Last week I had intended to celebrate the second anniversary of the Louisiana Central’s construction, but work and other things simply got in the way. This past weekend I spent some quiet time in the layout room and pondered what had happened over the past year. A year ago I wrote a piece after pondering the same thing. At the end I had stated a goal of completing the L.C. mainline by the end of the second year. I suppose I was feeling overly optimistic that day, or perhaps my inexperience with building a large layout clouded my sensibilities. Not only was that goal not met, it wasn’t even close!
To be truthful, I lost a couple months where I just couldn’t do any meaningful work on the layout due to some health issues. That was followed by several more months of light duty in which some progress was made, but nothing to get excited about. But even putting that aside, there simply was no way to get that far along in a single year with me only working on the layout during weekends. After reading several model railroad forums, and seeing what other friends were doing, it finally helped open my eyes to what realistically can be done in a year’s time.
I’m doing much better now, and for the past three or four months, I’ve made good progress on the layout. I also recently reduced my hours at work (semi-retirement) so have an extra day each week to put some time in on construction. I’ve been mixing tasks during this time trying to get everything current, and also trying to avoid getting bored or overwhelmed with a single job.
The layout has five major benchwork areas: three sections along walls, and two peninsulas. The basic L-girder benchwork for all was completed last year. What is happening now is everything above the L-girders: joists, risers, sub-roadbed and track. Benchwork has been completed along two of the walls and on one of the peninsulas. This past weekend marked the construction start of the fourth section. My friend Wayne came over and we started cutting out and placing the joists on the section of benchwork along the longest wall of the building (34′-6″). While I hesitate to make predictions now based on my result from last year, I’m confident that these last two areas will have benchwork completed by late winter or perhaps the early spring. Trackwork has lagged behind more than I’d like, so I want to put more emphasis on getting the track installed as well.
Here’s a pic showing the recently completed work on Saturday and Sunday.
There are a couple more pictures on the main website. As always, comments are welcome….drop a line!