Thursday, September 13, 2018

25 Years Later...

No, twenty five years later is not how long it's been since my last post but it has been almost a year since I posted anything of substance. Hang on for an explanation of the blog post title later. I do apologize for the lack of layout postings and I appreciate the concern that some of my regular readers had for my blog disappearance.

A lot has happened since last my last non-Wordless Wednesday post both good and sad. Last year in the fall I took a new position at an organization I had previously interned with while finishing up my degree. I could easily say it's my dream job and feel very fortunate to return to the public sector and where I first started the path to my new career.

After a few months of settling in at my new job, I had hoped to turn my attention back to the layout but a complete bathroom gut and remodel took priority. Even as I write the bathroom still commands my attention but I can finally see light at the end of that tunnel.

Yours truly putting down tile board
As for the sad, after a long illness we made the hard decision to let our cat WahWah find peace in late November. He was a very vocal companion that thankfully never showed interest in the layout as a playground and will be sorely missed after 17 years in our lives.

WahWah seen napping with a Fast Tracks template as a blanket.
Earlier this year my wife and I also faced the first loss of a parent together when her Father lost a long battle with brain cancer.  When growing up at some point you realize the possibility of loosing a parent but it always seem like something so very far away. It definitely puts a certain perception on life and where you are at in life it when it finally happens, whether it's you or to someone very close to you.

After this personal update now lets get back to trains. I found once you get removed from your hobby for a while it can be difficult to find where to dip your toe back in, especially if you're in the midst of building a layout. The best place I thought to start was to clean my workbench up.

This in turn spurred me to complete a few projects that had been lingering for a long time, such as the PRR hoppers I picked up for cheap on eBay awhile back. I also put together a large number of Accurail W&LE hoppers that had been piling up.

Accurail W&LE hoppers.
The "25 Years Later" name of this blog post comes from not my absence but the time it took me to complete an old Walther's kit.

While organizing my pile of "to build" kits when cleaning, I dug out a modern day Walthers tank car I bought as a teenage N&W/Norfolk Southern modeler. On inspection it looked like I had started construction but probably gave up frustrated with either the handrails or ladder based on the glue marks. Back then with a limited budget I didn't quite have the tools I do now, so with the right size drills to ream out better holes and some CA kicker I finished the build only 25 years later!

While it has no place in my NKP steam era collection, it will fit in nicely with Brendan's modern day equipment.

All good things in all good time
It's crazy to think of my teenage self unknowing beginning to build the car not for myself but for my future son!

I hope to share some of the other little things I've accomplished model railroading-wise over the past year. Thanks for hanging in there.


  1. Glad to see this posting, Chris! Just think, next weekend you'll have another model railroading experience under your belt!

    1. Thanks Tim, I can't wait for the Maker Faire. I'll be sure to write about it afterwards.

  2. Hey Chris - I'd been wondering where you'd gone off too, so very glad to see you back. I'm just sorry that the past months have had so much loss for you and your family. It's never easy losing a furry family member - WahWah looks (and sounds) a lot like our Charlie who went over the Rainbow Bridge two other cats ago (we went through a few years there were we seemed to attract kitties that had serious issues...). So we know how tough that can be. It looks like he had a great life.

    But as hard as that is, I can't even imagine how tough it must be to lose a parent. Unfortunately, I may be in the same spot as you in the coming months (or, hopefully, it'll be years away....). My FIL is going through 3rd time cancer treatment now and we're doing all the stuff I know you must be very familiar with. I'm so sorry for your loss and hope that as you're able to get the bathroom done and back to modeling that the Adena RR will be some nice diversion. It'll certainly be nice to see your posts again. Hang in there - and welcome back

    PS: really liked the story about the tank car. What a nice circle of life experience there, eh?

    1. Thanks for all the kind words Chris. I've seen the updates involving your father in law and definitely can empathize. Best advice I can give is to be there for your wife and whatever she needs during this time. I didn't realize the scale of the beginning and end of the tank car's journey until I was writing that part of the blog, neat stuff! Thanks again.