M&K Junction Railroad

M&K Junction Railroad
Another train of eastbound coal crosses the Cheat River

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Pause and A Time for Reflection

With my open house past, real life quickly reasserted itself.  The very next day, Sunday, I found myself readying my tractor for the summer's work.  I was lucky inasmuch as spring was late in Virginia this season and the grass had not grown very high; so I had not had to cut it during the build-up to the open house.  In the weeks since, in addition to the usual yard, car and house work, I've had a hiking trip with the scouts and a week-long business trip.  I've taken time out to catch up on a lot that was sacrificed to make the open house a success and to prevent layout burnout. The moral of this story is to grab every opportunity and make time where you can.

For quite a while I have been considering what is involved in building a basement-filling layout; the push to finish the mainline only put emphasis on this.  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces that go into something this big. Benchwork, risers, cleats, subroadbed, roadbed, feeder wires, buses, lighting, etc., etc. There are thousands of operations to perform in fabricating all of the pieces of the layout.  And, if you are building this solo as I am, it can be daunting.  Also, in my experience, none of this happens as quickly as one anticipates.

In finishing most of the track, I estimate that I am less than 1/3 finished.  Scenery and the models to go on the layout are going to take more time than building the benchwork and track.  I would not be surprised if building the models (to include the structures) will take half of the total construction time.

Would I do this all over again, knowing then what I know now?  Most definitely.  However, if I could have had precognition, I would apply the techniques that I learned in finishing the mainline - making time, working quickly and keeping adequate supplies at hand - which would allow me to make better time that I did.

Enough.  For those of you who could not come to the open house, here is a copy of the handout that attendees received.  In fact, this handout is much better that the one given out on the 25th as I have added much material to the description. Click on the pictures of the pages to get a larger view.


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