I’ve been planning and building Sn2 layouts since 1997. All versions are represent the SR&RL of 1912. The following is an overview of each layout. For detailed descriptions, photos, and trackplans click on the links below.
1997-2001 – Layout #1: This portable layout had representations of Farmington, Strong, and Phillips. The focus of the layout was Strong, and the junction operations. Farmington and Phillips were designed to be highly compressed representations, basically staging yards. The loop of track from Strong to Phillips got built and operated. The sections were assembled on tables at two Midwest NG meets and the 2003 Sn3 Symposium in St. Louis. This layout was taken down when I got married and moved to my brides home. The sections were stored.
2003 – Layout #2: In our second year of marriage we purchased our own home, one with a nice size space. The second layout used the existing Strong to Phillips sections (but Phillips was entered from the North). The plan was to make a stagging yard or representation of Kingfield, a hidden stagging area for Farmington, and include some locations North of Phillips. The layout used 1/2 of the basement (12×24′). 1 month after getting the out loop into operation I tore it down in for Layout #3. The empty space got the best of me…
2003-2007 – Layout #3: The third layout was much more grand and made great use of the space. The layout consisted of a highly compressed Farmington, Strong, Phillips, Readington, Rangeley Stagging, Starbird (on F&M). Kingfield (reversed) and Bigelow were planned but never operational. The layout reused Strong to Philips sections and added new fixed benchwork for most other locations. Farmington to Rangeley was fulling operational for the 2005 National NMRA Convention and two operating sessions were hosted. Around 2005, I started planning on Free-mo and building the Kingfield station area as a Free-mo module. This layout like the two before were built before the Train and Trooper Forney’s were produced. When they arrived, they struggled to go around the 29-30″ radius curves. The layout was taken down in 2007, when we decided to move out toward the suburbs. The sections were stored at a friends, but eventually tossed as I did not feel they were going to meet my standards going forward.
2006-Present Free-Mo – In 2006, I new a move was eminent, as our son was born late in 2004. Knowing the layout was coming to an end, I lost interest in it. I started building Free-mo modules with the plan of making a grand spash at the comming 2007 National NG convention. The 2007 convention did not pan out for me (module wise), due to the move, and role change at work. Both consumed my free time and energy. After moving to our new home in 2007 the “new home projects” and work continued to dictate my time. It was not till 2010 that I go my modules operational (just in time for the 2010 NNGC in St. Louis) and with base scenery. The modules again appeared at the 2011 NNGC in Hickory. Along the way, I periodically set them up as a “layout”. I have a 2-track full length turntable so I can run trains point to point (staging/turntable to Bigelow). The modules are various scenes along the SR&RL – Bigelow, White Birch Tank, Salmon Hole Bridge (Phillips), South Strong, and Mapplewood.
A MOMENT TO REFELCT: As of January 2012, the Free-mo modules are not working for me for a number of reasons: A pain to setup, in the way of my “dream”, not operable in a continuous loop. They just do not fit where I am today. I wish I had a fixed layout to run trains. I often wish I still had my sections (Strong to Phillips) from my original layout. I could have an operating layout 2-3 years ago, I could have structures and rolling stock. and more. In many way’s I wish I had been willing to settle for layout #2 or even better settle for a slightly modified version of Layout #1 at the second home. I did not appreciate the benefits of building rolling stock, tuning locomotives, …. Basically I did not do much actual modeling, instead I build lots of benchowork in the last 10 years. The net result is that I have little to show for it. I’m learning the hard way, that most of the people who build the “BIG ONE” do that by staying the course and accumulating models and skils along the way. My accumulation was too one sided. I was blinded by “empty space”, “big as dream as possible”, “making a big splash with displays at conventions”. So where do I go from here? (this is retorical, do not answer the question). I do have a 22×33′ space that I’m dreaming about…..
THE DREAM: This layout will be my dream SR&RL layout, to fill my 22×33′ space. It will have all I want in a model railroad of the SR&RL. I’ve started planning this layout, defining my given’s and druther’s sketching out concepts, planning how it will operated and more. We plan to be in this