to thine own self...

Solid reference material like this article on Byron Henderson's blog, will get most people moving down the right track in terms of their own layout planning. Note: make sure you follow along to the subsequent parts of the article series to get full benefit of the material; it's well worth the time invested in reading it.

Having spoken to a number of people (of various experience levels) about their layout plans, I've noticed one very important factor. The more honest you are with yourself with respect to an analysis of your own abilities, disposable cash, and overall goals, the more likely you are to build a satisfying layout. This seems like a "duh" point at first but, having now seen the results of the planning and execution of several layouts - and getting the back-story of a few more layouts during operating sessions, a definite pattern is emerging.

Those people who ignored finances (I never have enough money for gas, but I'll need 33 extremely rare brass locomotives for this plan to work) skill level (despite the fact I can't tie my own shoes, I'm sure I'll be able to cut my own offset mitre gears for an N scale Climax one day) or goals (I'm a confirmed and grumpy loner but my design requires 7 to 9 tightly-knit operators to make the sessions work) have generally built layouts that make them unhappy to own and operate.

Notice I've used the qualifier "satisfying" instead of "good". A good layout is not necessarily one that receives critical acclaim for its clever use of materials or 100% adherence to prototype track arrangement, but it certainly is one that brings you joy to use and is not a unbearable burden on your time, a regrettable use of your space, or an onerous money-pit that can't be finished without depriving yourself of food & clothing.

almost, but not quite, entirely unlike success

The progress bar is at 99.9%. Legal eagles have taken their pound of flesh, inspections are acceptable, and the final few arrangements are made. Receipt of keys is pending, and that appears to be clear sailing at this point.

So far, so good. Only a few crashing breakers to spoil the otherwise feathery chop of waves.

Construction of a layout will not be the 1st priority, but it will be nice to be able to erect (and leave out) the S module set for repair and further additions to scenery and structures as time permits. It's always been a problem not having a protected space to work in while being here at the condo. The cats would have a field day with the field grasses, and I'd never see the scarecrow again...


down to the wire

We're cutting it close. Things are happening on the home front but, as usual, not as quickly or smoothly as we'd like. The process of changing locales must have been deliberately made painful to discourage the average person from confusing civil servants with their whereabouts.

If everything works out according to plan there will be room for a workshop, a large garden, and our endlessly growing library of books. The kitchen is merely adequate as-is, and must be renovated to meet our future needs. If it all happens on time there will be barbeques and a garden party of some sort while the weather is still nice.

First steps will be familiarising ourselves with the perculiarities of the new house, getting used to new traffic patterns, and learning where all the local shops & markets are. A bit of painting & mending will see us through the summer & autumn.

The lot size is ample enough for even a garden railway venture should "planning permission" be given for such a folly. Proportion for native equipment would be 1:19.1 on 32mm gauge track, however, a dual gauge 32/45mm right-of-way would be built in order to accomodate visitors.