Alive, Well, and Back!

Hello everyone,

My apologies for once again letting the blog go silent. Believe it or not, in my few spare moments over the past few months I have been doing a small amount of modeling on Beckleysville’s first module.

My friend Trevor Marshall released an interesting post on his Port Rowan blog yesterday, “Tips for Blogging about our hobby“. It is an interesting post that I encourage you to read. For me though, the need to make regular posts, even if progress is slow is a benefit. Why, well most importantly as Trevor points out, the blog is a source for me to keep notes in a convenient place. Right now, some notes are on scraps of paper, some in small notebooks, some have been sadly misplaced already.

So where is the Beckleysville project? On module one, laying ties and cutting foam for the scenery. The wood for module two is almost completely cut. Its legs however, still need to be produced. The remaining modules are on various scraps of paper, some that I have liked, some not so much. Versions 1 and 4 are in a notebook, progress I would say. The difference you ask? Version 1 is designed to be completely straight and three tracks wide. Not what I am looking for in a branchline terminal. Version 4, a grand wye with the base containing three tracks. Granted this may work for the standard gauge Stewartstown railroad, but I am not sure it fits well in the operational scheme of Beckleysville. Needless to say, versions 2 and 3 where those castoffs that lead to #4.

Module 1: The S curve
Module 1: The S curve

Do you hear a theme, I followed conventional model practices to design a typical “hug the wall” layout. Whereas my C modules can hang from a wall, their latest version can also sit on legs. The ability to mimic Free-mo design has been one that has lead me to rethink layout design as it works for me. Most importantly, design can once and for all break away from the confines of a basement wall if I chose to follow that course. The age old question of minimal radius can be thrown out since it will not be limited by a corner. “Beckleysville” can be set up and put away either inside or outside. It can be operated by just one, or a group of interested modelers. All those realizations have created a certain level of freedom I have never had as a modeler, and so grand designs need to be reeled in to the manageable and most importantly, the believable. After all, Beckleysville is a branchline terminal of a small, 30 inch gauge railroad, not a division point of a huge class one railroad. Yes, it is an imagineered railroad, but it needs plausibility or it will end up in the junkyard or fireplace.



2 thoughts on “Alive, Well, and Back!

  1. Hi Matt:
    Using the blog (which is, after all, a contraction of “web log”) as a layout construction diary is one of the most useful things about blogging. Glad my post helped. Good to see you back.
    – Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

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