Remember Marley? He’s the dead partner in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, who is often depicted in chains.
Well, model railway layouts can be like that too. Hobbyists often find they’re no longer having fun with a particular layout. Maybe the scale no longer appeals to them. Or they’re having problems with, for example, the performance of models of the key locomotives used on their prototype. Or they’re just bored.
But these hobbyists have invested so much time and money into their project, they’re reluctant to admit that they’re not enjoying it. To admit this, they feel, would be to admit failure. So, they continue to struggle with the hobby. They continue to try to work on a project for which they no longer have enthusiasm. Sometimes, they recover – they make a breakthrough and they move on, once again enjoying their model trains. More often, I suspect, they simply continue to drift – not engaged by the hobby, but not out of it either.
I’ve been there, several times. My solution is radical but it works.
If I find that I have not touched the layout in a full year, I know I never will. At that point, it can either continue to occupy space and collect dust, or I can tear it down and do something new.
I’m tearing down again.
In fact, I’ve already started. I’m removing my On2 model railway, a freelanced line based on the two-foot railroads of Maine. Most of it is already gone: there’s less than 10 feet to go as I write this.
In its place, I’ll be building a new layout in a new scale and a new gauge, with a new theme. This time around, I’m moving my modelling focus back home to Canada and will be building a modest Canadian National branch line terminal in S scale.
I’ll write more about this later, but I’ll use this blog to document my progress.