15 January, 2009

Let there be light! Or, more room in the basement!

Well, it was a mess to/from work.

I am hoping to play in the "man cave" this weekend, if I can get my HW done. Grad School is most-definitely going to put a crimp in my week. Last night, up til 11p (and up at 4:30a today). Tonight, at least until 10:30p (for a live chat with the Prof & classmates) and then up at 4:30a. Glad tomorrow's a 1/2 day then loooooong weekend. Hopefully, my text books will arrive tonight/tomorrow and I can get the readings out of the way by Saturday morning.

With the approval of the Boss, I am taking down my existing layout (the Preston Junction RR), to make plans for the new one. I removed most of the rolling stock and engines, I'll be moving the buildings off tonight, and pullin' the track nails & cutting up the track, hopefully on Saturday. I hope to salvage most, if not all of the track, some of the wire, and scrapping all the cork road bed. Maybe I can scrape that off and lightly sand my 4' x 8' sheets, so I can cut up to use as part of new benchwork. All my present switches are #4 turnouts, so they will most likely be going in a box, only to be used if I can't fit a #6. Brings up a good question: How do you compare prototypical switches to the HO Scale world. Is #6 the standard?

A first update: After the Protoscale Rails 2009 show, talking with Bob Leonard, Scott Mason, and Lance Mindheim, I'm going to focus on Doswell, VA as my first phase in lieu of Acca Yard (that will be something I will do when I can steal some more real estate in the basement... It will be modular construction (most likely 20"-24" wide by 60" or 72" long). Height will be right at 48" for top of benchwork (scenery may go higher, as needed), as that is a comfortable height for the missus.

Second update: Remeasured the Room yesterday and I've got 161" for the long wall (which will grow to 168", when we install a door), 128" for the "width of the room" (which may shrink slightly if I ever stud with 2"x3" and 1/2" sheetrock) and about 84" for the wall "behind" my workbench (that gives me 30" of clearance to pull my lard butt out from the work bench and not bash my head into the end of the layout. If I stick to 30" aisle width (which admittedly is just a tad on the small side), I can come up with a decent "E shaped", or around the wall and penninsula style layout, to cover the track plan of Doswell, VA and give me at least one staging yard on one end. I'm looking at about 10 cars absolute max (if I use 50') and a caboose & one engine (GP-7), so that looks like I'll be first trying some local freight work (interchange, drop-off & pick-up, etc). I hope to come up with some pictures of the demolition and something like Shawn, for room and benchwork soon. As always, your thoughts & suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Bernie Kempinski did an article on the Doswell, VA area for Kalmbach's Model Railroad Planning (MRP) in 2000 (Marty McGuirk's old layout on the cover.) He thought I might find the article helpful in designing my Dowsell. Well, I ordered the above-referenced mag & I'm look forward to talking about it with him, after I receive it. I'll share insights in a future posting... chow, for now!

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