Some of you know that on 11 Dec 07 I dropped out of Z, gave away all of my Z scale items to close friends keeping none of it. I had decided to move on to N scale because I was trying to model the New York Central and Hudson River Rail Road (NYC&HRRR) circa 1890 in Z. Not much was available in Z for that era of early steam which meant that I either spent a lot of time scratchbuilding stuff I needed or spent a lot of money having others custom make stuff for me. All the scratchbuilding and custom building costs and time took money and time away from my family. N scale had 90% of what I needed to model the NYC&HRRR and my era at 600% less of the price it was costing me to model it in Z so I moved on. I pretty much stayed in touch with Z since I am Nansen Street Models partners with Russ Kaufman The N Scale Architect.
In Nov 08 John Cubbin and I were emailing, he had just completed a weathered KATO bridge for my N scale NYC&HRRR layout. Both of us are from Long Island so we started chatting about the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). I mentioned to John that if I had to model a railroad other than the NYC&HRRR I would pick the LIRR. Being a LI boy it only seemed natural. I never thought much about modeling the LIRR before or after that and left it at that. I proceeded to work on my NYC&HRRR N scale layout.
In Jan 09 John Cubbin starting posting articles on his great web site Ztrains Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Railroading Information about Micro-Trains sectional track “Micro-Track”. Sectional track in Z? That was cool! Then on 31 Jan 09 Loren Snyder sent me the MTL Feb 09 newsletter which highlighted some of the new track sections MTL was developing. I thought, hmm, I could do a small 2’x3’ Z scale layout using modern equipment which is so prevalent and readily available in Z and model the New York Central circa 1960s. I contact Loren that same day and inquired about him custom painting some diesels for me in NYC colors. Loren and I emailed back and forth about the custom painting, I wasn’t in a rush and had no idea of what type of 2’x3’ Z scale layout I would do and so things proceed until Apr 09 when John Cubbin published his 2’x3’ Harbor Valley Shunting Layout plans. A harbor! Boats and trains go together like bread and butter. I love combining boats and trains and I already had a section of the Erie Canal on my N scale layout so why not on a Z scale layout. I did web searches for NYC harbor scenes. Some lucky web shot brought up a photo of a LIRR loco shunting freight onto barges in Long Island City, NY. Bells, whistles, light bulbs and that Nov 08 conversation with John Cubbin about the LIRR all came flashing back. I’ll model the LIRR in Z! It’s a one of a kind small railroad with a limited loco fleet, it has cool loco colors, its where I grew up, I can model it circa 1960s which was modern but not too modern and that meant that there were Z items readily available to support my project which meant less money I’d have to spend, which meant I didn’t have to spend an arm and a leg on my hobby and it meant less time having to scratchbuild items. It all came together. I emailed Loren Snyder on 29 Apr 09 and told him to stop the NYC loco paint jobs. I had a solid layout plan, thoughts and plans for what locos, cabooses (LIRR calls them “hacks”), freight and passenger cars and the city buildings to put it altogether in Z. I was officially but secretly back in Z and it felt good. I posted these photos so that you can see my progress so far since Apr 09 and to showcase Gerd Kurz’s FANTASTIC one of a kind creation – a LIRR # 2001 Fairbanks-Morse CPA-20-5 C-Liner! This loco was a long quest (Feb 10 to Sep 10) but I’ll let Gerd post more on how he bashed this beauty from three different MTL locos. The hack in the photo was modified from an MTL caboose by Bruce Monroe of Monroe Models Scenic Scale Model Displays and Model Railroad Kits! with the Long Island decals being done by Dan Pikulski of Dan’s Resin Casting DAN
You can see more photos under my Photo Album: Long Island Rail Road Long Island Rail Road - RailImages.com
More to follow.