Moving residence again requires compromises but allows for a better configuration and environment for my HO scale switching layout modules.

You would think that we would learn our lesson. About moving, that is. Since we have been married we have more more than 15 times. Sometimes because of a necessity, sometimes because we were looking for “something better”. I guess this latest more, in December 2018, falls into the latter category.

Not that I really wanted to move this time as I was quite content with the apartment we were renting above one of the shops in town, with the 1:1 scale mainline trains roaring through at all times of the day a mere 100 metres away, and room for almost all of the model railroad.

Pacific National train in the siding, Culcairn, 2018
Pacific National empty steel train, Culcairn

But there were a few things that made that apartment not so good. First was the heat! It got really hot in Summer. Second was the general condition of the place – it wasn’t overly well looked after before we started to rent it. And there were other domestic (that is, non-railway related) reasons why it was becoming unsuitable. The main reason why it was unsuitable from a model railroad perspective was that it was just a bit to dark in the room where the layout was, but also the Dolton Junction corner module couldn’t be used due to the space available.

With our move to a house away from the centre of town into a very pleasant part of town, I was able to use the Dolton Junction module again in my HO scale industrial / switching layout which represents the Riverdale / Dolton / Calumet City area of Chicago in Illinois, USA. The house we recently moved to also has a room attached to the garage, approximately 15 x 10 feet, which is somewhat insulated (which means it doesn’t get quite so hot as outside in Summer). The room also has interior walls painted almost the same “sky blue” color as the backdrops on the layout. And the lighting is also a lot better, meaning I can engage in some layout photography if I desire to.

Dolton and Illinook modules
Dolton Junction, Blue Island and the ‘active staging’ module to the ‘west’ of Blue Island

Alas the 1:1 scale mainline is now almost a km away. I can hear the trains roaring along the mainline, but there is no way I can see them from where we now live. Some compromises, however, are worth it. And having the model railroad layout set up in it’s new home, where the layout is in a better configuration than it had been for the last year, where the lighting is better, and the walls almost blend into the backdrop (or should that be the other way around) is worth it. In the previous place we lived, I didn’t operate the layout very much, but already since completing set up of the layout in it’s new home, I have had 3 operating sessions which I must say have generally been more enjoyable than in our previous home.


hillyard999 · January 26, 2019 at 8:31 pm

glad to hear you’ve moved to better situation.
through the news I hear it has been baking hot out your way.
hope you are able to keep a bit cooler in the new digs.
does the heat affect the layout or running stock?

    Jim · January 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Doug.

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s been unusually hot, even for the region we live, over January. The new house has a ducted evaporative cooling system, so it keeps cool reasonably well. The train room is fairly well insulated, but is too hot to stay in for long if the temperature outside it is hot, but I get around that by having operating sessions early in the morning instead of in the afternoon or evening.


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