How Old is Your Layout and How Much is Completed

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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
This afternoon I was down in the layout room to break-in a new locomotive and I started wondering how my layout compares to others in terms of age and how much has been completed.

I started my current layout in 2003 and is approximately 90% completed. There were a few years that I did little or no work on the layout, but this winter plan on resuming work and start the addition of a freight yard and an industrial area in the location of a previous layout.

Please share with the forum the age of your layout, how much has been completed and what plans you may have for the future.

Thanks.

Greg :cool:
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
When you say "how old", are you referring to the moment you nailed the first 2 pieces of benchwork together, or when you first decided to build the layout? The reason I ask is because I spent ~3 months drawing up different track plans and sharing them online, getting input from several other modelers on the best way to proceed, before I did anything with the "physical" space.

My current layout is just under 7 years old, if you use the date of my decision to rebuild as the starting point. In December of 2009, I concluded that my then-current layout had too many duckunders. So after I settled on a final track plan as I described above, I had to dismantle the old layout and remove some built-in shelf racks; this took ~3 months of evenings and weekends. "Life" intervened shortly after that and I had to put the project on hold for almost a year. Once I began building up the new benchwork, it took me until February 2013 before I completed what I consider the basic infrastructure: benchwork, track, and wiring. No scenery or structures yet, but I was able to have my first op session the following March.

In the meantime, I went off on several other modeling "tangents", such as changing my modeled road and acquiring the motive power I wanted for that. This involved lots of airbrushing and decaling work. Had a few more op sessions on the Plywood Central and got ideas from the guest operators about new lineside industries I could install. Unearthed structures from the old layout and set them up, also installed and wired some signals [manually operated not automatic]. Had several more op sessions. Last winter I managed to negotiate, from the "CFO", an entire new wall to build an extension - this led to my building more basic infrastructure, which I completed just a few months ago.

So...I would guesstimate that my layout is ~60% complete, since I haven't really applied any "natural" [terrain or vegetation] scenery yet. Some modeling project always leads me to keep procrastinating on starting the scenery. Guess I'm worried about the enormous mess it's going to generate...:rolleyes:
 
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Old and never complete! [emoji6]

Started first section in 2000..... many delays later its closer to being done but I'm sure I'll start a new layout before that ever happens!

Steve


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
First layout was in 2005, lasted about one year. Finished the basement and it had to come down. Next one was built inside of six months between June 2006 and that Christmas. Lasted six years. Began a third in a loft over our out-building garage that was almost a double-wide. I was two years into it when we decided we'd had enough of looking after the property and wanted a smaller one in town. Was surprised by my wife a year ago when I was away for a week. She contacted our contractor friend and the two of them built me a train room by partitioning off a third of our double-wide garage (24' X 24'). So, I now have the drywall and painting done, and the ceiling LED panels up, and the benchwork is completed. I have built the under-bench staging, and have laid all the sub-roadbed. Now comes painting the backdrop, about a week, then laying camper tape, or topper tape, roadbed and tracks. If I keep at it about four hours each day, I could be running trains, minus scenery, near Christmas.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Current layout is about 5 years old, started in the fall of 2011. My previous layout was nearly 20 years old, and 100% complete for half that time.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
I started my layout in 1988; so, it is 28 years old. It might be 80% complete. Actually completing it is less important to me, than my enjoyment of working on it. Only scenic elements are what need finishing. I understand that for most goal driven people, having a completed layout is the goal; however, my goal is simply to enjoy myself with the process of building and operating a layout!
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
My current layout is just under five years old. I built a dedicated 640 sq ft building to house it in December 2010, and started the initial benchwork in January 2012. I run as I build and I am still building benchwork. Benchwork and wired track is about 80% complete, scenery is about 15% completed. 60% of the track is ballasted and maybe 70% of the layout has structures tentatively placed. I stray back and forth. I might lay track for a week, then do scenery for a week in another section, all the while painting figures or making structures when I am waiting for paint or glue to dry elsewhere.

Willie
 

Aerojet

Active Member
The current Royal Point & Western is a reincarnation of the original pike of the 70's -- currently was started in 08, and basic under work and track laying was done in 09. Late in 09 the scenery paint work is done. 14 I added the yard and am still working on things over there. Future? I have plans to add another 4 x 8 board to what i have as soon as we get the rest of the basement cleaned out. (shortly I hope) -- but no pike is ever complete! there is always something to add, change, or expand to.

The Aerojet
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
I think mine is probably older than dirt. I had an N scale layout with over 11 scale miles of main line track where the HO layout is now. I got very disenchanted with N scale because of the crappy locomotives that were out in the 70's and tore it all out around 1980 and started my current layout.

As bench work was going up planning was also going on although nothing was ever drawn out such as a track plan. Another reason I left N scale was not only were the locomotives crappy, but the available road names were quite limited. I chose to model the area right where I live and growing up with both the Milwaukee Road and Northern Pacific I knew what railroad I wanted to try to model but by moving from N scale to HO scale, I didn't have the space to do justice to even part of a subdivision of either railroad so the freelance Logan Vally was the solution connecting to both railroads at towns where the actual railroads were.

As bench work went up and track laying started, I started practicing with an air brush and detailing locomotives. I found it pretty easy to master the air brush and got a bit cocky and came up with a family paint scheme for the Logan Valley, plus custom painted and detailed locomotives for both the NP and MILW as even in HO scale locomotives for these railroads were few and far between.
Walthe
Track work started off by hand laying code 70 rail and turnouts. The over size N scale track was a contributing factor but being that my railroad was more or less a branch line, smaller locomotives would be the norm. Sort of shot myself in the foot in a way because I had bought a few brass locomotives and custom painted them for the NP and ending up with 90 foot turntables, a number of them wouldn't be used on a branch line railroad. Live and learn.

Construction was slow because of the lack of hobby shops where I live. I did have a Walthers dealership for a while and did stock up on items that I thought I would need but as these stock piled goodies were used up, construction slowed and ground to a halt until I was able to get supplies when ever we took a road trip. The recession that hit in the 80's mid had a lot of people that I was selling model railroad supplies to have to move out of the area for work or abandon the hobby for a while. Got rid of the Walthers dealership.

Thankfully on line retailers filled the void of not having any hobby shops in the area in recent years. Also in recent years the availability of locomotives decorated for the railroads that I am interested in have increased and the variety of structures and other items have grown a lot giving modelers a lot more choices that I had back in the 80's.

Having other hobbies such as restoring my classic cars also cuts into the time available to work on the layout. Most work is done on the layout in the winter when I nice warm train room beats the sub zero temps outside.

I would say that the layout is probably over 90 percent done, not that it will ever be done as older parts of the layout will be updated and improved. A layout is NEVER done.

I will say that I have enjoyed the layout a lot because it does exactly what it was planned to do being built as a switching layout. An operating session can last over four hours running just one local freight.
 
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riogrande

Active Member
After 12+ years of being on the move and living in apartments, I finally moved into a town house with a finished basement late 2013 so there was a 10x18' room I prepared in the winter of 2014 and began construction that spring. I don't honestly know how complete it is in percentage terms, but 99% of the track is laid, most of the wiring is in place, and much of land forms and base scenery texture is in place - I even just painted the river bottom last week. It's maybe 75% complete with mostly yard ballast and structures and vegetation to be done.

Now a bit of general comment related to layout building: In this day and age, it seems more unusual to stay in one place for a long time - which is kind of necessary building and completing layouts eh? It seems well over half of people in train forums are in a "transition" phase where they don't have a place to build a layout and are occasionally disparagingly referred to as "collectors". I've moved more times than I care to count since I've been an adult and grew up that way too since I'm an Air Force brat. And after college I've moved many times, gotten married, divorced, and then moved many times more! TMI? Maybe, but it's relevant.

But now that I'm building a layout, I feel like I'm in that minority of people who can build one and mine is rather small. So those of you who for whatever reason have the stability and space - count your blessings because you are among the lucky minority these days!
 
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G'day..I started modelling in N Scale in 2010 , lasted about a year before I 'discovered' HO. Since 2011 when I began in HO i've built one layout that looked okay but in reality couldn't cope with 12 wheel loco's once I started buying my SD70's , ES 44's etc.. In 2013 I basically totally dismantled my track , embankments , scenery and town to start again. I switched from sectional track to Flex Track..I got the basic layout built again , ran okay but still not right..This time however not as much to alter.
. Nearly all 2015 was tied up with other 'must do' projects and same again this year..The layout has been somewhat idle..All about to change..In the southern hemisphere (Australia) where I am it's approaching summer . Now I'm mostly sorted in other ways I plan to use my Christmas Annual leave between Dec 22 and Jan 24 in part to 'get stuck in' again and get a few trains running..
In regard to finishing..Easy answer..NEVER FINISHED..That I guarantee...ALWAYS something to add or change slightly or tinker with..
Cheers Rod..
 
N

NP2626

Guest
After 12+ years of being on the move and living in apartments, I finally moved into a town house with a finished basement late 2013 so there was a 10x18' room I prepared in the winter of 2014 and began construction that spring. I don't honestly know how complete it is in percentage terms, but 99% of the track is laid, most of the wiring is in place, and much of land forms and base scenery texture is in place - I even just painted the river bottom last week. It's maybe 75% complete with mostly yard ballast and structures and vegetation to be done.

Now a bit of general comment related to layout building: In this day and age, it seems more unusual to stay in one place for a long time - which is kind of necessary building and completing layouts eh? It seems well over half of people in train forums are in a "transition" phase where they don't have a place to build a layout and are occasionally disparagingly referred to as "collectors". I've moved more times than I care to count since I've been an adult and grew up that way too since I'm an Air Force brat. And after college I've moved many times, gotten married, divorced, and then moved many times more! TMI? Maybe, but it's relevant.

But now that I'm building a layout, I feel like I'm in that minority of people who can build one and mine is rather small. So those of you who for whatever reason have the stability and space - count your blessings because you are among the lucky minority these days!
Were I to start over on my layout that is now 28 years old, I would build with an eye towards needing to move the layout at some future point. I would build a layout that would have 2X2, 2X4, 2X6; or, 2X8 foot sections. Even though, in my case, we have lived at this location for 38 years and have no intentions; or, need of ever moving, the idea of making a layout so it can fairly easily be torn down and moved; or, simply gotten rid of, makes total sense. We all eventually get to a point where our lack of abilities precludes continuing in the hobby of model railroading and preparing for this eventuality makes perfect sense.
 
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Time from start = 6 months. Percentage complete = ?

I think this is a great idea for a thread! I'm constantly amazed at how long some modelers take planning their railroads before the first spike is struck. I would never have that kind of patience. For me the goal is to finish the layout as soon as possible so I can run trains. I really just like watching my trains, although I am enjoying experimenting with the scenery part of the layout quite a bit. That said, I still can't commit to a track-plan yet, since plastering my Woodland Scenics risers is the next thing I have to do—it's the first part of my railroad that will be permanent. It all started right here at MRF, just a few months ago when I first decided on building a small N-scale layout on top of my garage workbenches:


17 May 2016

Working with Kato Unitrack, I've been able make temporary layouts, remove, re-position, and re-lay my track multiple times.


27 August 2016

I removed all of my temporarily placed Unitrack to rebuild my Unitram city. I plan to fully ballast all of my Unitrack when completed.


18 September 2016

I spray-painted my Unitram roads and re-built the city center-section, so I guess at this point, one-third of the layout is about 50% complete.


24 September 2016

In select views, the center city section looks closer to its finished stage thanks to a lot of pre-built structures.


30 September 2016

Now this is where I'm stuck. I have to actually commit to some permanent scenery to blend my 3/4" Woodland Scenics risers onto the layout. I'll have to use plaster-cloth, Celluclay, Structo-Lite, etc. to finish the Woodland Scenics risers.


10 October 2016
 
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otiscnj

Well-Known Member
I'm currently building 2 layouts. The Philly & Scranton, as described in the Layout Construction Threads, below, and the Amish International Speedway/Perryville layout. Former is Ho, latter is O. I've been working on the P&S since 2011, and the O gauge for maybe 3 years.
 
ECI Layout Timeline
1980 - original 4x7 layout. Town of Westport.
1983 - 4x4 yard section added. Now L shaped.
1986 - removed yard section and built across back wall with new yard with return loop. To be connected to a new city section.
1987 - raised layout 6 inches.
1988 - city area in place with track through it and reversing loop under.
1991 - East Yard added to extend track through and beyond city.
1995 - major operational problems with original track moving with seasons. Ripped out original table structure, saved farm area and all buildings. Reversed layout of town of Westport placing farm at other end of section.
1997 - added a leg to Westport for Grain Operation.
1999 - Began changing to under table slo-motion switch machines and LED control panel operations. Began rebuilding of grain elevator area.
2004 - replaced an industry in East Yard with a new plastics plant.
2005 - Installed new backdrop behind grain elevator area.
2006 - Completed the grain elevator scene with buildings, storage bins and actual elevators.
2006 - Completed Westport with cars, figures, trees and buildings.
2007 - Placed oil dealer on layout
2008 - Ripped off half of city to correct the underlying track.
2009 - Added a drop down section to the Grain elevator at Westport.
2009 - Added DCC.
2010 - Wired Westport Elevator to more easily use DCC with it.
2012 - Added another rail line under the hills with two switched and a shut off section.
2012 - Added two Reverse Loop automatic control units to make reversing automatic.
2013 - Reversing Units failed. Took out automatic units to make reversing by DPDT switch.
2014 - Put in two new automatic reversing units

I say that it is the same layout, but the only original piece is the farm scene.
To me, a layout is like the Energizer Bunny... It keeps going, and going, and... I only know one man who completely finished his layout and he promptly lost interest in it. - rph
 
N

NP2626

Guest
I do believe if I where to complete my layout I would loose interest, also! It is the project that interests me, not a completed layout. I don't find lone wolf operations to hold my attention!
 

new guy

Active Member
Two years and still re-do-doing the track plan, it's too much fun running "this way" and changing it to run "that way", put a hill here, take it out and put it over there, crossings, figure 8's, "double 8's". If I "no likee" I "changee"!
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
I do believe if I where to complete my layout I would loose interest, also! It is the project that interests me, not a completed layout. I don't find lone wolf operations to hold my attention!
I don't think a layout is ever complete. I have almost all of my track down and most of the scenery in, but being that my layout is so old, I'm sure that I can find many project to freshen up older parts of the layout. Only problem is that when I go down to the train room to work on something I end up running trains instead of working onthe layout.
 

railBuilderDhd

Active Member
Well, back in 2011 I started a tread here about my "new" layout. If you you have seen this tread you know I'm just now starting to build the layout now. First, trust me I've not been spending all this time just planning the layout even tho that's all I've gotten done in that time. Since I started I moved to the new home and as we settled in the room I had to work with changed. The biggest show stopper was the birth of my son. For years I never had time for the hobby at all. Maybe time to pop in here or there but no time to wok on a layout. Now he is 4 and interested in trains so we are working on a layout together. TOO FUN!
I have 75% of the bench work done now and started painting the back wall with sky for now. I still need to get a grip on wiring a DCC layout but I'm getting it. I have a push of my son wanting to run trains so I'm working to have the layout running this winter.
I'm like many who love to work on the payout and do the building so I don't ever see me done even if it is to a point that looks completed. I will find ways to improve the areas I started to look better as my skills improve.

One large thing I love about this now is being able to share with my son and teach him so many skills. All learned from "playing".

Dave
 




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