I’ve been away from the blog for a few months now, as my wife and I packed up and sold our house in Toronto and then moved almost 3,000 kilometres west to Saskatoon. I have a new layout space – larger and much nicer than the one I left behind – and a clean slate. I’m now trying to decide what to put in it.
Something built around modelling the CNR in S scale is the natural choice – but I’ve drawn several plans and so far nothing has lit my fire. Generally, I end up with one of two possible outcomes:
- The first is a regurgitation of the now-abandoned Port Rowan layout – not necessarily the same layout or even the same subdivision. But a “branch line terminal (BLT) to staging” design based on the CNR in the steam era in 1:64. The problem is, I’ve explored that – pretty thoroughly. I’d like to do something different.
- “Something different” invariably ends up being more layout than I want to build and maintain. I believe in achievable layout design, and I have built enough layouts to know my limits. Everything I’ve designed for my new space that represents an attempt to take advantage of a greater variety of equipment or a more flexible operating pattern than Port Rowan offered becomes too complex for me to enjoy. This is particularly relevant right now, as society continues to grapple with the physical distancing required to deal with Covid-19. If I’m building a new layout, right now, it has to be something I can build myself.
So far, I haven’t hit the sweet spot.
I am still exploring my opportunities in 1:64 – including building something to indulge my interest in the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway, either on its own or in connection with its parent company, the CNR.
I’m also looking at the potential of other scales/gauges/prototypes/eras and themes. In addition to S scale, I’m exploring Proto:48 and British 7mm. Rather than build one large layout, I’m considering two or more smaller ones to share the space. That may happen. It may not. Everything is on the table at this point. We’ll see.
I’ll let you know as soon as I know myself.