Walsh- all are good suggestions. Allow me to comment?
First & Foremost: Clean up the layout.
I'm on board there. I can see about 10 years worth of dust settled on the trees in front of the yard. I agree with Walsh, let's vaccum up the dust. If we lose some turf and scenery, then that stuff wasn't glued down well enough to start and needs to come up anyway. But before we go sucking everything up, let's make a plan to work on a small area at a time. It took five years (yes, five years) to produce enough trees to cover that area in the first place. Part of that was that no one likes to make trees, it can be a tedious process. But it f we have a few "Assembly Line" nights, we can produce enough trees to replace what we take up. Also, some of our modeling methods have improved since 1999, so I'm open to new ideas and techniques.
Regarding the ballast, I'm not sure I want to soak and remove it... I know there are areas that need to be restored, but I'd rather not disturb stuff that's already stuck. If there are some specific areas, let's see if we can assess that together.
Second & secondmost: FIX the R&IT Power
Been suggesting this for years. We have a master roster and there are suggestions for motive power that R&IT should have, such as four GP40's or GP38's, two GP9's or GP7's, and three switchers (currently they are SW8's or 9's, painted by Joe Werner back in 2002, I think). I suggested replacing the SW's with the new MP model. Mr. Middleton did an excellent job with his privately owned 7422 (Which we used to switch Goodman Street and Red Onion, thanks for letting us use it)! I don't mind the "visiting foreign power" on the layout, as everyone will want to use their favorite engines from time to time (lol, all the time)... but I wouldn't mind seeing more R&IT home road power. The Alcos are fun, too. Maybe we need to simply start over with the bad order units and try again.
#3 -- Brewery
As others said, raise the back building. Blend it into the existing brewery. Bring everything together as a whole.
Whoops, I didn't know we had to raise the back building. Or are we talking about the "American Hardware" kit? That's not part of the brewery, that's a separate structure. That project was just started, and Mr. Fox is working on that at the moment. The idea is to blend the 3-D structures into our 2-D backdrop. "American Hardware" (lol, we need to name this industry) will help provide that transition. The brewery is largely complete, we need to determine if we need any other structures on the warehouse side, and I heard some suggestions of adding piping, walkways, and other details. I'm all for it. If someone wants to help complete the Brewery project, let me know.
#4 -- Subway
The Subway has not been worked on in YEARS.
Part of that is my fault, I've been stalling as that Subway station was a pet project of mine, and I wanted to photograph it for an article before it was permanently placed on the layout. I'd like to have time to complete this project, which involves installing a phantom abandoned second track, installting the staircase and platform, and re-installing the block signals. What would it take to re-install the block signals? I think we wanted to move them ever so slightly closer towards the brewery so they wouldn't be right on top of the subway platform. Your thoughts?
#4 -- DCC
Digitrax DCC controllers continue to be broken through continuous use of club members, also in part due to incidents...
It's inevitable, accidental damage. I agree, let's invest and repair/replace the throttles. And folks, if you happen to break something by accident, just let someone know. We hate surprises, and we wont be mad if you tell us. We'll be mad if we find out you didn't tell us! I'll add one, #5
the new Scudderville bridge
Rob Middleton has done an excellent job with the new kitbashed Scudderville bridge. Rob, what do you need to complete that project? I think it looks great, and it will be a great addition to the layout. Also, once we get that installed, we can re=install the signal bridge that protects CP 367. You thoughts?
I propose we tackle these projects after the winter break. Let's enjoy the two weeks (plus break) before we do anything in the club room.
I agree. All it takes is someone with an interest. Put your idea in writing and submit it to the eboard so they know what's going on. Let us know the scope of the work, what materials you need to purchase, if you'll be affecting electrical operation or track integrity. If someone needs help preparing a proposal, let me know. Also, if you want to tackle any of the Scenery stuff, just please keep me in the loop-- that way, we keep from duplicating efforts and someone else may already be working on the same thing you are.
These are all good ideas, thanks Mike for putting them in writing. We don't need to do everything at once, but there's plenty of work here for everyone, anyone who has an interest...
~Otto M. Vondrak - Wait, didn't he graduate back in 1999? WTF??
R&IT Metro New York Region - Freight Sales Agent
Graphic Design '99