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Has it really been over a year since my last post?  Wow…time sure does fly.  I’ve been very busy with work and family.  I have not had much time to work on model railroading in the last year or so, but that all changed recently.  Just look: my son helping me with my N-Scale layout!

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My son, Chad, and I terraforming.

Here is a catch up story.  My grandfather, Cyrus Palmer, started me in model railroading when I was very young.  If I had to guess, I was around 8 years old when he and my father helped me build my first 4’x8′ HO layout.  Later that expanded to a second 4’x8′.  Since then, I have always had an interest in the hobby.  Through college and the first few years with my wife and son, I had no time to invest in it.  Money was also an issue: everything I had was in pretty poor shape and all controls were DC.  Most of what I had, I played with as a kid, and it was showing its age.

Skipping ahead a couple decades: My grandfather passed away last month.  He was 93 years old and had lived a very full and successful life.  Before he passed, he told one of his daughters, he wanted me to have all his model railroading gear. Little did I know, that gift would reawaken my interest in N-Scale model railroading.

I loaded his layout into the back of a pickup truck and hauled it home.  Along with the table came boxes of parts and pieces, rail cars, trees, shrubbery and…..a complete MRC DCC system!  I quickly set to work tearing down the start of an N-Scale layout I had in my office.  I made room for the largest portion of his layout then filled in around it and expanded it.

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The large part of Cy’s layout.

 

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Area inside the red lines shows the large part of Cy’s original layout.

To move Cy’s layout, I cleared everything off it, leaving only the track and mountains behind.  All buildings, trees, cars, and loose pieces came off and were packed up.  In the picture above, you can see his layout in its new home.  I spread new grass, planted trees and placed the buildings.

The layout was an “L” shape but the smaller leg was too long so it was removed.  Cy had a mountain on the removed portion, along with a couple sidings, so not much was lost.  I salvaged everything from it and relaid the loop that would have ran through it.  In fact, in the first picture, you can see my son helping me fill in around my grandfather’s mountain with new Sculpt-a-mold.  I reused as many parts of my grandfather’s layout as I could, including the mountain, honorably named “Palmer Hill”.

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Filled in around the original layout and rebuilt the removed loop.

Its only been a month or so, but I’ve worked on this new layout almost daily.  It is a blessing to have been given such a wonderful gift and with it, some form of responsibility.  Each time I work on it, I think back to the days of watching my grandfather run his layout, with an 8 year old me at his side.  I inspect the way he constructed his roads, buildings, trees…I am still learning tricks from him, even though he has passed.

Thank you “grampie” for introducing me to the world’s greatest hobby.  Thank you for mentoring me, loving me and leaving me with that which was so dear to you.  I miss you, but know that part of you lives on in this model railroad.

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