I was born in Bristol, England but immigrated to Vancouver B.C. in 1958 when I was three. My parents told me that they would walk me down to the train station in Bristol and I would watch the trains for hours, although I remember nothing of it, although that may have been the start of my interest in trains.
We did return to visit in 1963 and at that time I bought a Triang OO “Winston Churchill” and brought it back home where my Dad built me a 4×8’ train board that folded up into the wall. Although I did add a bit to my collection and play with it for a few years before I lost interest in my early teen years and sold everything except for my Winston and all my Super 4 track. I do remember having a model railroading magazine of the day and spending endless hours looking at a full layout and wishing I could someday be able to build something like that myself. Fortunately I did pack that engine and track around with me for the last 50 years with the idea of building a real layout someday. I was fortunate enough to be able to retire a year and a half ago at 57 years old (I have a younger wife who still works)!
My oldest grandson is three now, so thinking of how much he might enjoy it but mainly to keep my sanity through the first winter of retirement I decided to start a layout. The last of our boys moved out last Fall and freed up a bedroom in the basement that my wife granted me permission to set up a train table in. I bought a 4×8’ sheet of plywood set on some portable legs and put down a simple oval with a small siding and yard. That lasted a couple of weeks, then I decided I wanted to do something larger and more permanent. So I built a table that mostly filled the room at 7.5’ x 10’. I started to plan a layout and quickly realised I needed a lot more track, rolling stock etc. I spent the next few months on eBay purchasing a good quantity of Super 4 from the UK but also finding some within Canada.
At first I was going to build a non-prototypical English layout from the 50-70’s era. When my children were younger I acquired a fair quantity of HO North American stuff, so I then decided to do a blended layout which honoured both countries. Hence what was to be my second English hill turned into a “Rocky Mountain”.
I had a few “must have’s” for my layout 1.) a helix and 2.) a decent yard. The rest I just dreamed up with some hints from a 1970 something Hornby Triang layout manual.
I have never been an artsy or crafty type of guy so just looked at a bunch of uTube videos, Google searches, along with suggestions from your contributors and then started. I have not worked on it since March as I’m saving it for the dark days of winter this year but have been buying up scenic supplies and accessories to jump back in.
I’ve attached a few pictures of my progress to date. I blabbed on and on so much of my history that I thought it best to just wait for some responses and I will answer any questions on how I did my hill/helix and mountain etc., if anyone is interested.
Paul from Tsawwassen B.C Canada”
“Hi Al ,
just posted a new video showing some more additional lights, Billboard ,new Coaches, and a new controller…… just about done with the changes now on that lower level, top to start next.
Big thanks to Dave and Paul! Please do keep ’em coming.
That’s all for today folks.
And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.