|Mt Graylock, MA|
In keeping with the upcoming Super Bowl, Marty, Stic and I did a blitz tour of New England layouts last weekend and took in the train show at the Big E. And we didn't even get tackled. I can report that New England is in a fever pitch and is ready for the big game, but for this weekend, we could care less as we saw and operated on some great layouts.
The weekend began with a fumble as American Airlines only realized they were short a pilot to fly our plane after they dragged all the passengers out to the aircraft on a shuttle. Marty volunteered to quarterback the flight, but since he's only ever piloted a Navy LST, the airline took a time out instead. The airline eventually got us to Hartford after one hour of booth review and we began the epic weekend.
|Marty and Jim (l to r)|
|Marty, Chris and Stic (l to r) . Chris is showing us his New Haven|
Library and artifact collection on the second floor of his home.
The layout fills the basement
We were exhausted when we arrived at the hotel in Springfield just before midnight. We punted and went to bed.
|Tom Piccirillo (O scale modeler) and Hal Miller at MR Booth. (l to r)|
|Jason's lift our section using linear actuators. There are actually|
three actuators, one is not visible in this photo.
|Jason, Marty, and Stic (l to r)|
|Fantastic Mill on Jason's layout|
|Photo line of model railfan at Neil's layout. That's Don James in the|
foreground with the tripod. In addition to being a retired locomotive engineer,
a fantastic modeler, and an Alkem Scale Models customer, Don is
one of Stic's biggest fans.
Neil's layout is set in the 1980s on CP trunk line in northern Vermont from Wells River to Sherbrooke. After two years of work his layout is about 1/3rd complete, but what he has finished is utterly outstanding. It is hyper-realistic scenery essentially on a narrow shelf. He showed us his layout plans and it looks like it will be an amazing design. I look forward to going back and operating it as it gets further along.
|Shot showing some of Neil's realistic scenery|
On Monday we headed northwest from Springfield through some gorgeous Berkshire scenery (see first photo above) to visit Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley layout. Dick has essentially completed the layout and it is gorgeous. He has hundreds of contest quality craftsman structures on the layout. They are skillfully arranged in a realistic manner and have no whiff of caricature that frequently accompanies these structures. When you stand in the basement you feel like you are in rural New England on a brisk fall day. Thelayout also features operational signals, CTC, sound, and it runs great. Seeing this layout was a real treat. I have to rank it as one of the top layouts I have ever visited.
|Stic, Dick and Marty (l to r)|
We returned home safe and sound. All in all a great weekend. Thanks to all our hosts for their hospitality and friendship. We model railroaders are so fortunate to have friends around the world that so generously share their time and hobby with us.
BTW this was post 800 to this blog. There have been over 1.2 million visits.