Well that’s it! I took care of the last minor detail, getting the buildings and vehicles glued down. It’s been nearly a year since I started.
Some Final Thoughts:
I can safely say this layout turned out far better than I’d ever hoped. Part of that is because I went the extra mile in the planning stages as opposed to making it up as I went along. I’m also glad I went out of the way to try new things such as chalk weathering, Realistic Water & Water Effects, WS Road System, casting rock formations and staining them. I’m also glad I spent the extra money on details, yes they cost a lot but they really enhanced the look of the layout.
Unlike PR&Y, which I was never really happy with, I don’t really have a whole laundry list of objections. In fact I think I pretty much nailed most of the items on my wish list. I can run three trains at a time, I have dramatic scenery with mountains and bridges and tunnels and waterfalls, a theme built upon industry and railroading and two mains-over-mains crossings. In fact this is the first time I've ever ended up with a layout I feel truly satisfied with and I may end up holding onto it for a while.
Regrets? Yeah, I have a few.
For starters, I was stupid to think only one set of feeder wires per main line would cut it. I ended up having to retrofit them after the fact, which is a huge pain in the ass. And while we’re on the subject of wiring, I really regret isolating the industrial sidings. This created a lot of extra work. And for what? I have yet to attempt any sort of switching maneuver. My idea of operating consists of letting the trains run around and around and around. The only thing I ever use the sidings for is to park a stray freight car or two. Next layout, I won’t bother with the extra wiring.
Also, I used foam-core board for my layout base despite the issues I had on PR&Y. It’s cheap and readily available at Hobby Lobby. And that’s about all it has going for it. It has the tensile strength of a graham cracker and warps at the very thought of painting it. True, the issues I had were very minor on the layout compared with PR&Y but after this layout, I swear off foam-core board forever.
And of course there's my ballast issues too.
Anyway I wrote the above a little over a year ago, think I was done. Boy was I ever wrong! I originally thought I would sell this layout and build a new one. But I kept finding new projects for this one. So yeah, far from done. The next thing I did was expand the lower level and add more industries.