(That’s Hunter Hughson at left, then – clockwise – Robin Talukdar, Chris van der Heide, Pierre Oliver, Roger Chrysler, Ryan Mendell (blue sleeve at right) and Steve Lyons with his back to the camera. Not in the picture, but still present: Bob Fallowfield, Ron Brajer and Paul Bellmore.)
My friend Hunter Hughson marked an important birthday recently and on Saturday night, he invited several notable modellers (and me) to help him celebrate. It was a low-key affair at his house – and a lot of fun. There was good food, excellent company and a chance to share current projects (some of which can be seen in a photo on Hunter’s blog).
We also ran a few trains on the first stage of Hunter’s home layout. Hunter plans to model several railroads that ran through North Tonawanda, New York, and started his layout by modelling on a large paper mill that was served by the Penn Central:
This is a brilliant approach (well done, Hunter!), because it allows Hunter to get something up and running fairly quickly, that can then perform several functions while he works on the rest of the layout:
1 – It’s a test-bed for techniques – everything from laying track to testing scenery concepts.
2 – It’s a place to road-test locomotives and rolling stock so they’re all in good running order.
3 – It’s fun to operate, and allows Hunter to host sessions while he’s working on the larger portion of the layout.
I brought along my in-progress scale house to share with the group:
I also brought along my HO scale CNR 2113 – a Bombardier HR-616 – to test-run:
This was less than successful – for two reasons. First, I had forgotten to clean the wheels after weathering the unit. Second, I had neglected to install a current keeper when I put in the decoder. I rectified both situations on Sunday morning:
The unit sounded great with that big speaker – and adding the current keeper was easy, given the amount of space available under the hood.
It was a great time, with a lot of laughs – and I’m sure Bob is still having visions of Caboose Industries ground throws. Look, Bob: There’s another one!