Sunday, August 28, 2011

A "Layout Vision" Fulfilled

Whew! I'm still recovering from the Sacramento X2011 West NMRA National Convention. It was fun to meet a number of blog readers in real life, along with the special treat of meeting some past custom layout design clients in person.

I also enjoyed presenting the Layout Design Bootcamp again with Layout Design SIG President Seth Neumann. Unfortunately, we had been placed into one of the smallest meeting rooms at the convention center, so it was standing room only for four hours! Thanks to those who hung in there with us.

It was a hectic week. When I returned home, my wife asked, "Well, did you have fun?"

"I don't know, I'll have to check my notes," I answered. Yep, it was that kind of week.

One of my favorite parts of any convention is the layout tours and I saw a lot of interesting layouts, large and small. But it was especially rewarding to visit one layout in particular that had been built from one of my plans.

Many of my custom layout designs are under construction by clients, but this one was unique in that it was constructed expertly and (relatively) quickly by custom model railroad builder Rick Fortin for his clients. I had the opportunity to develop the track plan based on an original design by Dan Murdock, the Metro Belt and Terminal, published in the April 2001 Model Railroader magazine.

To meet Rick's clients' space and interests, we mirror-imaged the design and added substantial hidden staging and a large working yard. You can see Dan Murdock's original plan, my adaptation, and photos in my Layout Design Gallery.

It was a unique pleasure to see the track plan beautifully brought to life by Rick's modeling talents. The metal fabricator scene, in particular, is just the way I had seen it in my mind.

Thanks to Rick Fortin and to his clients for allowing me to contribute to a terrific finished layout.