A fresh start

A fresh start

     In mid year 1988 I received a call from a fellow stating that he had seen me purchasing N Scale stuff at a local swap meet from one of his friends. Well one thing led to another and in September of 1988 six of us five I had not met previously got together and formed the MelbNtrak Model Railway Club. It was great meeting this group of guys as they had been in the hobby longer than me and had a great knowledge of the products that I had never heard of never the less seen. With this new impetus I quickly sold off all of my old rolling stock and retired my ageing but well loved locomotives. I set about acquiring new Micro Trains and Roundhouse rolling stock and purchased some new Kato loco's the GP38's and U30C's. The Roundhouse rolling stock were re-equipped with MT trucks and couplers and new couplers fitted to the loco's and I was on the way.

     Our group also set about building our first lot of N trak modules, I finished one and not long after set to to build a second, the first is shown below.

                            This is my first attempt at a 2' x 4' N Trak module and has since been sold.

Running Nights.

     After a few months I started to host regular Friday night running nights on the new layout with this group and had a lot of fun. New locomotives, new rolling stock and a great bunch of guys all enjoying these fun nights. As the layout was still in the midst of construction there was very little scenery except for what you can see on a previous post.

That's all for another day.



Moving house

Moving House

     We had a lot of fun running on the new layout in fact we ran and operated most Friday nights.
In 1975 we decided to sell our house so what was then my dream layout was pulled down with a small portion being sold to a friend.
     A move into a new house for a year and then an interstate transfer for work for two years so my modeling days were curtailed for several years. I had salvaged all of my Peco track and turnouts, however I sold all of my buildings as we had no hope of them surviving any of the moving we had to do.
     Back to home base in Melbourne in 1979. We had to rent for 6 months so any modeling was still a way off. I got back into modeling in about 1982 after moving into our new home and finally being in a position to have a 14' x 20' shed built in the back yard just for my trains. My new track plan was a bit like some of the old and a quite a bit different in other areas. Those familiar with the true V&O will see the similarity. I was a lone modeler at this stage as most of my close modeling friends had also had job moves and lived many hours away. So with the shed built I set to to build my next dream layout that in reality did not show much growth in my modeling skills.

                                          This is the track plan as drawn way back in the early 80's

      As you can see, the layout is kinda low with quite poor backdrops if indeed any. I was still using DC with the good old reliable Duet and a shop purchased controller that had a slide for the speed control. All of my Loco's and rolling stock were either Minitrix or Atlas along with two of the newly released Bachmann SD40-2's. My favorite loco's were the Minitrix U28's and the smaller Fairbanks Morse switcher as they were good runners.
     Well that's it for another day so thanks for looking in.


Continuing with my story

Continuing on with my story of my early layouts.

     The layout shown in the last post was torn down in 1973. Two friends also into N Scale gave me a hand to pull it down in just a day.
     As my garage was quite large and after convincing my good lady that the car could stay outside I decided to build the Virginian & Ohio layout not in HO like the one shown in so many articles but in N Scale.
     I purchased a copy of Model Railroad Craftsman and set about to draw up my track plan to fit my garage using the V&O as a reference.
     So over the next several months we set about building my third model railroad and my first railroad using L Girder.
     Peco track and turnouts were still the track of choice and so too was my trusty Duet power pack.
     Unfortunately due to me not owning a conventional camera during the construction of this new layout there are very few images.

     This was also the first time we started to operate using very simple cards. These were written by a good friend and I still have them as a record this day.

     They might not look to flash by today's standards, remember no home computers in 1974/5, however they worked a treat.
     That's it for today.


Another layout

The Next Layout

     The next layout was a great deal more ambitious well for me anyway. I dismantled my first and in my 18 foot x 22 foot garage set too to make a much larger layout. Lots of 4'x 8'chipboard was purchased and so I was off and running. This had legs made of 4"x 4" timber and was about 16' long x 8' wide with operation in the center and it was not going to move anywhere. The local hobby shop at the time told me that to make the Peco track look good all you needed was the Peco brand foam underlay. This was made available for the track and turnouts. So off I went purchasing enough of this to do the entire layout. Bad mistake. It did not look good when they also said to pin the track every so often which as a result put huge hills and valleys in the track.

            My trusty first power pack a Duet, still available today at swap meets
          Before I knew any better I also installed an Arnold Turntable
       Plaster scenery underway
     And I even got to paint a bit of a backdrop on an extension.
     That's it for today.
     Thanks for viewing.


Getting started


Getting started.

     My model railroad story started way back in 1969 with the purchase of my first N Scale Atlas E8 in Santa Fe livery.
     Since then I have built several layouts of various sizes and in a few different homes. I will start my blog as far back as I can with a few old and I mean very old photographs of my start into what for me has become a fabulous hobby and one that I share with many good friends.

     The first layout was based on the Kalmbach book of 101 track plans and little did I realize the significance of the layout that I chose at that time.

      At the time of construction the size and elevation of the tracks where based on HO, what did I know!
This layout lasted less than a year when as you can see I already wanted to extend it to have a longer run. You can see the small sections of 2" x 1'' timber that will hold the next bit of chipboard. And boy was it low.
Well that's it for the start more later.