I Been Working on My Railroad

I have listened to a couple of podcasts recently that proclaimed the value of “Just Do It” in model railroading. Both Model Rail Radio and The Model Railway Show have had segments that have basically said to quit planning, collecting, drawing, waiting, and generally procrastinating, but to instead just go ahead and build something. Anything. No matter how small or imperfect. The theory is that we need to break the ice and loose the entropy. I for one am great for analysis-paralysis. I will analyze and plan till the cows come home but never get anything done. It is much easier to surf eBay and buy parts that to actually put knife and glue to wood and get something accomplished.

But anyway, I decide to shock myself out of my plans and build a small layout no matter what. It is intentionally very small, only 1′ by 3′, and N scale so that it can fit on the book shelf at my office. I have a new job and they keep asking about my trains there, so this should be a perfect ice breaker. And yes, they are fine with me bringing it in. It is in the pediatrics department of a hospital by the way!

I am calling this little layout EuroNook, since it is going to be in continental European outline and in the basic configuration of an Inglenook. Probably going to be kind of Swiss/German. The Inglenook is billed as a “classic British shunting puzzle”. Much to my wife’s dismay, this is not a roundy-round American type of layout but one that stresses brain work and steady switching to keep the railroader’s attention. Basic theory involves having various cars on the track and using a sigle engine to switch them around to put them in a desired order on the main track. think of it as a railroad version of one of those slide-the-block kind of puzzles.

Picture 1 is of the bottom of the baseboard with small feed attached to raise the board a bit, aid in it balancing, prevent it from scratching a table or shelf, and let there be space underneath for an odd wire or two.

Layout 01 - The Baseboard

Picture 2 is just the top of the board and the sheet of foam that will be glued to the top. The foam is standard Corning insulating foam. I bought a HUGE sheet of it for about $12 at Home Depot and am using it for the base and the terraforming.

Layout 03 - Board and Foam

Picture 3 is very exciting – glue on the board for the foam.

Layout 03 - Ready to Glue

Picture 4 – finally, the pièce de résistance, the basic track work laid out. This is the actual shape the layout will be in, although the two legs on the lower left are  most probably going to be made from flex track instead of snap track. That will let me guide the curves a bit better to use the space and also get the exact lengths I want without lots of rail joiners. I already have the flex track ready to cut.

Layout 04 - General Trackwork

So there you have it. At the very least, it is a start. I might have gotten more done, but I also needed to go outside and work on our MGB. If I can get by the hobby store to by some roadbed tomorrow, I hope to get the track all secured down and start building the slight hillside that will go in the back from mid to right side. On that hill will go a couple of little Swiss buildings that look like ones my grandfather gave me.