Absolutely: It will be given a "test of time", I always do.
However, I suspect nothing will change. I've been sensing for quite a while now that the passing of time had caused some changes in me. Deep down inside, I begin to suspect that it was very possible I no longer possessed the patience and perseverance to dutifully accomplish what it takes to build "fidelity" type scale models and layouts. That I can do so is not a question to me. (I still have the first/second place plaques I can remind myself of! ) However, the ability to build such models really means squat to me now.
Simply put: I miss the fun that can be found in model railroading. Back when my life was before me and time was infinite, I had time to explore, experiment, and do lots of dreaming. Along the way I got four layouts up to the operational stage, most had some form of scenery on them. The last three all involved hand laid track, contest winning models/etc.
It was fun then.
It's not now.
Sadly, I haven't been able to sustain the Fun Factor in model railroading for nearly two decades. It wasn't until the past year or so that I began to wonder if model railroading was over for me.
However, now I don't wonder that. Instead, I now think what has been needed is a radical change in my approach to the hobby of miniature trains. BUT, it took me a while to face up to that. Putting it to the test via this switching layout simply exposed and confirmed the problems I was feeling internally. It didn't take long today to see what I needed to see.
Frankly, I've already given this a LOT of thought, but I always figured such a change would be "one of these days when I get too old". Well, as we can see, "one of these days" arrived quicker than I thought, but the upside is it happened while I still have the energy and resources to make the change.
I was a bit surprised at how much less patience I have. Yes, I still have the skills to ACCOMPLISH the work needed to produce "fidelity" models/layouts... but I no longer ENJOY the process. I get frustrated too quickly now. Just the THOUGHT of all the small tedious work needed to produce fidelity models and a fidelity type layout makes me want to run out the door in a wild-eyed screaming fit. I guess it goes back to that patience thing.
Simply put: The Hassle Factor had risen WAY above the Fun Factor.
What I want to do now is step back, and look at how I want to SIMPLIFY my approach to model trains. I've elaborated on this thought previously here (and in other threads), so I won't go into it in detail again at this time. Suffice to say that I don't want to drill tiny holes with itty bitty pin vise drills/etc, and I don't want to hand form .009" pieces of brass wire to make railings and such for my models. Been there, done that... apparently I'm sick of it.
Sure, I want some "piddle factor", for I enjoy SOME piddling... just not in the quantities it takes to produce "fidelity" models and layouts, and certainly not at the intensity/tedium levels that my previous approaches to modeling have required.
SO... it's time to kick back... look at my options... and formulate a plan of attack.
Hey, I've got a 16' x 20' out building that needs a railroad in it. Not just any railroad, mind you, but one that is aimed at fulfilling what I want model trains to be for ME, one that is aimed at being laid back and relaxing, and most importantly, one that is aimed dead square at shooting my personal Fun Factor up off the scale. It's like this little illustration I saw for the first time as a lad so many long decades ago.
Yes, this little illustration from Bantam Book's small paperback "Model Railroading" book stirred my imagination and stoked the fires of my dreams and schemes. I simply couldn't fathom someone having an ENTIRE basement to fill with trains! That the trains are 3-rail simply added to the appeal...
Well... I may not have a basement... but I've got a building! And I just might put some 3-rail in there!
All fer now!