Major Accomplishments - 2014
- Goff Brook Bridge
- First presentation of "A Day on the Valley Local" at the NE Proto Meet
- Double-ended Middletown Yard
- Established my operating scheme & paperwork
- Created Agent-Operator position
- Redid benchwork in East Berlin
- Lowered the backdrop in Wethersfield
- "Scrapbuilt" Middletown Tower
- First full year of blogging - 142 posts
- Total of 4 operating sessions
Major Accomplishments -2015
- Valley Coal Co. tipple for Wethersfield
- Ballantine's Beer Distributor, Wethersfield
- Started Wethersfield Lumber Co.
- Broke ground (well, broke through wall) for Old Saybrook
- Started training as an engineer on the full scale Valley Railroad
- Expanded into the old bike shop area for staging
- First section of "finished" scenery
- Built Saybrook wye and ran first Shoreline trains
- First Layout Tour & Open House - including Bill's Beautiful Buildings
- Expanded into "module room" for Essex to East Haddam portion of the line
- Extended the Air Line across the doorway to "New Haven Staging"
- Built an operating model board/control panel for Old Saybrook
- Modified my wireless NCE ProCab to get rid of the external antenna
- Second full year of blogging - 179 posts
- Total of 2 operating sessions
Lately, I've been feeling like I'm not as far along as I want to be - I started this layout just over 4 years ago and the trackwork isn't even finished yet. To be fair, there have been some previously unplanned expansions along the way, but the feeling is still there - especially when I see my wall of
shame unbuilt freight car kits. And one major "fail" of 2015 was that I had only 2 operating sessions all year - though the cool thing is that one of those ops sessions was with my dad. I also didn't make it to Springfield (due to illness) or Collinsville (due to work).
If you ever feel like you're not making much progress, just go back and review what you've already accomplished. I started this post as a quick pep talk to myself, figuring that remembering a few previous years' highlights would spur me to be more productive in the new year. But it wasn't until I started going back through my posts that I realized - I've actually done quite a bit! And that is a very, very cool feeling - not to mention one of the best reasons to start a layout blog (just sayin').
Well, it's the time of year for New Year's Resolutions, so here are my
Goals for 2016
- By June 1 (in time for the NE Proto Meet (formerly Collinsville)):
- Finish the rest of the trackwork, including new "west end" staging yard as well as Essex/Deep River/East Haddam
- Install the rest of the backdrops & fascia
- Install the rest of the lighting
- Have either Old Saybrook or Wethersfield "done" - backdrop, buildings, signals, scenery.
- By December 31:
- Have either Old Saybrook or Wethersfield "done" (whichever isn't done already)
- At least start on Dividend and Cromwell, including the huge Hartford Rayon complex in Dividend.
- Have at least 4 operating sessions over the course of the year.
That's certainly an ambitious, but hopefully not unrealistic, list. You're all my witnesses/accountability partners - it'll be fun to check back this time next year and see how I did.
Fortunately though, I don't have to do it alone - I'm truly blessed to have some great friends that have helped a LOT on this project. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Bill, Randy, Pete, Pieter, Dick, and Tom for all their help during many layout work sessions, and Max, John, and Bob for their priceless research resources. Finally, though indirectly but no less importantly, I want to thank all of YOU for posting such helpful comments, for occasionally talking me off the ledge, and generally for your support and encouragement. While I've discovered that journaling is a great way to keep track of accomplishments, the reason I share this "journal" with you is to be able to benefit from your experience and, hopefully, to have my experience help you too.
So here's wishing you and yours a Happy, Safe, and Healthy 2016 - and lots of model railroading progress in the New Year!