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" A LAYOUT SLUMP"

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  • Member since
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  • From: west of Portland Oreg.( the city of Roses
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" A LAYOUT SLUMP"
Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:03 PM

 Hey MRRders,

      I have question, within the next year we plan on moving to a newer house which means a larger trainroom, I already have a trackplan that will work for the size room I will have,  Now get this,  I find myself getting bored with my currnet layout, is it because I'm looking forward to building a new layout, and my skills have improved, and knowing the new layout will look and preform better?? now I might be anwsering my question here, but I should just work improving my current layout, what do you think??????? 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,701 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:10 PM

I can't see pouring much money into the existing layout, but if there any skills that you would like to improve, now is the time to practise. You have a great test bed right in front of you and a full year to experiment.

Dave

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • 322 posts
Posted by Graham Line on Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:36 PM

Time to work on signals and structures you will need for the next one. Or do some fresh research.

  • Member since
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  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, October 01, 2018 2:52 AM

Graham Line
Time to work on signals and structures you will need for the next one.

..and or your rolling stock and locomotive roster

.

Graham Line
. Or do some fresh research.

That as well.

Most importantly, Have Fun.

Cheers, the Bear. Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, October 01, 2018 4:34 AM

TrainsRMe1

I find myself getting bored with my currnet layout, is it because I'm looking forward to building a new layout

That is exactly where I found myself over the past 2 to 3 year period before tearing down my old layout and starting to build my new layout. During the 6 month period immediately preceding demolition, I tried to make some changes to the old layout in the hope that it would inspire me to keep it. That didn't work. So, I would say, forget about improvements to your current layout. Start doing some intensive planning for your new layout. In the meantime, enjoy the final weeks or months that you have with your current layout.

Rich

Alton Junction

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  • From: Southeast Texas
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Posted by mobilman44 on Monday, October 01, 2018 5:04 AM

Hi,

All good advice so far, but may I add............How strong is your "plan" on moving?

If it is a "sure thing", and the likelihood is early in 2019, then you might want to consider doing the take down and demo of your existing layout fairly soon.  As many can attest, it is a big job and needs to be done with care.

On the other hand, if moving is more along the "wishful thinking" mode, then I would work towards spending time on the existing layout doing improvements or "experimenting" - without spending money of course.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 17,400 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, October 01, 2018 5:44 AM

mobilman44

All good advice so far, but may I add............How strong is your "plan" on moving?

If it is a "sure thing", and the likelihood is early in 2019, then you might want to consider doing the take down and demo of your existing layout fairly soon.  As many can attest, it is a big job and needs to be done with care.

Good point. If you are certain to move, start the demolition now. Better to get it done before listing the house for sale.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
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  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, October 01, 2018 6:13 AM

For me, when a move was coming up work on the current layout intensified - sometimes significantly. I always wanted to get to the next milestone (usually involving new trackwork) before tearing out the layout. I would run a few trains right at the end, then do the demolition.

It was very satisfying, and somehow gave me impetus to get started on the new layout after the move. Probably a bit weird, huh?

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, October 01, 2018 7:02 AM

Rather than repost it here, I posted a series of info and photo's in my moving and layout break down saga here:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/272265.aspx

 

I can relate.  My wife and I moved into a town-home we bought in late 2013 and it was in our plan to be there only for 4 or 5 years.  As we were approaching the end of year 3 (2016), it was clear that 4 years was going to be the time to move so we began working in earnest to get the house ready in spring 2017.  We were looking very actively for a replacement home, a stand alone home this time, during summer of 2017.

With all things going as planned, that means we would be packing up and moving in the fall of 2017 so to get the town-home ready for showing it was obvious the layout had to be broken down and the layout room made ready for moving.  I began breaking the layout down in July 2018 and by August, it was totally broken into pieces that I was going to move.

Rather than rent a storage unit to show the house as empty as possible and only staged with minimal furniture, we ended up storing most of our belongings in boxes in the back half of the train room.  The rest of the house was staged and the basement good for showing except for a tall pile of boxes and my train benchwork stacked up behind them to look as clean as possible.  Townhome went up for sale in early Sept and on contract by early October.

Bottom line, if you are planning to move next year, I don't see the point in building a new layout when you are just going to have to tear it down in a matter of maybe 6 months to have to get house ready to sell.  If you have an operational layout to enjoy now, enjoy it, tinker or whatever, and then give yourself a couple of months to tear the current layout down to whatever you are going to salvage and dispose of the rest so you can sell and move to a new house.

Thats what I think based on recent experience.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

  • Member since
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  • 897 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, October 01, 2018 8:10 AM

I too faced a similar issue on my 1st layout.  It needed to come down during the moving process.  Waiting until the last minute to dismantle is too frustrating. 

The only "work" to perform on the current laout is fixing minor issues.  That means not spending more money on getting new things since they might get lost or damaged from the move.  You probably know that your new layout is likely to get adjusted as you start changing things. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, October 01, 2018 9:34 AM

Once I knew our last daughter would be moving out, and I was clear to remodel the house to include a proper train room, all work stopped on the "spare bedroom" layout.

.

It sat sad & dormant for a few years before it finally came down.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Monday, October 01, 2018 10:28 AM

TrainsRMe1
Now get this, I find myself getting bored with my current layout,

I understand the feeling.  Perhaps it is a close cousin to that feeling you get when you are in the last few weeks of high school or college or before retirement from your job.  "I've done this enough," you think, and finding the motivation to stay even moderately interested is a challenge.

Anyone who has ever tried to settle the estate of a relative knows that you often end up literally giving away (or trashing) things of value, often considerable value, just because you feel you're running out of time and energy: you've crammed too much to do in too short a space of time.  You give up.  I think many guys who dismantle layouts end up doing the same, and for the same reasons.  They wait until they HAVE to do something and that is just too late.  You have the time to do a great job of it.

If I was in your shoes (or perhaps I should say, if I was in your shoes and was inclined to follow my own good advice Angel  ) I'd use this time to 1) be really thoughtful and thorough in the packing up of the stuff you intend to save, so that the stuff is safely protected, in logically combined boxes (that is, the anvil isn't in the same box as the laser cut wood structure) that are well labeled, so maybe your movers can put stuff where you'll want it in the new house; 2) more carefully dismantle the existing layout, which usually ends up being hurried and botched:  more can be saved if more time is taken.  Turnouts for example (as discussed in another ongoing thread).  The ways to unballast and unwire track and save turnouts tend to take time and care.  Leave it to the last minute and you either rip the stuff out and destroy it anyway, or give up and throw valuable and salvagable track and turnouts in the dumpster.  

Ironically, waiting to the last minute to dismantle and pack up often means you end up saving too much stuff, too -- unworthy buildings or rolling stock, unwanted duplicates, bits of this and that that could either be sorted out and tossed or sold or given to others if you had the time, but you don't have the time.  If you have the time, moving can be a wonderful opportunity to thin the herd.  

Salvaging lumber, now that it is so expensive, is another example.  It takes time to work your way through the layers down to the lumber so it can be saved.  Run out of time and you just butcher the thing with a sawzall or sledge hammer.  Ditto for trying to salvage wire, which is also pricey.  It can only be salvaged meaningfully if it can be reused which means unsoldered, wisely labled and stored in-kind and well-marked.  

Remember it might be quite some time before you see any of this stuff again so assume nothing, label everything.

Fortunately our hobby offers many opportunities for keeping your hand in the game even if there is no layout to work on or enjoy.  That is, there are still creative things to be done with kit building, weathering, practicing skills, and research even while primarily engaged in the eve of destruction.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, October 01, 2018 11:35 AM

dknelson
I'd use this time to

1) be really thoughtful and thorough in the packing up of the stuff you intend to save, so that the stuff is safely protected, in logically combined boxes (that is, the anvil isn't in the same box as the laser cut wood structure) that are well labeled, so maybe your movers can put stuff where you'll want it in the new house;

2) more carefully dismantle the existing layout, which usually ends up being hurried and botched:  more can be saved if more time is taken.  Turnouts for example (as discussed in another ongoing thread).  The ways to unballast and unwire track and save turnouts tend to take time and care.  Leave it to the last minute and you either rip the stuff out and destroy it anyway, or give up and throw valuable and salvagable track and turnouts in the dumpster.

I am very picky about protecting things from damage so it came very naturally for me to pack up all the stuff I was saving methodically and carefully.  For example, all the flex trac was stacked in bundles of 10 pieces, turnouts were stacked and wrapped with paper or put back in original boxes (Shinohara and Walthers) or even Atlas).  Here is the box that I was able to fit nearly all of my track - have removed around 10 of the Walthers & Shinohara turnout boxes and set them aside:

Track nails were put in little plastic containers with snap on lids, other stuff in boxes.  Wood benchwork frames were pretty durable and easy to move/carry except for the ones with the sandwich of OSB/Homasote were pretty heavy but movable.  I didn't have many buildings but they were all packed in boxes with tissue.  Trains all went into original boxes or Spring Mill Depot boxes.  

Ironically, waiting to the last minute to dismantle and pack up often means you end up saving too much stuff, too --

I saved everything of use so by your definition, too much stuff; drywall screws, track nails, ME spikes, scrap pieces of wood in boxes, other hardware, wire etc.  It was extra stuff to move but I will find use for most of it.

unworthy buildings or rolling stock, unwanted duplicates, bits of this and that that could either be sorted out and tossed or sold or given to others if you had the time, but you don't have the time.  If you have the time, moving can be a wonderful opportunity to thin the herd.

See above for bits of this and that.

I have an ongoing policy of "thinning the heard" constantly so the only unneeded rolling stock was some that I was/am still in the process of selling.

 

Salvaging lumber, now that it is so expensive, is another example.  It takes time to work your way through the layers down to the lumber so it can be saved.  ...

Dave Nelson

I am not looking forward to buying more and I know that will be necessary but I'm sure glad I saved almost ALL of it from the last layout.  It should cut the cost of the next one possibly in half.

I don't know how much time is enough time, but I gave my self 2 full months before the house was going to need to be ready to show, and it was enough time for me to methodically "take er down" and salvage everything except the scenery plaster/cardboard webbing and some of the subroad bed.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

  • Member since
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  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, October 01, 2018 12:20 PM

TrainsRMe1
now I might be anwsering my question here, but I should just work improving my current layout, what do you think???????

Why not enjoy the fruit of your labor and just run trains instead of dumping more money into a doomed layout?

This also gives you the opportunity to use your locomotives and cars you paid for.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, October 01, 2018 1:13 PM

BRAKIE
 

Why not enjoy the fruit of your labor and just run trains instead of dumping more money into a doomed layout?

This also gives you the opportunity to use your locomotives and cars you paid for.

Thats a big 10-4!  I have been many years without a layout so having a layout to run trains is no small thing.

With a move in the fairly near future, it just makes sense to enjoy what you have, and the plan to build a new/better layout after you move.  The space will probably be different there so it only makes sense.

Sure, tinker and tweak the one you have now; enjoy it until it's time to start preparing for the move.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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  • From: Boise, Idaho
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Posted by E-L man tom on Thursday, October 04, 2018 4:30 PM

BRAKIE
 
TrainsRMe1
now I might be anwsering my question here, but I should just work improving my current layout, what do you think???????

 

Why not enjoy the fruit of your labor and just run trains instead of dumping more money into a doomed layout?

This also gives you the opportunity to use your locomotives and cars you paid for.

 

That's my sentimnt exactly. I'm presently in "layout limbo" because my new train room is in the finishing stages of being completed, after 6+ months of not even being able to work on the "creative" things, as mentioned above. My old layout is in storage, with most of the track and turnouts still on the benchwork. Mind you, this layout was not scenicked, nor the track ballasted.

In the final months before my anticipated move, I did nothing further on the layout itself, just ran trains and enjoyed what I had done before tearing that simple switching layout down. Yes, enjoy the fruits of your labor. Work on some structures, rolling stock or other creative endeavors in the mean time.

The point about giving yourself plenty of time is a very good one. I had a whole month to pack stuff up and/or purge; and yes, label things very carefully. The last thing I did was to tear the layout down.

 

Tom Modeling the free-lanced Toledo Erie Central switching layout.
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, October 07, 2018 7:28 AM

riogrande5761
Thats a big 10-4! I have been many years without a layout so having a layout to run trains is no small thing.

.

That is why I have abig box of Kato Unitrack.

.

Every once in a while I set up tracks on the floor like a little kid and just watch the trains run. It is good for my soul.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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