Annie - a Basement Empire in N Scale
SPECIAL NOTE: the
"Annie pages" listed below will take you into a series of
related pages about this N Scale layout. If you wish to view other layouts
on m-rail.net, please return to the main layouts page by clicking on the
layout tab at the top of the page.
This is the first in a special series that will be dedicated to sharing
information about my dream layout. As each new part is published, an active link will be
added to these pages so that you can journey with me as I go step-by-step through the
process of building my basement empire.
Whether you are building your very first layout or you want to fill a basement, my
goal is to provide modeling information that is helpful to everyone. As we progress
through the many stages of developing a dream layout, I'm hoping that you will find
stories and tips that you can use to make your own modeling more rewarding. To aid in that
purpose, I will provide photos and drawings whenever possible.
Background: the Dream Begins
Having built and enjoyed several layouts featuring steam engines and scenes from
the Pennsylvania Railroad, I began to realize that there was something missing from my
modeling. How could I build all these layouts, each one a little better than the one
before, yet each time feel like it's just not right?
And then I got it: there was no personal connection. I had never seen a real
Pennsy train. The layouts weren't right because they didn't represent my
As a modeler with a 30 year passion for trains, my first advice for any model
railroader is to sit down and examine your personal train experiences. Then write down the
things that you want to see on your model railroad. This step helped me decide to
model something important and personal that would always have a strong memory for me: the
Ann Arbor Railroad.
Choosing a Time and Place - what, where, when,
I have a childhood memory of sitting on a hill eating donuts and looking
at the exact same scene that you see in the top right picture, which was probably taken
sometime in the mid-late 1970's. To me, NOTHING is more wonderful than Autumn in Michigan
- so I decided to model the Ann Arbor Railroad in the Fall of 1980.
Next Time: Research on the Prototype