11.12.2011

too bad, so sad,

bye bye.

The newbie's hand-me-down layout was not worth saving. It was a 5'x9' Granite Gorge & Northern from Altas' old "6 HO Railroads You Can Build"

When it was prepped for storage or moving, almost all of the wiring was torn out from underneath, the control panel was disconnected (cable cut) and the many bridges across the middle joint were very roughly removed. In the process, several sections of cork and track were damaged. The track was a mix of brass and nickel-silver; likewise the turnouts were from various manufacturers, in various states of repair.

I wasn't confident that this could be repaired easily. I knew the fellow was eager to run some trains, and it would be many hours of work for a newcomer to get this thing back in decent shape (if it could be saved at all). Frustration could set in very quickly, and I wanted to avoid yet another bad experience for a beginner.

Based on our discussion of what he was interested in (and his skill level), my recommendation was to scrap the top and replace it with a flat deck. Then obtain a starter set of either Kato Unitrack or Bachmann EZ-Track, a Bachmann Berkshire with DCC, and an NCE Powercab.

I found out that the local hobby shop had a single Kato World's Greatest Hobby starter track plan set left in stock and suggested that purchase to him. It was still in the shop on Friday, so I'm not sure where he's at with his activities.

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