2010 in Review - A Year of Construction

Gluing Backdrop Extension 2702

It’s been an eventful year. Last December the website had only been live for a month, and I’d just finished the subway tracks atop a layer of unpainted pink foam, with no scenery at all (and they’d be pulled up and put back a couple of times before they went live for real in June). In that time I’ve created the big curve around the village, built the elevated station and expressway, and begun work on the Riverside station. I’ve also largely finished the DCC electronics (except for switch controls and occupancy detectors). And I shot a few YouTube videos of my trains in action. I’ve also kept busy buying more trains, learning more about railroading in Japan (largely from reading Wikipedia, but also through the JNS Forum and other sources). And I was even asked to write about my layout for the Japan Modelers of Washington, DC (as I’m not a member, I was rather surprised, and pleased, to be asked).

All in all, it’s been a fun year. I wouldn’t have expected it to be as much work as it was, but in part that’s because I insist on over-thinking things before taking action. That has its benefits, but it does tend to slow me down. But I’m not really in a hurry, although I would like to be able to run trains on all of my lines. Looking back, however, a lot has been accomplished, and the results, albeit incomplete, are much better than I would have expected when I started.

Ongoing work includes the photo backdrops and their reconstruction (noted last time), the continuing work on the roadbed of the Commuter Line through the Riverside Station, and the slow-as-molasses conversion of my trains to DCC, as well as a lot of thinking about things yet to do, including the real expressway design, the streets, sidewalks and roads of the village, building and street lighting, a prototypical signaling system tied into the DCC occupancy detectors (parts for which were purchased last summer when I was more optimistic about how soon the track would be done), and dreams of eventually putting down real scenery.

It’s still only a beginning, and I really need to get the storage tracks built, although I’ve been thinking of perhaps trying to find a way to add an upper-level yard off to one side, as I find myself more and more wanting to run trains in and out of a yard as well as around the track. The hidden storage, while nice in theory, would be less interesting for that kind of use. Besides, I like looking at my trains, and I have a lot more now than the hidden storage was designed for when I first planned it 18 months ago. Time will tell what I decide to do, for now the future is just a sheaf of possibilities.

I haven’t done much on the website this week, but I did write up the process I use to make panoramic backdrop images from photographs as I was working on the backdrop photos for the Urban Scene (I’ve decided to do both sets of backdrops before I put the layout back together, to avoid having to take it apart again; one of the reasons reassembly has been delayed).