The Christmas Layout
(A work in progress)  
See the 2006 update below! 

The idea was a train going around the Christmas tree (not much new there), but the tree always goes in front of the bay window....  and besides, you shouldn't run them on the floor (dog hair and all that).  So why not...

And why only only one train?


And why not alternate trains...automatically?

Well, because the AC to drive the Atlas switch machines wreaks havoc with the solid state relays!  Either that or Kaydee couplers are magnetized and trip the reed switches buried in the track under the sidings (there's one intentional magnet per train).  Luckily, we added manual override...

And the tree we got was too big, so the train goes more through it than around it (a branch line!):

A couple more overall shots (note all the new train stuff waiting to be opened):


For the record:

The Passenger train was played by:  IHC Mogul (runs smooth as silk, looks OK) and Roundhouse Overtons

The Freight train was played by:  Spectrum 4-8-2 Mountain (runs OK, looks cool) and Matteson's Fuel tank cars (my Father-In-Law's old fuel oil business gone Big Oil).  Hey, my Alps decal guy didn't come through!

Next year:  Scenery!

See the construction pics here.

Finally an update:  The 2006 Version!

Fast forward to Christmas 2006.  A lot has happened.  First, Matteson's got their first tank car lettered.  Not a great job, but it's a start:

Matteson's Tank Car

Then, a real village sprung up around the railroad (pretty standard stuff).  Not long after that it snowed, also not unusual in these parts.   Here are the pictures:

Christmas Village  Christmas Village

In 2006, two major developments occurred.  The town finally has electricity...


...and the New York & New England Rail Road took over operations.  They prefer 4-4-0's and Ten Wheelers:

NY&NE RR 4-4-0  NY&NE Ten Wheeler

Here are a few parting shots.  Until next year...

A NY&NE Freight Train  The whoe thang  A NY&NE Passenger Train  A NY&NE Passenger Train

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