February 2018
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Born and raised in Eastern Canada near Moncton NB. I grew up in Albert Mines where the old abandoned rail bed of the Salisbury to Albert branch of the CN ran through our back yard. It actually went all the way to Alma but only briefly. I was given my first toy train set for Christmas when I was a kid and I think that’s what started it all for me. My Great Grandfather was an Engineer for CN and drove Steam engines right up until he retired in ’52. My Grandfather was a Hostler for CN at the Moncton shops up until he retired also his brother worked in the shops as a machinist. So I guess you could say the railroad was bread into me right from the beginning.

A 4X8 HO layout in 1989 was my first attempt at modeling. I had quit smoking then and thought I would use the money to build a RR instead. I am still smoke free today but that attempt never got beyond the plywood cookie cutter stage but I did learn from it. Shortly after my Wife and I had started our family and the RR got put aside. Oh I still picked up the odd thing or two and somewhere along the way I started picking up N scale items as well.

About three years ago I started slowly getting back into the hobby again thanks to a modular group here in the Maritimes. This group sets up at shows and doesn’t just operate or run trains they get your kids to operate them as well. Ah but don’t be fooled, I found out it’s a trick just to get you interested in the hobby 🙂 . On the way home my two boys started harassing me to blow the dust off of all the stored away boxes and start building. The modular group (UMG) is in HO and I do take a bit of flack from them as I now am a member and have my own modules. The flack is because my home layout (for now at least) will be in N Scale. Shortly after that I met a local N scaler that has been working feverishly to keep me active and involve in N scale.  Between these guys and a few more of the local modeling friends I’ve met in the last couple years,  they all help keep me interested in this great hobby.

Well that enough from me. Hope you enjoy the progress of my RR as it begins. Y’all Come on back now from time to time to see my updates. By all means if you see something wrong with my Blog or just want to make a comment, by all means please do and Thanks for reading.




4 Responses to “Background”

  • Ray Kiefer:

    Just found you. We have just moved to a retirement apartment after downsizing from a 2000 sq ft home. I(the president of the RR) negotiated with management (my wife) before we moved to have the 10X13 den/dining room as the train room. I model in HO and have not had a RR for over 25 yrs. My plan is HO using code 83 flextrack. Developing the drawings now. Minimum mainline radius 22″. I am enjoying the opportunity to read your progress notes. Thank you.

  • Allan:

    Thanks Ray,
    I would like to watch your progress. Do you have a site that you place updates in?
    I don’t seem to post as much as should here but I should be. I have the track completed on the east side of my yard (just have to install turnout controls) Currently I am working on the turnouts for the west side. Slowly things are being done. 🙂

  • Ray:

    Hi Allan,
    No, I do not have a website or any place to show my progress. I spent some time over the past few weeks sketching and drawing different scenarios for how what I want in my RR will fit in the room. I have decided that 22″ will be my “standard” radius with some places going as sharp as 18″. I am also drawing the plans to have #6 turnouts on the main with #4s in all the yards. I am getting itchy to set up something just to have trains running. Then I go over to the club layout here and run those. That cures me of trying to put the layout before the plan.

    Haven’t named my rr, but I have all B&O motive power. Will be running late 50s with steam and diesel. Will have at least one coal mine, maybe more.

    Are you building your own turnouts?? There are places in my drawings where it looks like it would be better to have curved turnouts. I am enough of a neophyte to “fear” making my own and willing to give up the space to use commercially available ones.

    Hope to make some progress tonight and tomorrow on the drawings.

  • Allan:

    My only concern for your yard ladder is the use of #4 turnouts. If you are using any steam loco’s or three axle trucks, you will find it quite “tight” and can derail. If I am tight for space in a yard I would rather use a #5. On my current layout I am using nothing less than a #6. Of course, this is only my opinion. 🙂

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