I've decided to start up a blog page to share the progress of my Sn3 model railroad.
I got back into model railroading when my family moved into our home in Littleton 14 years ago. Driving along the "joint line" and watching SP, Rio Grande, BN and Santa Fe trains re-kindled the train interest I had as a kid. After building a small layout based on the B&O, I settled on modeling my childhood railroad, the Louisville and Nashville in the mid 1970's. The layout was 40' x 22', all visible track was handlaid including turnouts, two staging yards and 40% of the scenery was in. It was a prototype layout based on the L&N "Short line" between Louisville and Cincinnati. It required 7 operators plus a dispatcher. The dispatcher controlled all train movements using a computer by using a program based on the JMRI software and a program designed by Rodney Black. The layout was in my eyes a big success, trains ran flawlessly without derailments and operating seesions ran like clockwork. What more could I ask for...
Then in 2008, on a trip back from Santa Fe, NM, I decided I'd take a route home that ran through Chama, NM, home of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic RR. That trip changed everything. When I got to Chama that morning, there was double header ready to leave. Following those two K-36's out of Chama, through the narrows, over Lobato and up Cumbres Pass blew me away. Seeing, hearing and smelling those steam engines "did me in" and the narrow gauge bug bit.
Before I did anything drastic to my old layout, I decided to build a few narrow gauge kits to test the waters. I built a few kits in HOn3, but I found that the size was too small to really enjoy detailing the cars, plus I enjoy handlaying track and again found it too small to enjoy. On3 has the perfect size trains, however, I couldn't come up with a track plan that would fit my space that would allow for satisfactory operations, plus the structures are huge. After building a few PBL kits and seeing how smoothly the locomotives ran, I made the decision to model narrow gauge in Sn3. Since then the old layout has been torn down and a new narrow gauge layout based on the D&RGW has risen from the ashes.
Best of all, the prototype inspiration in Chama is only 4 1/2 hours away!
So thanks for following along.