Cheo Raffle Layout and Railfanning

Well, I can’t believe this is the first update since July, October is over, the little munchskins were out in full force on Halloween, Leave fall colors are about over and I’ve scraping frost of the car windows in the morning now.

Not much has happened in the layout since the last update, but that’s not to say I took the summer off from modeling. Usually every year at Railfair (our big train show in Ottawa) there is a layout that is raffled off with the proceeds going to our local children’s hospital. No one stepped forward to do the layout this year so a group of the FNGers (Friday Night Group) decided to take up the challenge at the June OVAR (Ottawa Valley Associated Railroaders) meeting. The goal was to finish the layout for the September meeting.

It was decided that a N scale layout in a coffee table would be built as this would appeal to a large audience and would be a conversation piece as well as a piece of furniture. The project required approximately 800 hours of work in a three month period by 8 people to finish the layout on time. 3000 raffle tickets were printed and were sold out by the end of the first day of the show.

If you would like to read more about this layout you can follow the thread on the railroad lines forum that shows the entire construction process. You can find it at

On a railfanning note, I did get to go to Denver near the end of August to visit my sister and got to see some of the Colorado narrow gauge scene. We went to see the Colorado Railway Museum in Golden, Ride the trolley in Denver and I took my nephew on the Pikes Peek’s Cog Railway. My nephew (who is 5) later told his mother that the best part of the trip was eating pizza at the top of the mountain. I also spent a day at Caboose Hobbies. We did plan to take a Ride on the Georgetown Loop railway but unfortunately the engine was under repairs at the time.

We got back from Denver just in time to leave for the narrow gauge convention in Portland, Maine. If you have never been to a narrow gauge convention I would encourage you to go to one if you get the opportunity, it has to be the greatest railroading event put on. The modeling is fantastic and the clinics are great. While there were not a lot of model railroads to visit, I did get to visit the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum, the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum, the Sandy River & Rangeley Lake Railway Museum and the Boothbay Railway Village. They all had 2-foot steamers running so I had to take a ride behind each one. I also got a tour of Bar Mills which is located in a replica of the Strong station. I guess one could say that it was a great vacation for the narrow gauge train lover.

On the layout front I have started a number of buildings that will do in the town of Clearwater. None are finished yet but it’s an ongoing project. Seeing as I have promised to have my layout open during the 2008 NER convention in April and it’s already November, I have decided to concentrate on finishing the bench work so I can get the loop up and running as well as the track work done for the town of Mara.

That’s about it for now, till next time happy modeling.

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