sizes – you can see lots more here.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.
Oh, and don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide, if today is the day you start your railroad adventure.