My sad tale

rhikdavis Jul 28, 2020

  1. rhikdavis

    rhikdavis New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Model railroading for me began way back in 1995, and yet I've never completed a layout if you can dig that.

    I think my layout will be modular for later expandability, but most importantly portability. I tend to move alot, as you will see.

    I'm going to use code 80 sectional track because I had already bought a good amount before realizing there were other codes available. I must say that code 55 is impressive, but this being my first layout, I can make the sacrifice.

    At this point it's going to be a freelance affair somewhere in the rural southeast US, possibly the foothills of Appalachia, running a mix of Norfolk Southern, Southern, and CSX freights. Southern because I'm originally from Georgia and that's what I remember seeing all the time. CSX because I was in Kentucky for a while near coal mines. When I was in Kentucky I lived about 25 yards from a mine spur. I didn't appreciate it then as much as I should have.

    The industries that my railroad will serve will be a dairy, Coca-Cola plant, and was even considering a federal prison.

    The era will be 50s, 60s, and 70's. and itt will seem that time has stopped depending on where you are on the layout.

    As far as scenery goes, there'll be the industry structures along with a smattering of small service type buildings. I don't know if I'm going to do a town, if I do it will be very basic to provide for the employees and families of the industries. Or maybe it will be located down the road on the next module.

    I want neglected sidings overgrown with weeds and rusty, with forgotten freight cars where hobo's have taken up temporary residence. before moving on to greener pastures. All the trappings of a boom town gone bust.

    That's the dream anyhow. This is long, so you won't miss much by stopping reading here.

    My foray into Model Railroading started with the purchase of the Bachman Old Timer set which consisted of a steam loco, a small variety of freight cars, and ye oval track. The N scale just appealed to me somehow. Then I got one of the N Scale beginner books. The project railroad was a 3x6 door layout. Before I could do anything else, I moved.

    After a short hiatus, I found myself ready to get back into it. I began collecting rolling stock, structures, and more track. This time with the intention of building the Model Railroader magazine N scale project railroad of 1996, Carolina Central. Obtained another door, foam, and started on the track before disaster struck.

    If you lived near southeastern Kentucky, then you remember the flood in the spring of 2003. The last flood was 1977 and the whole town was underwater from what I understand. The Army Corps of Engineers came in and built these huge flood walls which basically raises the banks about 75 feet and also rerouted the river. What it really did was cause the flooding to occur further upstream and much quickly I think. (but saved the town!! Hurrah!!) Because the flood walls narrowed the river and the water couldn't flow fast enough, causing the backup. We're talking two rivers converging here.

    I was living in the small hamlet of Dayhoit, right outside infamous Harlan, Kentucky, on the banks of the Cumberland River. My father in law called and said ya'll better get to high ground, the river's rising. I ran to the riverbank, about 40 yards away, and sure enough, it was coming up fast. Wife grabbed the kids, loaded them into the car and drove to a hill a little ways away. Most of my stuff was in a detached garage and I threw a few things into the back of my truck, turned off the breakers and followed the wife. Water was already coming into the garage. We were considering our next move when someone said where is the cat? I headed back to the house but the water was already too deep to risk driving in..,about waist deep, I would find out. I saw the cat on the front porch, and waded over to get it. Come to find out if it would have stayed on the porch swing it would have been fine, as the house was slightly raised and the water only got a foot deep inside. The detached garage, on the other hand, was not as fortunate and ended up under about 8 feet of water. Nasty, muddy, floodwater. Along with my unfinished layout. All my train stuff. I've still got muddy rolling stock from that day, and if you've ever experienced a flood firsthand you know the mud gets into everything. I've got a picture somewhere of the flooded garage. If I can find it, I'll post it.

    As I recall we were able to return to the house by the next afternoon. It took about two weeks to clean up the mess. The hobby was on hiatus again. And there it has remained until 2020. I've moved six times since. It just wasn't meant to be. Until now. I'm back at it.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Yikes. What a tale of woe! :(

    Well, anyhow, welcome to TrainBoard!
  3. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

    Welcome to TrainBoard! Wow! What an account. I wish you the very best. I am sure you will succeed. We do persist. Have fun! (y)
  4. goatfarmer

    goatfarmer TrainBoard Member

    Welcome, better luck to you in the future!
  5. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    Divorce has worse effects than tornado, flood fire, riot, looting ,hurricane, volcano, earthquake....

    You are luckier than you think !! Welcome.
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  6. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    Welcome aboard, rhikdavis. Terrible experience you and your wife went through. Hope you never have another episode of that kind.
  7. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

    think floating garage hahahaha pontoons . that is really terrible . hope you can get to build soon
  8. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    Give consideration to building a layout using T-Trak modules and Kato track.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome to TrainBoard rhikdavis! Sounds like you have a good idea for a layout. Should be fun. Been to Harlan just once. When coal was booming, there was some great railroading from there east over toward Appalachia. Wish I could have seen more. Never had a house flooded but have friends who have and saw the damage first hand, I hate it for you or anyone whoever has to experience it. :( Hopefully better days ahead and look forward the hearing about and seeing the progress of your layout.

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