Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TRAIN TIME: Shawano & Twin River Valley Railroad Pt 1

We're starting a new Train Time series here at Toys & Stuff, albeit a short one. For the next few weeks we'll look at my feeble attempts at HO scale model railroading and the one lone, half-way decent layout I built - The Shawano (SHAW-no) & Twin River Valley Railroad.

Before I got interested in toys as a hobby, I was into 3-rail O-gauge railroading, and before that HO scale model railroading, and before that...   Anyway, trains have been a part of my life for a l-o-n-g time but actually building a layout seemed just out of reach for me also for a l-o-n-g time. As a young man, the only place available to build a layout was an uninsulated, unheated attic in our house back in Milwaukee! It was a challenge to say the least and the pictures below show what little progress there was as of  August 1978.

HO scale. Basically a 4' (121.9cm)  x 8' (243.8cm) table with a couple of add-ons. These are the only photos ever taken of this 'layout'.

Nuthin' to brag about here. After lamely working on this thing for a couple of years (yup - this is a couple of years worth of so-called 'progress').  As a side note my last winter at home, the winter of '77-'78, was the coldest on record up to that time in Milwaukee. This was at a time when I worked outside at night in the steel yard at a tubular products steel mill. For approximately 45 days, the temps never got warmer than -15ºF (-26º) with wind chill factors down to -65ºF (-53.8ºC). You can guess not much work was done on the layout that winter!! 

I joined the military in 1978, was stationed in California and the layout board got left behind (but I salvaged the bridge and track). While in California I did manage to build a couple of structures and a small shelf display but was too busy with other things to really get into railroading. Stick around because next week we'll look at the beginnings of the Shawano & Twin River Valley RR. Enjoy!