I have a friend that was a N Scale model railroader. When he saw the Christmas Village I was building just before Christmas 2011 he got excited about On30 and later told me that he “bought some gear” to make an On30 logging layout. His life became much more complicated and I never heard anything more about it and never asked.
One day in June of 2017 he called me and asked “Do you still do model railroading?” My answer was “Sort of.” Next thing I knew he brought me over a never used Zephyr Extra, A DCC Porter 0-4-2, a Davenport, eighteen sections of ME code 83 flex track and about two dozen Bachmann Spruce/Pine trees.
In an effort to thank him, I quickly programmed road numbers into his engines and put them on the layout for some photos.
From an operations standpoint this was not a layout. None the less, I could assemble a short freight (sans caboose) and with enough planning run a mainline train slowly chasing its tail and switch trains to and from the two spurs and the team track area. It wasn’t much but I could amuse myself for at least an hour or two with the layout.
The biggest irritant was the short team tracks. With the new rails and ties suddenly available to the track crew the obvious first item was to extend the team tracks and possibly re-align them to allow a third track. When the board met, it was decided to replace the ceramic village with yet-to-be-acquired laser cut buildings with the exception of the Post Office which needed to stay open as mail service was an important revenue source.
With that decision it was further decided to relocate the freight station to the team track area and add a new depot on the long spur originally intended for the previous depot. Shortly after the meeting the below photograph was distributed to all shareholders.
I really liked where this was going. It was looking less and less like a Christmas Village and more and more like a small layout. When my wife and I were sitting looking at the layout, denuded of most ceramic, she suddenly suggested we remove the Post Office as well as she liked seeing buildings that I had made. Off it came. Then I decided that I wanted the layout to be pre-1900 so off came the cars. The crossing shanty remained but will be repurposed. We also decided to remove the skating pond for use in a new seasonal train-less Christmas Village as the plots will be needed for new construction.