I'm shortly going to have my first layout completed to a stage where I think I'm going to be getting bored with it.
I'm thinking about selling it when that time comes. If anyone is interested, we can talk.
But the real question is "what's next?". And the answer thus far is "I don't know".
I've thought about doing a section of the NCR. God knows I've done the research. But my goal with that is really to recreate part of a transportation system, but there doesn't seem to be any parts of it small enough to reasonably fit in the small space I have available currently. While there are a few candidates that came to mind, none of them feel really "right".
The first major candidate was York. However, even though it's a small city, the operationally interesting portions of it are too large for my space. What would I want to model? The MA&PA interchange? The street trackage? What about the parts of the York Secondary? I don't feel that any of these is interesting enough on its own to do it for me.
The next thought was Baltimore, but that's even worse. Forget about it.
Maybe New Freedom. It has an interchange (with the Stewartstown), an industry, some interesting scenery, but is way too large to make sense on a small layout, and to make it interesting, I'd need a bunch of staging anyway.
So far the only one that makes any sense is the end of the (freelanced) Conrail portion of the York Secondary in Hanover PA. I could feature a small interchange yard with the Chessie, maybe some MMID run-through stuff, and the Utz plant.
This has lead me all to a realization, however. I'm trying to do two things with my layout(s). The first is model a "place", but the second is evidence of my American Studies background coming out. This second thing I'm looking to recreate is a "job". I want to create the experience of actually working a specific "job" (or more than one, ideally).
By this I mean recreating the experience of actually doing the work of a 1:160 train crew. Because of the linear nature of railroads, it's tough to model the full job, since this can include a distance traveled in the hundreds of miles. Perhaps, then, I should be looking for smaller, more stationary jobs, like yards.
I think I'm going to start looking for a good way to make a pocket yard (that's busy).
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