Bill was 89 years old when the club started building his layout. Bill’s layout was based on two articles that appeared about 7 and 10 years ago in Model Railroad magazine. Bill’s layout design was 7 feet shorter than the original so that it would fit into his garage. Taking seven feet out of a plan isn’t (as we found out) too easy. The plan we built was the 117th variation we cranked out of the computer.
The geographic location is somewhere in the heartland of America (where Bill once lived) and comprised a section of rolling hills with crops, a small town with a marshalling yard and a diesel/steam repair and refueling facility. The time was somewhere around the 1940’s. There were two main lines (which could be configured into a “figure of 8”) and 4 controllers. It could be run by one person or four could “play” – have a train running under his/her control – at the same time. The track was from KATO.
The layout was built in one day – on August 23rd 2008. It took another 4 days to square away the wiring. Both the original and this layout are/were designed to be portable. The legs came off, it broke down into 6 pieces and fitted into the back of a truck.
The layout used Kato HO (1:87) track. Club members and Bill owned enough steam locos/diesels to completely fill ALL the tracks twice over and then some. The layout had 29 “blocks” (electrically isolated sections) which enabled us/Bill to “show off” 29 engines at the same if we/Bill wanted. The same track was used to run club members On30 (O scale – 1:48 trains running on narrow gauge – 30 inch – track) equipment. Narrow gauge track was very frequently used in logging operations and we figured out how to “scenic” the layout as a logging/mining operation as well as the heartland of America.
Alas, because of Bill’s demise it was never installed in his garage as planned. But, while it lasted Bill and the club members had lots of fun.