Moving the Layout
|Jim's layout survived the move to a newer, brighter layout space. Now the fun begins afresh!|
When I started building my CNR Port Dover Branch a dozen years ago I decided to construct it in sections of 4 to 6 feet long. I wanted to be able to work on sections away from the layout - and when the day came to move, I wanted to be able to disassemble it rather than destroy it.
That decision has paid off mightily. Some months back my wife Cheryl and I made a snap decision to move away from our lakeside home of 22 years and seek a smaller, easier to maintain property in Port Colborne, Ontario some five miles to the east. We loved the lake but the basement was an unpleasant place with low headroom. Our new home came with a fully finished basement featuring a large, carpeted family room.
The pictures show the progress so far. I still have to mount the backdrops, install track lighting, and fill the corners between the disjointed sections with track and scenery.
Also I really want the rejigged layout to be a part of a larger overall décor - one that is bright, colourful and cheerful - one that is also a pleasant place to sit and sip with my Workshop buddies. To that end I am actually willing to have a slightly shorter layout.
|The new space includes a comfortable lounge adjacent to the layout. Let the sipping begin.|
One of the keys to making the layout fit is the construction of a free-standing false wall that stands apart from the basement stairs. The offset location is key for reaching under-the-stairs storage as well as providing ample access to the rooms beyond. It also provides a sense of drama when entering the room, and makes a great display wall for Cheryl’s quilts. (Yes, it’s purple!)
|As one descends the stairs to Jim's new basement, it's not even obvious that it's home to his exquisite S scale model railway. That's one of Cheryl's hand-made quilts on the "purple wall".|
|Just beyond the layout and lounge is a small (8' x 9') alcove, which has become a cosy little library.|
To facilitate the move, I’m thankful to fellow Workshop member David Clubine for loaning me one of his surplus race car trailers:
|Jim's layout slumbers in sections, in the trailer, dreaming of its new home.|
This 24-footer easily swallowed the layout and other model railroad detritus along with the contents of the garage. We were then able to get that load to the new house and get most of the sections safely up off the floor ahead of the moving van.
In future instalments I’ll outline the actual changes to my layout's arrangement and describe my new - hidden - workshop space. But for now, it's back to work.