I think I’ve fallen into the trap that many modelers find themselves in with their layout progress, the layout design will never be perfect. At least now that I’ve attempted my fifteenth layout plan I’m realizing that the room is actually pretty small and has a lot of limitations. So I’ve narrowed down two designs, tweaks allowed, to move forward with. I realized that once we move from this house, it’ll all be for nothing anyways and rip it all apart when I have a new, hopefully much bigger, space. In the meantime, I had a little eBay crazy period and scooped up some buildings and rolling stock that I wanted for the layout. Click-thru for the full details.
Continue reading Layout Progress: Some…

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I’m waffling more than a politician in the 2016 presidential election on if I should switch to N scale or stick to HO scale for the Merrimack Valley model railroad layout. I went back to Charles Ro Supply on Friday and bought my first N scale Guilford boxcar and a section of Atlas code 55 flex track. But being in the store, there is just so much more option wise for HO than N scale. I mean, just look at the Walthers catalogs, the HO is twice as thick. So over the weekend, I created another four model railroad layouts using XTrackCAD. Two in N scale, two in HO scale. Click thru to see the plans.
Continue reading A Few More Model Railroad Layout Ideas

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XTrkCAD N Scale Layout

A lot has happened the last two weeks. I went to Salt Lake City, UT on a business trip and managed to get time to hit up the Utah State Railroad Museum in Ogden, UT. That was a very cool place, but I’ll talk about that in a future post with some videos. When I got home I was playing around on XTrkCAD and messing with the basement layout design. I renewed my Model Railroader magazine subscription and saw the videos on the 2015 Model Railroader project layout, Red Oak. The concept of this project layout was a small N scale layout built on a hollow core door. I actually have two hollow core doors in the basement that are acting like a table and holding all the boxes of HO supplies. So I asked myself if a simple N scale layout in the home office would do?

Continue reading A Big Change to the Tiny World of N Scale

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I’ve been working on the railroad… Maybe not quite as literal as the song, but progress is being made with the model railroad layout planning. I’ve been using XTrkCAD to do the track planning. I did my first attempts on paper and then on the Atlas Track Planning Software, but it wasn’t that great. I kind of wish these software packages has an automatic benchwork tool that could make modules or standard benchwork depending on your preference. Would save me the effort of making another layer. To see my YouTube update of how planning is going, read more…
Continue reading Model Railroad Layout Planning

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Pan Am Engine 315 with Guilford Livery

As I continue to plan my Merrimack Valley model railroad I’ve been reading more about prototyping, or proto as kids call it these days, a real railroad / industries / locations. Some people even suggest doing a snap shot of an exact date in time. The other option is freelance, otherwise known as make whatever the hell you want. When I was at Charles Ro Supply last week, see my post from Friday, I saw some Guilford and Boston & Maine locomotives. So this got my mind thinking and I said, “Hey self! What if we made a hybrid proto model railroad of Guilford and the other older lines it gobbled up?” Not a bad idea! So here’s my story, the Merrimack Valley Railroad was a small line and purchased by Guilford. Along with Boston & Maine and the Maine Central Railroad, I should be able to combine the available roadnames without having to do a fancy custom job. And maybe just ignore that Guilford becomes Pam Am in my time frame.

As for scenery, I’ve decided to use real town names from New England but I think operations and industries are going to be freelance / proto to the region. Ex: Lumber / paper / passenger / fishing.

Continue reading To proto or not to proto

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Hello world! Today I kicked off my YouTube channel by introducing myself and talking about the space I have for my model railroad layout, the Merrimack Valley Railroad. A name my best friend suggested as we both live in the Merrimack Valley, overlooking the Merrimack River and I live on Merrimac street. Plus it fits with my desire to model New England on my layout. Who knew it would be that simple.

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