Well, seems that life has thrown us all a big curveball to start off 2020, as New Jersey, the nation and the entire world is now dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. These are tough times for many and scary times for most, between the illness and the economic fallout that is related to it. While it has been brewing for months, it has become front-page news only in the last few weeks here in New Jersey. The response is an unprecedented restriction on gathering, with schools and work largely closed or exclusively online.
However, the real railroad continues to run, which means that I have work and that I must be on the property in performance of that work. But, it also means most meetings are now conference calls, and that my kids are home from school with online learning. That makes for long days for my wife and kids - and so an increased role for Dad when I get home.
This means it's high time to act on my wife's longstanding plan to get an O-gauge layout set up in the finished attic space for the kids. Yep, this scale guy is going to delve into building a 3-rail layout! I figure it's a great way to get the kids involved and give them trains that are theirs to handle and run. Thanks to some generous donations, it's time to get rolling (thanks Ralph & Chris!).
A quick trip to Home Depot got the basics loaded into the minivan. Gotta love a minivan: with the seats folded into their bays, you can fit a full 4'X8' sheet of plywood with no worries. Cool!
Susie started off helping sand the base plywood.
Once that was cut down and sanded and ready to go, it was time to carry it up to the attic (with big help from Kristen!) and get the framework in place.
That was covered with outdoor carpeting to give us a base for the track, and a visit to a local hobby shop turned up lots of used Gar-Graves and Ross Custom track for us to play with. This stuff is nice, and was recommended by some O-gauge buddies over the Lionel track. Teddy was a huge help in assembling track and trying different configurations.
After a Sunday and a few evenings of work, we got trains running, with more progress to come soon. The kids are in heaven for a few days - what magic to be able to share this with them.
With travel restrictions coming to deal with the virus, it's a great time to double down on a project at home you can do with the kids or grandkids. Time to take the lemon and have some lemonade! Best wishes during this time, I wish you health and economic stability. Hang in there, this too will pass.