A new layout

The new layout gets started.

      I started a new career in 1988 and this gave me the opportunity to visit our head office in Chicago with the first visit in 1989. I met up with a fellow who has since been a good friend who took me to many of the railroad hot spots around the city. I also had the opportunity to meet the Reid Brothers of Cumberland Valley Railroad fame and Bill Denton. Bill took me to his home for a pizza and to visit his basement layout. Boy was I impressed with his track work and hand laid turnouts. The track was Micro Engineering Code 55 and it looked outstanding and straight away I knew that I wanted to use it one day.
     It wasn't until 1994 that I got to visit my first N Scale Convention in Portland with a few good friends. While we were strolling around the numerous manufacturers stands I noticed that ME had just announced the release of their Code 55 #6 turnouts in N Scale. Now this set my head spinning, I had a decent running layout but it was just lacking something. I had seen the Code 55 track at Bill's and this just kept coming back into my head.
     Back home and watching a car race that was not going too well on TV I decided that my existing layout had to go and I should build a much better operating layout that would suit my new needs and of course use this new Code 55 track. So by that Sunday evening it had gone, all of the scenery was in ten plastic bags out the front of the house and the salvaged L Girders was all over the floor.
     It did not take too long to measure up the room and work out what was to be my dream layout.

This is the plan

This track plan is the start of the new Santa Fe Railway Southern Division.
     There was a long way to go and little did I realize at the time, that several of my friends were upset at me tearing the layout down for as they have since told me that at the time I was the only one with an operating layout.

To be continued.

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