So many times, we all get our favorite model railroad magazine in the mail and dream about some day having our own layout featured! I have found myself in that position many a time, only to realize all of the hard work and, if you’re like me, the number of years it takes to get the layout running properly and looking good enough to be featured.
Living in Metro Atlanta, GA for a number of years, I have known several NMRA Master Modelers that have spent countless hours, weeks, months, and yes, even years building beautiful basement empires that seemingly operate flawlessly, are mostly complete or are complete with scenery, and they are able to see their dreams accomplished.
I first met up with and became a part of an informal group of train modelers in 1982, which today is a little bit more formal and known as JARAG. Over the years I’ve seen layouts come and go, and it is always a joy and a time of excitement as someone starts a new layout. It is kind of a twist on the old saying “easy come, easy go”, as a layout does not come easily! I know from being around these guys and from building my own layout that the planning stages alone can take months or even years; my basic design took over 2 years to complete. Once the design stage is complete, we move on to bench work, roadbed and track work, wiring and electronics and finally into the scenery stage, which can often take years: “NOT SO EASY COME!”
All too many times, as I’ve seen over the years, situations change due to job changes, upgrades in homes, and the all time bone-chilling comment from the wife, “Honey, now that the kids are grown and gone, we don’t need this big house anymore!” So as one of these situations brings about the change, the saws, hammers and crowbars appear, and no matter how hard we try to salvage the layout in hopes of reusing at least some of it, it all seems to come down in a matter of hours! “EASY GO!”
Along with this phenomenon comes a great deal of sadness, but also another glimpse of excitement and joy, as new dreams begin to appear in our heads of the next greater layout!
Below are some photos of one such layout that has seen this fate: the beautiful C&EI Railway of Dave Chaney. Please enjoy this wonderful layout, as we wish Dave the best in his new adventures!