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Reply to ""Quantum Leaps," i.e., Your Favorite Shortcuts..."

Gosh Jim,

I recently went from zero to a pretty nice 9.5 ft x 5 ft layout in just a matter of a few weeks, in O gauge, with no layout plans.  The table is built, the track is laid, the wiring is done, and two trains are running.  The only thing I am doing now is installing eight  different power attachments to the track, so that I can have eight separate power blocks, and I am in the process over the next two days of running all of those wires under my table to my currently open-topped control panel.   When I get the two MTH power distribution strips I ordered  a few days ago, and the fiber track pins,  all of that will get done in a matter of hours.  There are several separate routes that the trains can travel.

Now, for total honesty:
1.    I have not yet put the cork underneath the tracks.  I want all of the track fully screwed down, wired, and thoroughly  tested for hours first, and then I will just unscrew a few sections at a time, lay the cork bed down, and screw them back on top.

2.  I did not build any trainyard.  I think they can be really beautiful in large layouts, but they take up large amounts of board space, use a large number of switches, and of course they assume that you like running your trains backwards.  I don't.   I use side tracks to park my trains, separately blocked with ingress and egress switches.

3.   FINALLY, THE BIGGIE:  At this point, my layout board is just painted in a flat green.  I have not put in any landscaping.  Personally, I think that there are really no shortcuts to creating really great and realistic scenery.  I don't have the patience or talent for it, so I am just going to use some sprinkled grasses and soils from Woodland Scenics.   I also have access to a small  trainshop, that buys used stuff at shows, and they have lots of fully assembled O and HO gauge buildings from old layouts, custom painted, that look great, and cost about 1/2 of the price of a new kit for the building.   So, I am going to pick out several, and put them down.

Do I have a scenically beautiful and fully realistic looking layout?  No.  But, I like watching my trains run.   Little figurines, automobiles, and the tiny details that go with them just don't interest me that much, though I do appreciate the beauty of the layouts where people have spent 100s of hours properly incorporating these.

Don't know if this helps.


OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653