Friday, February 12, 2016

Bye Bye MaP

After mulling it over for the past, ohhh maybe six months or so I made a big decision yesterday: my big train layout out in the The Cave, The Marxville and Plateau (The MaP), is coming down. Yup, it just wasn't fun anymore and its been buried in toys and debris for years. As far back as 2010 I was complaining about not being able to run trains because of the chaos and talked about in my layout video "Marx Wm. Crooks Train & Western Playsets on The MaP".  The layout ended up being about as finished as it was ever gonna get and you can tell by my last video, "Memorial Day on The MaP - Original Marx & New Marx Army Trains", that it actually turned out pretty nice looking. It had a lot of detail and scenery which I love but there was one big fatal flaw - when sitting at the control panel I could only see the train for only a few feet of its run around the layout.

When I decided to build a big layout (okay, big for me but maybe not 'big' by most people's standards) one of the driving ideas behind it was to build a fairly long straight section to allow me to run long trains, like streamliner's, which I also love. But then I got the idea to build a 'plateau'. This plateau wouldn't have permanent track and not having permament track would let me change configurations and themes. My "Flintstones on The MaP" setup and video shows what the plateau looked like without a traditional track plan. But it was all that scenery which actually got in the way of enjoying the trains! As I sat at the control panel the trains would duck under the tunnel and around the far side of the Plateau out of site. I would then have to turn around or strain my neck to see it coming around the bend and into the open where I could see it. It meandered around the chasm, then the Batcave, across the bridge bordering the Naval Base but when it wound around the perimeter of Lower Marxville it again ducked under Upper Marxville where it was a bit hard to see. It would emerge from Upper Marxville only shortly before entering the tunnel again. Unless I got up off the seat and wound my way around the layout It was hard to catch all the action.  But ya know what? Sometimes ya just wanna sit and watch trains run. No getting up. No chasing trains, No nuttin' - just sittin' there and watching trains. The scenery was great, the detail was great, nearly all my trains ran well on it, but it just wasn't fun.

That being said, I don't know exactly when I'll start the demolition, the biggest hurdle has been overcome - the mental one - that same little collector/hoarder part of my DNA which wants me to keep everything. That's been a BIG struggle this past year, but I'm winning it, one de-acquisition at a time, including The MaP!

Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

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