Hey Everyone! This thread will document the single largest construction project I have ever attempted. This will probably take years to complete. I decided to document the entire layout building process from start to finish. If this interests you, please read on! I have been a member here for several years, as well as on the former Atlas Forum and currently very active over at The Railwire. Model trains have been part of my life since I was about 7. In fact, I remember my first Model Railroader given to me by my mother when I got hurt falling off my bike. The issue featured John Coot’s famous home layout. That article left an impression on me. I don’t remember much from when I was 7, but I remember reading that issue until the thing fell apart. I converted to N scale at 11, and after several small layout and downright awful kit-bashing attempts, shelved model trains for much of high school. In college, my interest in model trains picked up again, as I found it relaxing to weather cars between classes. That dorm room will forever smell like Dull-Cote. In 2001, I started accumulating equipment for a large layout I had dreamed of since childhood: a layout that modeled all my favorite places from Worcester to Boston Massachusetts during the height of Conrail in the late 1990’s. The boxes piled up, but I really have not done any serious modeling aside from small projects. The thought of doing a shelf layout was a bit unappealing because I just wanted something more, bigger, wonderful. I was (and still remain) a member of the Bay State Model Railroad Museum, but meeting nights and work always seemed to conflict. By the time I married Joy in 2007, I had an entire storage room at my mother’s house full of model trains. Joy and I purchased out first house in 2008. The place has plenty of room for us, and a rather large (about 900 square feet) basement. The basement was partially finished, so I thought I could finish the rest and start on the dream layout. Money and flooding soon proved to be insurmountable obstacles. A Change of Fortune Water has been a constant problem. Even the finished area has flooded and during a major storm in March 2010, the stream behind the house flooded and the basement took about 6-8 inches of water. While I could store some trains in plastic containers on platforms, there is no way a layout would last in that type of environment. Until earlier this year, the finances required to waterproof the basement was strictly out of the question. Since that time we have inherited some money and, with one of our cars getting paid off latter this year, I expect to have about $2-3000 available to me for room and layout construction. Lets take a look at the basement now: This shot is taken from the stairs looking forward (south) into the finished area of the basement. This area measures 15 feet square. The door opens into a storage area under the front porch. You can see the boiler pipes in blue. Floor to ceiling is about 7 feet. The trains pictured are only about 1/5 my collection. I am standing by the scarecrow looking north, to the rear of the house. All the finished walls you see will need to go due to mildue and sub-par construction. This area will open up into the rear... Water damage and deteriorating concrete are two major issues holding up layout construction.