Introduction to "Me"

  • Hello all! This is my first blog ever so bear with me, please. 

    I am new to N Scale but not to model railroading having started when I was 9 and I received my first electric train, an American Flyer with a figure 8 layout on an up and under type track.  I wasted no time in adding additional track work including manual switches for a siding track, operating log dump cars, search light, cow car and a new power pack with dual controls.  I was bitten from first sight - NO Lionel for me, Ugh, 3 rails not very realistic. 

    I moved to HO Scale when I was in my early twenties after storing my AF equipment for at least 15 years.  I traded all of the track, cars and power pack and accessories and buildings for two layout kits and was off and running.  I set them up in my apartment and had them running in the living room which didn't sit well with my dog or my wife. 

    Fortunately I was managing the apartment complex and convinced the owners to allow me to use a 20 18 storage area to build a permanent layout.  Myself and one of my high school classmates worked on the layout which we found in 101 Layouts and built the framework, laid the track and cork roadbed and ballasted the entire layout and were just getting started with the scenery on the layout, when I went through a bad divorce and we wound up cutting up the layout and putting all the rolling stock we had purchase into storage again. 

    Fast forward 20 years, including a costal relocation to CT from CA and I was still reading Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman religiously and decided to again try to build another layout.  I was renting a house at the time but the owner consented to allowing me to cut a hole through two walls as long as I repaired it when I left.

    I contacted a local hobby shop to see if they knew of anyone who was able to design a layout as I really wanted a one off Class 1 type railroad.  The business owner put me in touch with a gentleman who was actually an architect by trade and a dyed in the wool, model railroader. 

    We put together a great plan and I started to put together materials for my layout.  While working with this designer, he told me of a new Modeler who was just starting a layout that was working from one of his designs that might need some help. 

    I called the gentleman and introduced myself.  He had a FULL Basement and had already had the framework constructed for a 25 X 19 space.  So began a 10 year project for myself and 3 other guys.  My layout, again put on hold.

     In the 10 years I worked on the railroad, we went from bare construction to completed layout. It was based on New Haven Railroad and was a 3 level oval with a yard and a removable section for entry into the layout. The removable section was my project.

    We decided to use three different bridges, one for each level. We use the CVP Truss Bridge, a plate girder bridge and a trestle type lower bridge.  I design the external connectors on an RCA jack type plug using a terminal strip on each side and then wiring it into the male and female plugs.  Something different I guess.  Necessity is always the mother of invention.

    The Senior Engineer, (read that owner) was a pediatric dentist so dental tools and plaster were never scarce so we had a lot of hard shell scenery.  He experimented with a DCC system (batteries powered) with limited success and finally decided on the Lenz system. It work well and was fairly easy to use. 

    I continued as part of the crew for 10 years as I said but then I developed base of tongue cancer after years of smoking.  I had to stop working as crew during my treatment and when I was through treatment, I was just too weak to be a part of anymore.

    My wife and I relocated from CT out to AZ in December of 2009 and I have been itching to get started again.  Unfortunately, there are No basements out here so I have limited space to work with.  My wife loves model railroading (not as much as me) and has agreed to allocate our single car garage to build what will probably be my last layout.

    I am going all out on this one, N scale, Class 1 Northern Pacific, set in the transition period 1945 - 1970.  It will be a multi deck plan and I believe construction will begin in October following our youngest daughters wedding.  I plan to be a part of several of the groups on Trainlife so look for me and I will keep posting to my blog as well.

    If you feel that I have posted this blog incorrectly or inappropriately, let me know as I said this is my first experience with doing this.

    David L, Northern Pacific Fan.