Model Railroad Layout
Yup - that's me! Complete with long hair, wire-rim aviator eyeglasses and pimples to boot! Ah, how wonderful it was to be a teenager in America in the 70's with so much potential to go out and live a marvelous life! That's about all I have to say about that.
This page is a journey into the world of miniature that I created in the basement of my house at 578 West Housatonic Street, in Pittsfield, MA from about the Fall of 2001 to when I moved out of that abode in the Summer of 2010. Of course, I didn't immediately disassemble the layout and/or, sell the house. I actually rented the place to a family with a couple of young children who I assumed, might benefit from it's presence in the basement as a viable pastime activity. Sadly, such was not the case and over the course of several months, the layout fell into disrepair and eventually, the tenant requested for it to be removed so they could utilize the space for storage. So, in the year 2013, I attempted to break it up and remove it from the house but to no avail, the lion share of the layout ended up at the local dump. While I managed to pack away all the model trains, Matchboxes, buildings and other landscape details worth salvaging (with the hope of incorporating them in a future endeavor of the same ilk), the layout itself was cut up and rendered as garbage. I still have multiple sealed boxes of model train layout remnants awaiting the opportunity to surface once again in some form of new display. Of course, I'm not sure when/if that opportunity will ever present itself so for now, there's just these images of what used to be.
I had always been a "train enthusiast" from my very early years visiting my grandparents in Millerton, NY, where my grandfather used to take us kids to a railroad crossing in the middle of town just to watch the giant locomotives and long trains pass by as a form of entertainment. Then there were countless trips to Canaan, CT for their annual Train Days celebration (Canaan used to be a major hub for the Housatonic and New Haven Railroads so naturally, they saw the benefit of celebrating this vital industry in their community). Then, through all the rest of my years, I was always enamored with big, powerful engines of our world, and the legacy they had upon our nation. I have visited train museums in California, Utah, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Maryland. Oh, I also had a minor train layout in the basement of our Pittsfield homestead for a time period growing up. So the predilection and interest for trains, both real and model have always been there. And then, the opportunity to create this miniature world presented itself when I owned my first home in my life and this big open space in the basement of my new house to create the layout of my dreams!
More about the layout itself: it is of the fictional town of Prescott, MA (a town that used to exist but now is at the bottom of the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts) and features a time period when the Penn-Central Railroad operated in this region of the country (which was basically from 1968 to 1976). There was a major train track less than a mile from the house I grew up in, in Pittsfield, MA, where Penn-Central emblazoned locomotives and train cars passed by multiple times day and often times, wear contemplated upon by at least one west Pittsfield youngster! Anyways, I built this world of miniature based on the premise described above and incorporated some other features that interested me as well, including: a beer maker (of course!), a stone quarry called: “Sly Stone Company”, an Army Depot that included an oversized inventory of tanks, halftracks and other military vehicles, a hobo encampment, a vintage automobile dealership, a Howard Johnson’s restaurant, banks, hotels, a post office, train station and everything else you might expect in a small town of this nature. I used to imagine being a miniature person walking or driving around this village and believing it to be real!?! Anyways, check it out and once again, enjoy!