Thursday, June 6, 2024



I've been reconsidering my layout lately. Now that I've wrapped up my master’s degree program, I find myself with more time on my hands. They say time has a way of filling up any empty space, and that's certainly been true for me. Between completing school, attending two graduation ceremonies (mine and my son’s), launching a new version of operations at the North Shore Model Railroad Club, and starting a larger vegetable garden with my wife, including building a fence to fend off the ever-multiplying rabbits, I've been quite occupied. I even gave a presentation at the New England Prototype meet and had the chance to tour some impressive layouts like Mike Confalone’s Allagash and Neil Scofield’s Canadian Pacific in Vermont. Seeing these layouts in person was a real treat, far surpassing any photos or videos.

Back at the North Shore club, the recent scenery work is truly remarkable, though some areas could use a refresh. Still, the scratch-built and kitbashed structures give it character. But all this exposure has me reevaluating my own layout plans. Initially, I was set on modeling Norwich, Plainfield (including Wauregan Station), and Putnam. Then I considered adding a peninsula to expand and possibly incorporate the South Worcester yard. However, after some reflection, I've decided against a helix and multiple decks due to space constraints and cost concerns. I want to maintain an open center in the room for various reasons and keep construction time and expenses down.

So, I'm reverting to an along-the-wall layout and considering reducing the number of towns to create more open space. I'm consulting track diagrams to identify areas with significant business activity to keep crews engaged. This might mean dropping Norwich from the plan, as it's a freelanced section with the Thermos company factory. Still, the experience gained from working on it is invaluable. I'm thinking of consolidating Plainfield and Wauregan Station into a single area and adding Putnam along with the La Rosa Pasta factory and Knox Glass factory just south of it. From there, I'll transition into South Worcester, where there's plenty of industry and a two-stall diesel house shared with the B&M.

Overall, I'm still fine-tuning my staging plans, but I've got a work session scheduled with friends, so you might see some new benchwork going up in the coming months. Stay tuned for updates!

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