March 12, 2018

Sound Rail 2018

Grain elevator on Harbor Island
I just got back from Sound Rail 2018 where I had a wonderful time. The layout hosts and organizers put on a great event.  I arrived on Wednesday and did some rail fanning in downtown Seattle. I checked out the S Lander Street area near the Mariner's and Seahawk's stadiums since one of my friends is interested in modeling that area. Then I looked around the Harbor Island area. That would make a great core for a waterfront themed layout.

That evening Kirk Reddie had an open house for his N Scale Milwaukee Lines east layout. To say it is a huge undertaking is an complete understatement. I don't know the exact dimensions, but it fills the bottom level of his purpose built home which also acts as his business and warehouse. It is probably over 3,000 square feet and will include multiple decks. Whew! It might be the biggest home ever if he and his crew complete it.

Over the next three days I attended 4 operation sessions and 4 open houses. The video below summarizes the layouts I saw and operated.

Tracks 9 feet in the air pass around the perimeter of the  unfinished Tacoma
harbor area in Mike's Pacific Railway and Navigation Company
O scale layout.
I tell my wife that the model railroading hobby is a big tent. Going to events like this shows you that there are many ways to build and operate a layout.  Mike "Chooch" O'Connell's P48 O scale layout is a perfect example. It is a massive, multiple level, mushroom style layout (it's actually much more complicated than a mushroom design - tracks are stacked  6 levels high in some sections)   with theater style lighting. It felt like operating trains in a Disney exhibit.  While not complete, the novelty of the design and the finished scenery shows that it will be a spectacular achievement when further along.

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