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I started my "final" layout in late 90's, and construction began in 2006 with "completion" around 2015. To me I was remarkably fortunate to be doing this during the "Best of Times" for O gauge.   Lionel & MTH had "new" operating control systems for the first time. There was an "explosion" of product from K-Line & MTH. Lionel was a solid base without much creativity. MTH brought us a vast variation of engines and products. K-Line brought us fascinating products at "affordable" prices!  Club GG1's at $150 etc. I have their Ringling Brothers cars, Reed Cross passenger cars, etc. Scenic products are much better now than when I started, but I benefited from many innovations. I do not know how I could have done the layout today without Floquil paints....... I have the layout I always wanted..DSC02509DSC02508DSC02507DSC03695


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There was definitely an O gauge train renaissance starting about 1976 or so when MPC brought out their commemorative GM50 GP-9 that was painted gold. I think it is ending now with the closing of MTH, although other observers may put the beginning and ending at different times than I do. I used to envy those who were around during Lionel's golden age that took place in the fifties, but, I believe the time we have just come through over the last 45 years has been the best time to be in the hobby. It has certainly been a great ride for me, at least.

Last edited by tncentrr

Turtle2 love your layout but I think the Best of Times can be what you make it. I have been wanting to build that dream layout most of my adult live and started one in 1994 but was never happy with what I had. Moved in to that retirement home with a 2000 sq ft basement and very happy and excited about what I am currently building. So my best times are in front of me.  

TURTLE 2, great layout, beautiful scenery, accessories placed well, nice trains, and the red CP Hybrid with running with its nest decorative lights is Awesome. It’s probably a VisionLine. Yes, those (then) and these (Now)  are the Best of Times, with so many different trains, cars, buildings, sets, ready made Turntables, Transfer tables, bridges, houses, track, wiring devices, materials, tools, how to videos, new ways to accomplish our missions. We just need to be thankful we can share our hobby with so many friends at the push of a button. This OGR Forum is that key. Thank you for posting. Happy Railroading Everyone, This is the Best of Times.

Turtle2 - What can I say about your layout that hasn't already been said.  I'll just go with one word 'Fantastic'!

I have a question for you regarding the insulation you used between the floor joists above.  Is it the mineral wool type (which I've heard provides better sound attenuation than the pink batts) or just the more common pink stuff?

Thanks and enjoy your layout!

People generally think their time is the "best of times" because they compare it with the past and are unknowing of the future.

The closing of one company won't send us into a tail spin.  We have money to spend and will do it somewhere.  Either an existing company will step up or a new one will be born.

And just look at the technology out there that is just starting or still untapped in our little world of trains.  It will be dragging the purists into the future kicking and screaming.

Like the guy on the Disney ride says, "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow..."

The best of times?  They have yet to come.

But I'm having fun anyway.  You do have spectacular layout Turtle 2.


From a purchasing perspective the 70’s were fun as the hobby came alive again. Also in the mid 90’s MTH woke up O gauge as never before.

Moving forward I think niche players will provide a lot of innovation. Make the trains and layouts we already have and love better. GunRunnerJohn and his products for example.

I agree with the posts above, life is what you make of it. You don’t need $2,000 engines to have fun.

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