Monday, October 24, 2016

2015-16 Layout Progress Report

Well folks, it's that time of year again when I recap what I've done over the past year. Boy it's been a productive year too! Let's start with the basics.

Track: 100% complete

Wiring: All main lines and yards wired up and operational. Only four Industrial sidings remain to be wired along with part of the Altoona shop.

DCC Conversion: System Installation 100% complete, Fleet Conversion: PRR: 99% complete, Conrail Fleet 0%, NS: 80%.

The goal for last year was to complete Gallitizn. I managed to do all that and more. In fact I've moved into Cassandra and am making good progress there. I've also completed the crossing of the Conemaugh River.

Another goal I set for last year was to start working on the operating scheme for the railroad. Well, I still haven't made any progress on that front. At some point I will need to install a signal system, an expense I'm not looking forward to.

So let's talk goals for next year. My main area of focus will be the area from Cassandra to Johnstown. This leaves only the urban areas of Johnstown and Altoona to finish up. Whatever else I get done this year is gravy. And you know what? I'm in no hurry to get it done. While it's nice to start seeing an actual model railroad emerge from the swath of pink styrofoam, after finishing Gallitzin, I kind of felt like Ahab at the end of Moby Dick.

That bare styrofoam is a non-renewable resource and for me model railroading is very much about the journey more than the destination. There's still plenty to do after the scenery work is finished, like the aforementioned signal system and then serious detailing.  But what will I do when the layout's done? There's that old cliche about a layout never being done. I imagine I'll focus operating for a while. Once my kids get older, I may well end up sharing more of the space up there with them. Until then however, all aboard!

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