|The CV WRJ Vermont roundhouse, May 24 1953. George Corey passed along this photo through the group list for Marty to consider. These large engines are great for a mainline but for branchline service they will have to hang around on the display shelf.|
If you follow Marty McGuirk's Central Vermont Ry. blog you already know that his layout is coming down prior to a move. He has many options for his next empire...to go large or model a CV branchline. I myself like the idea of staying small and finish the layout in short order. I have been able to highly detail my layout by staying small. Maintenance is minimal and operations is simple with most of the time just me at the throttle. I do have the room for a larger empire...I am currently only using about one sixth of my basement.
Trevor Marshall voiced some points that really hit home for me and something for Marty to chew on...here they are.
I’ll argue in FAVOR of the Richford Branch. I model a one-train-per-day operation in my basement and I love it. Here are a few of the reasons why:
2 - The smaller physical plant required for a branch like mine (and Marty’s) means more space can be devoted to each scene. The main yard of my layout - the terminal in Port Rowan - has a grand total of five turnouts, and I’ve been able to model it roughly 2/3 actual size. It looks great and is actually a lot of fun to operate.
3 - I’m 50 years old, so I’m possibly one of the younger people on this list. Yet, I find that between work and home commitments, other interests, and just getting older… I don’t want to grapple with a huge and complex layout. I was able to go from empty room to running trains with all track hand-laid and wired in about a year. Since then, I have had almost no maintenance issues with the layout. Plus, I enjoy zero derailments and no electrical “table-thumping” or “locomotive poking” issues. In short, the layout runs perfectly - with the exception of operator error - 99% of the time. When there is a problem, it’s easily spotted and fixed in next to no time.
4 - I enjoy scratch-building - everything from structures to the more than 200 trees I’ve added to the layout - and it all takes time. A simple layout, with no maintenance issues, means I have the time to do that.
5 - I have many projects in the hobby that I want to explore and my small, simple layout means I can do that. For example, I belong to a group that exhibits a free-mo style layout in S scale. I am also learning to brass-bash, with an Overland S scale 2-8-2 being converted into a CNR S-3-a. And I want to scratch build a Jordan spreader (type A) and a crane similar to the Tichy 120 ton model, both in S scale. These are all projects that will take up considerable hobby time - but thanks to having a mostly complete, easy to manage layout, I can indulge in them.
Trevor posts regularly on his blog which I find very informative, link below...thank Trevor...George Dutka
Port Rowan in 1:64