July 27, 2019

Nouveau espace trouvé

In cleaning up after the flood, we have undergone a massive purge. We've filled nine trash bins, made one trip to the Salvation Army and three trips to the dump. Gone are all my old film cameras,  about a thousand slides, slide projector, almost all my old magazines, two teak/particle board bookshelves, about 15 linear feet of books (mostly pdf files printed off the internet and used in researching my Kalmbach books),  camping gear, excess house painting tools, doll house supplies, and other assorted stuff.

I still have a lot of N Scale modeling supplies and rolling stock. I also have several tubs filled with boxes for HO freight cars that are on the layout.

After this much purging I have discovered a nice ten-feet long wall in my home office that is begging for a model railroad. At MIT we used to say, homework expands to fill available time. The model railroad corollary  is, "layouts expand to fill available space."  What should I do with this nouveau espace trouvé?

I could expand the Aquia Line into this area. But,  other than bringing Burnside Wharf into this space as shown at  the left, I don't see too many good options.

Perhaps a small shelf layout with a completely unique theme is in order.  Some ideas that come to mind.

A On30 WWI layout depicting the US sector in 1918 using the new Bachmann 2-6-2T engine, and a Dick Kerr gas petrol kit that I have on hand. I also have a bunch of 1/43rd scale miniatures I purchased a while back.

Continuing in the O/On30 realm, a small rendition of the Wisscasset Waterfront.  I have most of the stuff I would need for this project too,

Another possibility is a small modern port layout based on the Port of Palm Beach. I have much of the stuff I would need for that, even after I sell PoLA.

A third possibility is to install the Washington DCC modules I was building as a small switching layout. That was to be set in WII.

Another WWII theme would be a NY/NJ harbor scene with a pier and Liberty ship similar to the plan I published in my Model Railroad Goes to War book.

Finally, back to the modern era, a rendition of the Beaumont Waterfront where the DoD maintains a military port facility. That would create a nice showcase for my DODX freight cars kits and use a lot of the modern stuff I already have.

It's nice to have choices. Now, if we can get a flooring contractor to help rebuild the basement, that would be great.


  1. All sound like fun options. It sounds like you have the same problem in your area as we do, that is getting contractors. I end up doing most things myself but it's getting more difficult with age. Floor tile is not that hard a DIY project.

  2. It IS nice to have options! BTW, I have been able to fit an On30 version of the Wiscasset waterfront that includes the MEC crossing and station on a 12-ft wall with room at each corner. It is part of my room size layout (10 X 12) that includes Albion and the Wharf on the south end of Wiscasset. There is lot of material out there to accomplish it! Good luck with whatever path you choose!