Monday, October 26, 2015

Ready to move forward

Working on the railroad has had to take a back seat for most of this year to finishing the basement room that will become my office/train room.  After many months of working on the drywall, ceiling, and flooring as time allowed, the room was finally completed and moved into this past weekend.  Here's what it looked like prior to moving my office furniture in (and a whole lot of Ikea Lack shelves to hold my railway book collection):

What I've got is a relatively spacious 14.5' x 11.5' room with the walls painted a sky grey.  The room adjoins my furnace/workshop on one side and a roughed-in bathroom on the other.   The workshop is ready-made for staging, and I plan on leaving a connection through the bathroom to the main living area available for future expansion.

With this wonderful space now available, the question becomes what to do with it.  When we moved in a year ago plans were soon drawn up for the room to contain the terminus of the Waterloo Spur in HO, specifically the town of Elmira, ON.  In the meantime a 12' long set of modules recreating CN's Pine Street Spur in St. Catharines have been started, also in HO, as well as a good amount of O scale rolling stock collected for a P48 rendition of the current industrial spurs on the north side of Guelph, ON (joint operation between GEXR and OSR's Guelph Junction Railway).  Focus is not one of my strengths, obviously.

So which railroad will end up in the room?  I spent some considerable time trying to bend one of the industrial leads in Guelph (See link to Google maps below) into the room.  The desire for large radii, even in P48, and having come up with a track plan I like that fits the O scale rendition into my workshop, has opened up the office for HO scale trains.  The dilemma is that I have modules for both the Waterloo and Pine Street spurs already started.  Which one to go with?  Or is there a third alternative?

Having had the pleasure of operating on Bob Fallowfield's rendition of CP Rail's operations around Woodstock, ON, I've come to a better understanding of what I find enjoyable in operating, namely something featuring a small yard with mainline power moving through, but also plenty of realistically-scaled industries.  Throw in some late-80's mainline & branch motive power, and a relatively low train frequency that would support operation by 1-4 operators, and I find I'm drawn back to thinking seriously of modelling CN's Guelph sub in & around Kitchener, ON.

What to do, what to do?  Do I finish what I have started, or start on something new?  Seeing these words on the screen leads me to think that in consideration of my pocket book, limited modelling time, and overall enjoyment level, I would be better served by getting trains running sooner rather than later.  The quickest route would be to bring the three modules comprising the Pine Street spur to a level of scenicked and operational completion that would allow for operations, and give myself time to decide whether a larger HO scale railroad scratches my itch.

Perhaps I can gain sufficient satisfaction from operating on friends' layouts to allow myself the luxury of multiple, smaller layouts of my own.  I could with relatively little further outlay construct a one- or two-switch P48 layout in the workshop that will allow me the pleasure of working in the larger scale as a change of pace to the HO models.  Who knows what the future brings?



  1. It's an exciting time, Robin. Glad to hear you have the layout room ready - and picking the prototype or theme to model is always a big challenge. If Pine Street is furthest along, then it sounds like doing more work on that while you ponder other possibilities is a good place to start. Having a layout that runs is always a motivator to do more, I find.
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

  2. I think you're right, Trevor. The Pine Street spur has operational variety with multiple tracks and loading spots and at least three different types of freight cars, while maintaining a very manageable size. I'll give it a go, and being sectional it can always make room or alternate space with whatever may come next.