2021-04-24 Back on Track Temporary Page

2021-04-24 Back on Track Temporary Page

Like many of us, I got started as a very young boy.

Scale model railroading about 14, many layouts started and scrapped. This one was under construction for about two years - only one with any finished scenery until now!

Hiatus for college, then more incomplete layouts as I moved around the country for work. Philadelphia, Florida, California, Seattle... Concept for current layout began developing in 1984 in California.
This was also the start of a disturbing trend - every time I started on scenery, the layout had to come down for a move! This became a repetitious theme in my layout construction resume.

Finally wound up in Wenonah, New Jersey, in my "forever" house, in 1997. Was going to spend the rest of my life there. Still my favorite house of everywhere I've lived or owned.

Started Version 1 of "The CB&Q in Wyoming." It represents the Burlington Route Casper Division in Wyoming, plus the tail end of the Chicago & North Western Cowboy Line from Crawford Nebraska to Lander Wyoming. This was my first layout with a fully developed concept before construction began.

Ambitious track plan - two full decks with a footprint a bit over 600 square feet.

Marriage and a new house in 2001. Now comes Version 2 of The CB&Q in Wyoming. By far the most ambitious - Two decks in 967 square feet.

Look - in the distance - scenery! Must be about time to move!

And I have never said "forever" home about anyplace I've lived since Wenonah.

Included my infamous "behemoth helix."

Nine Scale miles of track!

Subject of a clinic at the Hartford NMRA National meet in 2009, and again at the National convention in Atlanta in 2013.

This layout was disassembled in 2010 when I was transferred to Charleston, SC.

In Allendale SC came Version 3 of the layout. This was by far the nicest layout location I've ever had - AND the largest!
1,856 square feet! No double decker here!

This is the NP yard. To get a sense of the size, in the distance is a Walthers 130' turntable and the first supports of the Modern Roundhouse just to the right of the coaling tower.
Unfortunately, after just a few years my wife took ill and we had to move closer to Charleston. Down came this layout in early 2015.

So ended my model railroading career for about three years. After I retired and moved back to the house I still owned in New Jersey, I started version 4 of the layout in the same location as Version 2 had been.

Not so ambitious this time, only a small portion was slated to be double-decked.

Version 4 lasted only about 15 months, but I got farther with it than many of it's longer-lived predecessors. Retirement provides a lot more modeling time!

I started my YouTube channel - The CB&Q in Wyoming - when I started this layout. I wanted to document its construction.

It turns out there's a really great side effect to doing monthly layout updates on YouTube - having progress to report each month is a great motivator to get something done!

Taxes in New Jersey were getting higher and higher, so in June of 2019 we decided to move to Wyoming - my birth state.

That meant the end of Version 4, just as I was - starting scenery!

But this time I was able to break Casper Yard down into three sections and take it along - a great timesaver in getting started at the new house.

And in November 2019, we moved into the new Casper Wyoming house. The CB&Q in Wyoming would now be IN Wyoming.

Here's the new home of the layout as it was in late 2019.

This time I was going to do everything right. For six months we worked on the train room, which takes up a bit over half the basement. We added flooring, insulation and walls. By late June of 2020 the room was finished except for some trim.

Colors selected for the room were the Standard structure colors for the Burlington around 1940 - the era I'm modeling. Indian Red is the wall color, and trim is Bronze Green.

Construction on the layout began on 27 June of last year, with the reintegration of Casper Yard. Like I said, bringing it along was a great jump start on the new layout. Instead of months to build a new Casper yard, it took only a couple weeks to get it back up and running.
And of course the layout construction is chronicled in monthly YouTube video updates. So for that matter was room preparation. It's interesting to look back and see all we had to do.

And since then construction has proceed at a moderate pace, with Casper Yard being fleshed out and most track work completed, and the CNW line to Lander going in on a narrow shelf above Casper.

But this time, scenery has started and we're NOT getting ready to move (instead I'll probably keel over dead or something)!

And that, in a nutshell, has been my life as a Model Railroader.