Monday, October 14, 2013

MER Open House and Layout Status Report

Running at track speed north of Williams Creek. 
 Just completed a very busy model railroad weekend as part of the NMRA MidEastern Region convention. Not only did I serve as clinic chairman for the convention, I gave a clinic on my railroad and also opened the layout up for two days of open houses and one guest operating session for convention attendees. 
Everett in all of its mocked-up glory....
Of course, the weeks prior to the convention open houses were spent mostly in the basement getting the layout ready. As anyone who has hd their layout on a tour can attest, often times more progress is made in the month before the open house than the six months before!  
Current state of the "front door." It's getting there - many structures to scratchbuild.
Completing this scene is very high on the agenda for the winter! 
I started with a long list of things I'd like to get done - I'd say I managed to finish about 75% of them. I wanted the trains to run fairly reliably, and for the most part succeeded. For my part I made a real effort to get rid of all the visible foam, plaster and plywood by covering it with a coat of earth-colored latex paint. I also got a fair amount of track painted and ballasted. It's amazing how much those two simple things blended everything on the railroad together. 
While I wanted to get the "Foreign road" power we've been operating replaced with CV/SNE/CN etc... power I wasn't quite as successful at that!
We did have issues with some recently ballasted track - and one particularly troublesome set of Proto 2000 FAs. All these issues were fixed  "on the fly" during the open house. I'm more than a little thrilled to report that we had zero issues with the wireless throttles over two days of almost constant running. 
The "back aisle" had been raw plaster, plywood, and pink foam the week before the open house. Some paint, ground foam, and some extra trees made it look presentable if not "Finished."
My crew (Stic Harris, Jeff McGuirk, Ben Hom, Norm Wolf and Bob Warren) did a great job. My parents manned the upstairs. Everyone seemed to have a great time. I didn't get any photos of people gawking at the layout, but here's a few pictures showing how the railroad looks today. 
With the layout up and running it's time to turn my attention to some actual modeling projects. More on those to come in the weeks/months ahead. 
"Yes, I know the station hangs over the edge of the benchwork!" Don't know how many times I had to say that! One thing we didn't get done was the alterations to the benchwork at Essex Junction that will accommodate the station. 


  1. Looking good Marty! Is Bernie the man behind the backdrop painting in the first picture?

  2. first photo: I love how you have let you rr beathe !


  3. Looks really good Marty. Wish I didn't have to cancel coming to the convention, I had planned to see your layout on Sunday. Oh well, perhaps next time.