Looking Back and Looking Ahead 2016…

Welcome to the Looking Back and Looking Ahead 2016 edition. I reread my last years looking back, looking ahead post to see what I had accomplished and what didn’t make it last year. What I found was that when I started this site was –  that the first year I had pretty high expectations. And while I scaled it back for my second year , they were still pretty high.

The main three from the start of 2015:

FINISH THE CABINETS AND BENCHWORK. Can check this one off.

MINIMUM OF THE MAINLINE IN AND OPERATIONAL / BOTH LEVELS. That would be an obvious miss.

SOME TRACKWORK IN FOR TOWNS. Again,  an obvious miss.

While I believed that the above goals were accomplishable, looking back they were a bit optimistic. Factor in the job change in April that had us traveling almost every other week for a good part of the remainder of the year and they quickly became over optimistic. Even making the cabinet doors and having them installed before Christmas (that my wife had requested ) didn’t happen as not one, but two business trips suddenly got wedged into the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And yes my wife understood.

So what would I like to get done in 2016? Well… everything. But realistically I think I’ll shoot for the following:

  • New Brighton yard planned out and cork down.
  • All trackwork for the lower level in and wired.

Pretty simple list, but knowing that the work/travel schedule is not going to lighten up ( at least for the first half of the year ) I think that I should keep it realistic.

Where am I at right now on the list? I have the yard in New Brighton started, as far the track layout goes, however I keep tweaking it as I mentally operate it. The biggest problem I have right now with the yard is that when the track plan is finalized ( the next couple of days ) is that I won’t be able to lay the cork roadbed for it.

Why not ? Well it seems that Walthers ( walthers.com ) is having their “ biggest track sale of the year ” and one of the sale items is the Midwest Products ( midwestproducts.com ) cork sheets that I use for yards. They are out of stock with an unknown restock date. I have to wait till  Walthers restocks and ships.

I won’t halt work until that happens, instead I will start the trackwork. The starting point will probably be where the switches are for the return loop and work towards the helix, wiring as I go.

I am finding that I need to actually get trains running or I am going to start loosing interest/focus with the layout. Not a good thing.

Additional things on the list could be:

  • Start the helix once track is in. At minimum I will cut the wood for the helix when the weather gets warmer.
  • Cabinet doors. No, my wife won’t let this one slide, but I should be able to put it off again till the weather is better (not winter).
  • Install the supports for the upper level valance/ lights.

Am I unhappy that I didn’t make my ( self imposed ) goals, sure, I had hopes of having things running by now. But over the last weekend as I was reading other modelers year end updates I have found that there are others who after 4 to 6 years are just finishing their mainlines. After a year and a half I’m not doing to bad.

I will have an update on New Brighton yard soon.

Till then, Happy Railroading…

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