CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 Wrap Up

The date of this shot is 12/31/1986... New Year's Eve. Surprisingly, the Mohawk River doesn't look iced over and I see no traces of snow anywhere. There is a lot of motive power on this train, but perhaps Guilford decided to combine several trains to get them over the road before the holiday evening. Mohawk Yard is just to the right of the bridge, and downtown Schenectady and the old Alco plant are just on the left. I think I see six different paint schemes on the locomotives. 

As 2021 draws to a close, I wish all of you a wonderful, safe, and happy new year.

I accomplished several things in 2021:

1.) I scratchbuilt twelve structures for the NMRA "Master Builder - Structures" certificate. As it turns out, only three earned enough points for a merit award but another two more are very close and should be easily augmented to bring up the level of detail. I will likely scratchbuild something new for the twelfth, and super-detail it just for the award. 

It is funny that every all eight pieces of rolling stock I built earned merit award, but I struggled with structures. Sure, I didn't add as many details as I could but I suspect something else influences the judging more: most judges (and most modelers) have built craftsmen structure kits, but few have scratchbuilt rolling stock. As a result, I think most judges believe that rolling stock is harder to accomplish and as a result they judge it more leniently. Everyone can build structures, so they judge them harder. Or that might just be my own perceptions.

2.) I started to seriously explore Hi-rail O gauge. I joined the Empire & Eastern Division of the Toy Train Operating Society and have attended many of their online weekly Zoom meetings, went to a couple of their in-person layout meetings, and even helped them set up at a local train show. I also toured three different O gauge layouts (one in Buffalo, NY; one in Maine; and one in New Jersey) and I had been having a blast with the bigger trains. I also started buying O scale trains that I liked, and have so far weathered about a dozen freight cars and a caboose. I even wrote an article with a major O gauge magazine accepted for publication next year. At this point, I believe that my next layout will be in this scale.

3.) I took a day trip to Maine to ride a 2-foot train, toured a custom layout builder, and had lunch on the Maine coast. Seeing real trains, riding trains, and talking with other model railroaders was great even though I had a very long car ride in the process. It helped remind me of what "normal" looked like before the pandemic occured.

And, I have some things to look forward to in 2022:

1.) The "Springfield" Amherst Train show in January is something I need for my modeling sanity. I couldn't attend the local Great Train Extravaganza earlier this month due to a plumbing problem in the basement, and so my train show itch is still waiting to be scratched. However, with the rise of Covid numbers I fear it will be cancelled.

2.) The Rapido Rohr Turboliner HO scale train which I ordered several years ago may actually be released this year. Yay!

3.) After taking nearly a year off, I am recharged and began working on my HO scale layout again. Most of that will be discussed in a future post, but suffice to say for right now I am excited to at least be doing something with it.

Here's to hopefully a great 2022!

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