Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

November Open House

With the NER Fall Convention done, I turned my attention to getting some things done on the layout in preparation for the November Open House. This year the open house coincided with the public layout tour, so I had visitors from the Division Meet as well as some general public. As it turned out, over 50 people visited, but only about 15 were general public. I think there was an issue this year with not having printed layout books this year, they were only on-line. So I don't think enough public people were aware of the open house tour this year (by contrast, I had over 40 general public visitors last year). We'll have to see if we can do something about this next year to spread the word.

Anyway, I focused my attention on 2 areas for this year - adding more scenery and details to the Hardwick area and putting scenery into the section between Morrisville and Johnson. As I mentioned before, I put in crossing signals at the road crossing in Hardwick and added to that were some new structures, more details and more scenery elements. The video here shows the scene and the crossing signals:

In Hardwick, I added lots of the Siflor "tufts" and some more trees. I also added power poles (no lines yet), people and details, the recently completed church and the farm stand with pumpkins. I also started the swampy area with tall reeds right next to the road. I will continue this down between the tracks.

Over by the farm, I located the potato house and sceniced around it. I also added some larger foreground trees. Here are 2 pictures from a different angle than usual (along the track instead of straight on from the aisle.

For the area west of Morrisville, I have a curve going downgrade with a switch leading to the talc mill location in Johnson. I struggled with what to put in this small area and then thought about giving a winter scene a try. I have seen how late Fall in the high hills in VT and NH sometimes result in some snowfall, so I decided to try that. I also needed a place to put the A-frame house I won as a door prize a few years ago at the Stamford NER Fall convention. So I put in basic scenery, then added trees. I used larger trees here as I was not trying to force the perspective at all. With the location visually separated from the other areas of the layout, I think using snow works OK. Dusting on the snow was fun and I slowly built it up until I got the look I wanted. I then added some cross country skiers getting in an early run. I found it hard to get a good pictures of the scene, so I shot a little video instead:

Having the open house date helped me get these scenes finished. I got to sit back and watch trains run and also did a little yard switching in St. J. It got me to thinking about operations and what I still need to do to get there. So I want to finish up the other scenery, clean up some details in St. J and then think about work on the next phase, to get the required staging yards in place. That will be my goal by next year's open house!