What Started It All…

Before I move on with other projects done or in progress, I should give you a little history of what started it all. And no, I’m not talking about what got me going in model railroading, but rather what led to the slew of unfinished projects getting done.

A couple of things came into play that acted as a catalyst for the change that led to the projects. First was that the kids had tons of Lego sets as they grew up. Those sets ended up in pieces in a couple of large totes. One of my projects over the years has been to sort the pieces out by color and type. And with the help of various Lego based websites I have been reassembling the sets. I was looking for a place to display them.

Second was that the layout that I am working on now is not the layout that I would build if starting today. After the previous layout failed so miserably, I was determined to build a successful multi deck layout. Kind of a “failure is not an option thing”. Thanks dad. Also, ops sessions are becoming not a thing as it has become harder to get people together for whatever reason. If starting today I would probably go the Pelle Soeburg route. Staging yard, a town to switch and a couple of signature scenes for photography / railfanning.

The Change…

To solve the problem of wanting wall space for shelves and a little less railroad, I decided to do away with some of it. Looking at what was there I decide to do away with New Brighton yard and the area of Duluth that was above it. I would then slide the staging yard into the New Brighton space and move the wharf scene of Duluth into the Duluth “Docks” space on the upper level.

The sections going away.
The sections that are moving.

That meant that New Brighton and the Duluth Docks area were completely disassembled. The sections being moved were moved as 8′ sections.

Disassembly continues.
Removing New Brighton yard.

Once all the old bench work was out of the way I prepped the end wall. I used a sheet of 1/8″ hardboard to act as a backdrop for the end of the staging yard / Duluth wharf scene. The rest of the framing on the wall was removed.

Prepping the end wall .
And The Reason Why…

With the space ready it was time to move the base cabinets. Some of the stuff, mainly engines and cars, had to be removed to get to the mounting screws. That and lighten them up some. I’m sure you can see where this is headed, the last cabinet was the “project” cabinet. Things not scene in a long time.

Most of these are somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 years old. I have hauled all of them out many times, thought that today is the day. And then put them back. First, back to the project at hand.

Like I said the base cabinets were moved first.

Base cabinets going into the area of the former New Brighton yard.

Once in the framing went back in.

Reinstalling the frame work.

Then the plywood sections with the yard was reinstalled.

reinstalling the staging yard.
The staging yard going back in.

Then added the upper deck.

The upper level and upper valance frame work.

In addition I also added the upper valance over the upper deck with lights. Below are views of the finished scene and with the room lights on and the layout lights off.

Upper valance installed.
Room lights off.
With That Done…

With the layout sections moved (I still don’t have everything completely hooked up) I finished putting things back into there respected cabinets. But as I was reloading the project cabinet, I started to look at the different kits thinking someday I have to finish this or that. I mean everyone always talks about all the kits they have collected. Kind of a rite of passage. And at some point I decided today was the day. I’m not getting any younger.

And that is where we are at. Projects to follow.

Till then, stay safe…



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