Yup, I’m still alive. I just haven’t gotten much done on the layout. I did get the two short cabinets done on the flair out on the end of the peninsula, but not the half round that would complete the peninsula. I had hoped to have the basic bench work done by years end. With the amount of time I had between Thanksgiving and December 31st, I figured finishing it was a no brainer. However, as they say, life happens.
One of the things that got in the way was a week in New York city on business. And then once I got back there was all the catch up work that piled up while I was gone. Toss in all the things that go into getting ready for Christmas and there goes the time.
The upside is while in New York I was able to do a couple of things that were train related.
First was a trip to Grand Central Terminal or Station, depending on who your talking to. My wife ( yes, we work together and usually travel together ) wanted to go because they have a bunch of pop up shops in the concourse during the holiday season. They have about 60 local artists and craftsman selling their wares. There are some cool things, but I covered the shops in very little time as I wasn’t really looking for anything. Kind of how I shop, if I’m not looking for anything, then nothing is truly interesting and no reason to look too hard. So, as my wife was inspecting every little thing I meandered down to the museum. It is pretty neat, especially if your into tin plate, as they several cases displaying a variety of different name trains in what I have to assume is different scales within tin plate.
The other thing they had was a layout set up running Lionel O-27 trains. Half of the layout depicted Manhattan, centered on Grand Central Station. They other half was a mountain / country scene. The city scene was well done, all though not quite to scale. The buildings were right in relationship to each other but not with the trains. You will have to excuse me, that’s the critical part of me. The overall detail was very good especially for a display layout.
It was fun to watch the trains running, but it was more fun to watch the kids watching the trains run. They did a great job as they had a half dozen or so trains running at the same time. They had them set up to run with a signal system, with a red signal the train would stop and then proceed on the green. The city scene had surface, elevated as well as a subway trains depicted.
Below are several photos:
Next up was a stop at The Red Caboose Hobbies ( theredcaboose.com ). If you have been there then I won’t say anything, but if you haven’t then I would highly recommend a visit if you are in Manhattan. If you look it up on the web then you might run into the reviews of the place. I would recommend that you ignore them. They are right, the owner is a bit obnoxious and abrasive at first. The store is cluttered and tight. If you have claustrophobia then I would recommend that you don’t go. How this place passes a fire inspection is beyond me.
But once you start looking around you will be amazed. The layers of merchandise is amazing. And layers is the best way to describe it. Model railroading is represented in O scale all the way to Z scale. The amount of Z scale he sells at first amazed me, but then I realized with a 500 square foot apartment renting at around $3000 a month, it makes total sense. I’m sorry, back to the layers. HO is the predominant scale carried, and in that scale you find representations of everything. In the cases with the engines, you will find the latest offerings to old AHM engines on display. The shelves are the same way, again the latest offerings mixed with almost any older brand you can think of.
In the back of the store is a case with old O scale brass engines. How do I know they are old, because there is a stack of old, dust covered boxes stacked in front of them. The place is a treasure trove, if you want to take the time to poke around.
The part that really intrigues me is at one end of the store there are a couple of back stockrooms. The doors are always open and the lights are always off. But from the looks of it, they too are layered with older stock. Since this store has been in existence since 1946 one has to wonder or dream of what is back there.
And far as the owner, once you have been there a few times, you get use to him. Strike up a conversation with and he loves to talk and is quite knowledgeable on many subjects.
Below are some pictures that I took of some HO buildings that were done for display purposes that in a case at street level. I haven’t asked who did them but they are very good, with an excellent eye towards detail. I didn’t take any pictures inside the store as I felt a little weird if I did. I do believe there are pictures online if your interested.
Anyways, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year. I’m looking forward to making far more progress in 2015 and I hope you will follow along on this journey.