Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Railroad Across The Street

I've lived on the same street for just over 11 years now. Paula has lived here for almost 19 years. Our neighbors, Diane and David, moved into the house across the street, shortly after Paula moved into our house in 1995. So they have lived on the street longer than I have.    

Last fall, after my knee surgery, I went to physical therapy at an office here in the grove. Much to my surprise I discovered that Diane worked there. 

Over the course of conversation I found out that her husband is a model train enthusiast and has a train layout in his basement. This really got my attention. 

Although I'm not a model railroader, I have close emotional ties to the hobby. My dad was a life long toy train geek. I have an HO engine and a couple of box cars that he built from kits and customized for his own layout. They are the personification of all the memories I have about my dad and his love for model trains. 

Now I don't get the chance to see or talk with David very often. So that day at the PT office I asked Diane to let him know that I would really be interested in seeing his train layout some time. 

That was back in September. This past Monday, I finally got the opportunity to see what's in my neighbor's basement. I was pleasantly surprised. 

Used with his permission, here are some pictures of my neighbor's model train set up. 

As you can see he has created a platform with two levels. Although you can't see all of it, you can tell that there's an "HO" track on the lower level. 

On the top level, the double track is set up in a  concentric circle pattern with an "HO" train running on the inside and an "O" gauge train traveling around the outer track.  

The blinking crossing signal on the right side of the platform is one of the many things I liked about this set up. 

The "L & N" signs are representative of the Louisville and Nashville railroad that serves at the inspiration the whole basement area. 

This is a view from the other side of the room. Also impressive is the O gauge CSX locomotive. It comes complete with both running and idling sounds along with smoke effects. 

I'd like to show you a video, but unfortunately, for some reason, it won't upload to this site. However I did manage to get it on my Facebook page. So if you are friends with me on FB you can go look at the 2 minutes I shot. Feel free to send me a friend request if you can't view it. You can find me @ :

David told me that, like most hobbyists, he has a lot more stuff than he has room to display. And let me tell you, he has box cars, engines, signs, and other railroad related items all over half of his basement. 

You can tell just from the pictures how much time and attention David has put into the layout and the entire train room. I felt privileged to be able to see it.  

Over the last decade I have been the typical neighbor to David and Diane. But I had no idea that an interest in model railroad would lead to an invitation to see something creative and unique in his basement. 

It's amazing what you discover about people when you take some time to get to know them. Thanks for the access David, I really enjoyed seeing it.  

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