Me working on the Knoxville Area Model Railroaders club N-Scale layout

Model Railroading

It's not about trains for me

I like to make things.  Moving to Knoxville during the peak of COVID, and not knowing people here, I needed some new hobbies.  I used to have a wood shop, but don't really have the room for one here, and don't really have a lot of big things I'd like to make.  

I realized that model railroading represented a lot of things I'm interested in. There's a lot of planning and figuring things out, a lot of things to make, a lot of troubleshooting, and now days, a lot of electronics and even computer control/programming.  


I decided I needed to proceed slowly, to make sure I didn't buy a bunch of stuff and then get bored with it.  So when I finally got started, the first thing I did was to buy some building kits, glue, paint and brushes.  This is about how far I got in 2021.


I spent this year finishing up the buildings above, then started designing my layout.  I looked at a lot of other people's layouts on online, and played with a lot of various designs.  I ended up deciding I wanted a few key features:

I ended up settling on the design below.  It's a slight variation of a layout published in a book years ago.  The illustration shows the original concept, although I'll make a lot of changes to the scenery, buildings, etc.

I also joined the Knoxville Area Model Railroaders club up in Oak Ridge and started attending their weekly work sessions.  This was really great for me to learn from and bounce ideas around with some other people that had a lot of experience than me.  (I did build three smaller layouts in my with each of my sons, but nothing with much scenery.)  I got to work a bit on one of their layouts and get a bit of hands-on experience with scenery.  (That's me working on a club layout at the top of this page.)


I got started on the actual layout work in January.  First step was to build my benchwork.  This took a lot of time, but like I mentioned in the beginning, I like making things so it's been great!

Once the benchwork was complete, I started adding cork roadbed and laying the track.