In a post I did on new years eve, I asked everyone what their goals for their layout are for 2013.  Most of you said lay track, do scenery, or work on projects that are long over due.  Forum member david1 gave some great advice, and said work on the layout every day, if it is only for 10 minutes or 3 hours.  It doesn't matter just do something. 


I took that advice and am running with it.  1st day I started a simple custom bridge and cut the river out of the foam that the bridge will go over.  Day 2 I did a little plaster cloth on a small section of my layout.  Day 3 I did a little more plaster cloth.  Tomorrow I might wire up a switch that isn't done yet.  All small projects that take 10 minutes or less.    


My point is normally I would have waited until I had 3 or 4 hours free to do all of this in one chunk, and it wouldn't already be done.  After an hour or so I might get a bit bored and find something non layout to do, like waist time watching TV.   I am much farther ahead then I was just 3 days ago and if I keep up this pace I can really accomplish a lot this year.  


I was thinking we could have this thread to just post each day what we accomplished on our layout.  Some days we would get more then others.  We could look at this thread as encouragement to do more each day.  No a layout is never done but by just putting in 10 minutes or 3 hours each day, we can all be a big step closer to being finished.


So what did you do today on your layout?

Original Post

I ordered more trains from RMT because of their sale prices. I also started to clear up my work bench so I can actually work on it. What I should do is reconnect the transformers and run some trains.


Paul Goodness

I plan to "plant" a few more bushes and remove the smaller, more fragile trees along the base of the layout. All too often they are bent, damaged or knocked over from my leaning over them. The slightly large trees will stay as they work best around the edges and are less fragile. That was today's plan but never got to it. 


I did run the track cleaning car around for an hour or so. Picked up a huge amount of crude, even without fluid. Excellent products (Centerline car). 

I've been looking into the possiblity of tearing out my mountain and redoing it with skiers and maybe a cabin if I can squeeze it in. Lot's of napkin scribbling and measuring so far but it's looking like my next project. I did sandblast a pretty beat up set of Lionel 2440 passenger cars today, was going to paint them red and black but my grandson is really pushing me to do a Ravens passenger set since no one makes them, along with a red and black set, along with a red and green Christmas set, along with a orange and black Orioles set, etc., etc. ,etc.



I swapped out the K-line plastic freight trucks for Weaver plastic freight trucks on two ore cars then put those K-line trucks on some flatcars.

Over the last two days, I:

replaced the chip in my PWC-ZW

added another PH-1 power brick

fixed our barrel loader

cleaned up some under-table wiring

cleaned the track

I've been working on projects for fellow forum member's and enjoying it ,  so I haven't had anytime to touch the layout. Maybe in a month or two.


P.S. Jim I haven't forgot about you, I'll email you by Monday



Cleaning out under the layout. Fixed the rear truck on my J, threw in a new smoke unit and traction tires while i was at it., packed up a bunch of stuff for sale.Ran some trains for an hour. As far as posting progress, hmm.

Today, installed the West throat for an 8 track pull through Chicago Union Terminal.  Friday finish off three boxes of track and a case of Homabed. Saturday, do the East throat,  providing Murphy stays away.

Simply played for a few hours. Ran some freight and passengers and had some nice relaxing fun. Felt good now that the holiday rush is over. Also ordered some RMT stuff, great sale. Simply could not resist. 

Started installing the newly arrived girder bridges from my friends at Silk City Bridges.... The Mrs was putting down plaster cloth - like 25 feet of it so we can finish off that section.....

I really like the idea behind this thread.  I look forward to following along.  Today I painted a chimney.  It took me about five minutes, but every little bit counts! 

I have installed the last of 500 plastic ties under my tubular track. It certainly does make it look better. Unfortunately, that only accommodated about half the trackage on the layout. I should have ordered 500 more.

Already today I took my new Williams BL-2 for a few loops around the layout.  But the big thing I did was get out the burnig switch tower and get it into place.  Now I need to get it wired.

I didn't do a darn thing.  Spent the day working on the next issue of the magazine, clearing ice off the driveway when I got home, fed and walked the pooch, and then just vegetated on the sofa for the remainder of the evening.


I hope to find some play time this coming weekend, after I put some of the outside Christmas lights and wreaths away.  They are now just taking up space stacked up on the garage floor.

I went up to work in the train room for just a few minutes after dinner last night--emerged several hours later.  But did get to work on several things: cut out and super glue pieces of packaging plastic onto people feet, landscaping around the church and Granato's grocery, and final detailed painting on a laser-cut garage.


Time sure flies when you're having a train moment!

Finished up my on30 line. Got a new on30 climax and found out it was DOA. Contacted dealer who said to send it back for another one. 


Yesterday - Cleared off the rolling stock and engines that were on the layout but not on track, and dusted them.  Vacuumed the layout.


Today's Schedule - Hook up the 364 lumber loader, the illuminated 133 station and 157-type platform.  Play with trains.


Overcome with ambition the past couple days. 



I just received my MTH R36 NY Worlds Fair subway set the other day. I was doing a good run of it today along with setting up all the station stops for "auto mode". Added the correct MTA logos (thanks to Steve (SIRT) for the artwork). The cars really look great with those logos added. Next project is to add passengers to the cars.

Removed the four engines that had been running to make room for 4 different ones.  I periodically swap out engines and cars to keep things from getting too boring.


- Mike

I have been designing my new Super O Layout.  I designed my way out of a few issues today, and now have a very workable layout design.  22ft x 46ft for phase 1, which is about like the last layout, but now with some room to grow in the future.


Will be up late tonite working on benchwork which is about 1/2 done.  I should be gandydancing in a week or two!

worked 8+ hours, Picked up kids from daycare, Cooked them supper.

Then ran the Christmas loop for the younger ones for a half hour while I ate.

They still love it despite it being just a elongated loop.

Then I went into the Computer room and worked on designing the corner liftout for my benchwork in Solidworks 3D modeling software. That is ongoing, eventually the entire layout may be modeled. 

Getting this corner liftout right is the key to the new layout. Without it I am dead in the water, I must have access to the basement behind it.

Once It is in place and working I can convert to around the walls for lots more space and trackage.

In this past week I had just doubled the length of the elevated line on my layout, tore PS1 out of two engines to run them conventional and restored a very broken up ( literally in cracked pieces) a Marx William Crooks. Retirement has it's advantages.

After several false starts I made my control panel for the South side. I started with a 1/4" ply but it was warped. It's only an 8 X 12 piece.   Anyway I was going to use a piece of 1/2 ply; but the toggles are too short. So I gave up my idea of a wood / paper/ plexiglass sandwich and used a recycled lamenated sign. I'll have to etch the diagrahm on there.  Now I don't like that screwhead on the switch control so I stopped work until I find better screws.




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I finished the plywood roadbed for a 3 track yard this week, and have started to lay track. This yard wasn't in the original plan, so it was more difficult to work on. I'll be happy to have this project done.


train room - chicago 2012 2013-01-02 002

train room - chicago 2012 2013-01-02 004


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Just for kicks I'm making a gauge panel that lifts up. It's out of site when not using. It contains:
Amp meter
Volt Meter
Timer (it logs the hours and minutes I'm running trains with running total)
Kill button ( big red knob you twist and shuts everything down except TIU)
Thermometer (attached to brick)

I run mostly command and prefer all electronics out of sight. If someone is visits that's interested I lift panels and remove covers to show all the cool electronics. I love this hobby. Just felt like doing it. Total time to complete: 3:45 min of fun? I hooked timer up quickly last week and I'm at 11 hours track time. Cool toy but don't let wife see it...kidding

I was thinking of where I can put a small pool in the park area. Also getting plans for a 3 foot expansion.

Have a great evening,


I didn't get any work done on the layout today but did spend the last 45 minutes running trains with my 2 year old son.  Maybe I can sneak back in the basement for a few after he goes to bed here shortly.  

I swapped a 180 watt brick with a 135w one. Then I took the 135 watt brick and hooked it up to a Powermaster which is now feeding power to all the accessories. After that was up and running, that freed up the last circuit I was using on my ZW, so it's ready to be removed from service.


Of course I was "testing" the new configuration, so I didn't want to unhook any wires from the ZW while the trains were running So for now the ZW is still in place with wires hooked to it.


J White



Tidied accumulated clutter off the current layout project in preparation for re-doing the track arrangement for another O27 flat-table setup. Checked for noticeable voltage drop in track sections and tracked it down to a 1022 switch.

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