Looking back, looking ahead…

As the new year starts I have been looking back at what I have accomplished and ahead to what I hope to get done in the coming year.

2014…

Finishing the basement train room was a biggie and then…

Getting started on what I hope will be THE layout that gets to a level of completion that I yet to obtain over the years was a big accomplishment. I have put more thought and planning, both in what the layout will look like physically and operationally, then any of the past layouts that I have started. I’m hoping this is a good omen. In the past I would come up with a concept of what I wanted and hoped that the rest would fall into place. It never did.

This website seemed like a natural way to chronicle my progress. I have always documented any project that I was working on and I have found that when writing these posts, talking about what I did and how I did it, it helps to also plan out what I have to do going forward. And it is rather satisfying knowing that I am able to share what I have done and what I hope to accomplish with others. And I appreciate the feedback that I get from others.

Building the benchwork has been a lot of fun. I’ve always enjoyed working with wood and trying to engineer the upper deck without any supports along the front was a fun challenge. As I mentioned before I had hoped to have the main benchwork, as well as the base for the helix, done by the end of 2014. Well I missed that goal. But I have to remind myself that the only one imposing goals is me and there is no timetable for completion, so sit back and enjoy the journey. I should have the end of the peninsula done in the next couple of weeks.

2015

Which brings me to the helix. I suppose in a way I have been dreading its construction. Everyone who has done it always talks about getting the first level grade right. But I’m not really that worried about it, I’ve mentally gone through the construction and I believe that I have most of the bugs worked out. Not to say that getting that first loop right won’t be a challenge, but I know that I’m up to the task. The exciting part is once I have the base down for the helix I get to start laying track as there is a return loop under the first helix loop.

The thought of actually laying track and be able to run a train is what it’s all about. I know that at first it’s going to just running an engine on short stretches of track to make sure everything is right, but hey it’s something. Along with track laying comes everything else, running the bus wiring, planning block sections for the signal system, wiring for the switch machines, etc. But it’s progress that involves many different aspects of the hobby and not just building benchwork. Also as the track goes in, I will be able to start planning structure placement, which means that I will be able to start unpacking all the boxes holding all my other “stuff” that I haven’t seen in a while.

So what do I hope to accomplish in 2015? It would be to finish the benchwork and have at minimum the mainline in and operational. Along with that will be some of the track work for the towns along the way. It may not seem like a huge goal, but after this year and not making my intended goal, I’m trying to be realistic. And if I make more progress, all the better.

So, thank you for following along so far, and I look forward to sharing more as I progress.

Happy New Year.

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