Starting a New Model Railroad Layout: an After-Effect of the Original (Or, I Have to Keep Building Something!)

Railroad Track into the Rockies

Ideas, Dreams and Musings...

After you’ve built your primary model railroad layout, and, in between operating sessions, if you’re like me, you’re going to be looking for a new project – something new to build. Once I get my current N scale model railroad layout railroad up and running the way I want it, I’m already getting ideas about what’s next...

First, I’d like to build a module that I could take to model train shows and fit in with the local club layout. Woodland Scenics has the benchwork that would be easy to put together to get started. (I don’t have any affiliation with WS, but they do seem to have a lot of the right stuff that I use.) I’ll need to print out a copy of the NMRA specifications for module building appropriate for the scale I’ll be using. The rest will be a matter of applying the same techniques used in designing and building my primary layout. Of course I’ll want to incorporate the main theme and concept of the club’s layout so that mine will fit in with the other modules. I like the idea of being part of a team to create a huge empire that no one person could create himself. I think that would be fun.

Bridge to new territory

The next thing to consider doing is building a small door-sized model train layout, perhaps in HO scale – something that would be fairly easy to build, but with an interesting track plan and theme, maybe with more bridges and water than I’ve used before. I would want it to be very portable, so it could potentially be used at model train shows, or even sell it to someone, though that would be difficult to do. There’s something personal about building your own model railroad layout that makes you not want to give it up. Plus, you could never get enough money out of it to make up for the effort you put into it. Still, I could use the money to put into yet another layout or even build a new website.

I could always add on to my current layout. This already takes up a whole room in our house, but there is an adjoining attic. I could tunnel through the wall into the attic and put a new staging yard there, containing both loops and stubs. That is definitely a do-able project. Maybe I should do that first.

Another thing that I would like to do is buy one of those model railroad layout kits made by WS, like “Grand Valley” or “Scenic Ridge” and modify the plans and layout to my liking and then build it – another project you could show off at a train show or (gulp!) sell.

How about a shelf layout? I have some built-in L-shaped bookshelves in my family room at home; the top shelf is just the right height and size for a fantastic Z scale empire. The wall behind would be a great support for a photo-backdrop. I could probably build a helix down to the shelf below and use that as well.

Also, we have a small flower garden next to the patio out back that would make a great garden railroad. I can already imagine the bridges, waterways, roads and towns that would make a great setting for a G scale railroad.

Old steam train still going

And then there’s O Scale Lionel and S scale American Flyer (my first train~ age 5). I would love to do a model railroad layout with either one of those. I would just have to convince my better half to give up even more of the house than she already has.

In the meantime, I’ll be running trains and thinking up new things to add to my current mainline.

How am I going to find the time, the space or the money to do all this stuff? I don’t know, but it’ll be fun thinking about it!

Light at the end of the tunnel

From " Starting a New Model Railroad Layout" to "Special Effects"

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