View Full Version : Bittersweet end and a happy beginning

09-30-2013, 11:29 AM
I had been wondering how long it would take, finally got the eviction notice from my parents about my 9x7 foot "L" shaped train layout in their basement a few weeks ago. It was really strange taking it apart with help from a couple of friends because my Dad and I started working on the layout when I was 10. Dismantling the layout really spelled the end for it because it would never fit in my house in that configuration due to my furnace and the way things are arranged in my basement. Hard to see that old layout go but Dad had designed it to be turned on and just watch the trains go around so there really wasn't much in the way of operation. Got the pieces in my garage next to the Spitfire so I can eventually continue the tear down into lumber.

Started looking at my basement and planning the new layout that will be going in. Instead of an island style like the old one, it will be a 2 level shelf layout running around the walls of the basement with a peninsula in the middle. I'm really excited for this project as it will be set up for operation with a constant run option. I am "proto-freelancing" What is now the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railway's Homer City Branch Line between Punxsutawney, PA and Homer City, PA set in the present day using the original track arrangement and traffic levels. The line will be owned and operated by my own railroad company using modernized 2nd and 3rd generation diesel locomotives. So far, Starting at the yard on the lower level, the modeled towns will be: Riker yard (Punxy), Cloe (Interchange with Buffalo & Pittsburgh), Rossiter, Juneau, Marion Center, Home (including a model of my house), Creekside (Interchange with Norfolk Southern), Indiana (including the Indiana Tunnel), Homer City, Blacklick, and Blairsville (Interchange with Norfolk Southern).

I'm really excited to get this going! Anybody got any spare 1x4's? lol

09-30-2013, 03:10 PM
Have fun! I have a teeny, tiny railroad setup (0-gauge) in my basement that I turn on for my grand kids when then come over. Simple and fun. I've always liked trains but never got seriously into model railroading. My Dad worked for the British Railways and later, Canadian National Railroad. When I was a kid (in the '50s) , he took me to the roundhouse in Toronto. I remember the big steam engines and the "modern" diesel locos. These days, we do an Easter and Christmas trains ride with grand kids on our local Morristown line (it's a short ride designed for kids).

09-30-2013, 10:47 PM
Sad - I have a colleague who has an HO setup in his basement - but has built exactly the same sized room in his cottage for someday.

10-01-2013, 06:21 AM
Sounds great! my HO layout is in the "L" shape, But I have not put the thought into it that you are doing. I love the story that goes with yours. I'm sure I could scavenge some 1x4s if you need them.
Have I mentioned I used to live in Blairsville? I graduated from Vale Tec. I always got a kick out of the nuke plant silos in Homer (at least they look like nuke plant silos). Always made me think "Simpsons".

10-01-2013, 11:14 AM
At the rate things are happening, I'm going to have locomotives ready before I have track down. The first "official" locomotive is an old B&O GP30 that is currently in the shop getting gearboxes replaced. Once it comes back it will get re-painted in the corporate colors. Goodbye blue and yellow... Hello black with a deep green stripe! https://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=386256&nseq=6

10-10-2013, 09:48 AM
It runs! 2 rebuilt trucks later, my GP30 is pulling it's first train! Already back in the shop though for lighting, sound, paint, and DCC installation.
Banjo, that is really cool! I will be out taking pictures of the line soon once I get permission from Genessee and Wyoming so I'll get a few of the "nuke" silos/water cooling towers and post them.29511
The poles next to the track in the picture are the remnants of this line being a trolley line. The poles held the overhead wire for the pick-up poles. Being that it was a trolley line, the grades are steep and the curves are tight, perfect for 3 or 4 cars and compact locomotives. Trolley use was discontinued due to numerous overhead wire problems and for being a non-compatible control system with the rest of the club layout's DCC system.

Trevor Triumph
10-13-2013, 12:55 AM
Cool story, good to have your dad working on it with you. Model railroading seems like a good way to learn some woodworking skills, electrical skills, and offers an artistic outlet. After reading I'm thinking I need to rebuild the garden railroad. About ten years ago the puppy tore up a good bit of the roadbed. I think she is old enough to leave the track alone. Then again, I have space in the shop- American Flyer S gauge trains have been on the boxes for several years. Hmmm...


10-14-2013, 11:39 AM
Homer City Generating Station from afar.

10-16-2013, 04:56 PM
I have some trains. 3-rail (HiRail) in the basement, when I get the energy, 2-rail is ready to go around the outside.
I have a whacking lot of OLD H0 stuff I have collected and restored.
Mantua, PennLine, Varney, English engines....cars are old..old metal Varney, metal and wood Athearn, Megow, Comet, Mantua, Ulrich.
Had my brother no abandoned the TruScale track and switches at his last job (far from here), I'd probably still be doing Half 0.
I have a bit out of doors, too.
Operation sessions every two weeks in summer.
Been there over 20 years.

Glad you got yours up....but, two engines generally doesn't trip the line for dcc.
How many locos you going to be running at once?


10-17-2013, 10:57 AM
My mom had a 3 rail when she was growing up. The only still functional part of that is an operating satellite launch car that I still mess with. Hurts like **** if you get a body part in the way! Might be running 5 or more trains at once if the club guys come over and I wanted to be compatible with the club's DCC system.

10-20-2013, 05:28 PM
SD - do you have a video of the layout running in its heyday?


10-21-2013, 10:20 AM
I have a video of the old layout when I was setting up a sound equipped diesel. I's currently saved on a card in my phone that I need to figure out how to get out. Was recorded with the old phone and the new one doesn't recognize it.