Under Construction: The Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad

As construction of a model railroad progresses, it’s easy to forget the former struggles and triumphs. I’m happy I took lots of photos as I was building The Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad. I’m not finished with the layout. I am not sure a model railroad is ever completed because it’s so fun to keep working on it.

Obviously, these photos are not of my layout, but of The Polar Express, Pere Marquette #1225, in Ashley, Michigan. Even though at present, the 1225 is undergoing some maintenance that took it out of service, the great locomotive will soon be back.

Every model railroad starts with a dream. A child of any age with a new train set on Christmas morning sees beyond the circle of track and an engine with a few cars. It is easy to imagine a large layout with mountains, trees, buildings, people, roads, vehicles, and several trains rolling. Freight and passenger trains are moving from one place to another, crossing bridges, passing through tunnels, and arriving at their destination safely.

I have found that model railroading is great therapy for dealing with anxiety and stress. I have struggled with anxiety for many years, and still do. It’s important for me to be involved in activities. Model railroading provides a progressive means of accomplishing rewarding results.

Operating a model railroad is a lot of fun. I have built three layouts, each one is better than the last. This is the first time I have used extruded foam as a base of the layout. The results are terrific. It’s easy to work with, allowing for easy scenery changes. Building a model railroad is a great exercise in patience. I would like faster progress, but now that I’m four years in, it doesn’t seem like that long at all.

I have experimented with several things on this model railroad. I have completed many scratch-built balsa wood structures that are beautiful. I love the picket fences, complete with posters. The homemade static grass applicator, from which I have received several hair-raising shocks, actually works. The applicator makes it possible to model tall weeds on the model railroad without having to place every blade one at a time.

What an exciting day it was when trains rolled on the Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad for the first time! It took several days to complete the wiring under the layout. I have several blocks requiring signals which have yet to be installed. A single line runs from Newtown to Maple Valley. The small communities are at opposite ends of the layout.

The Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad is now fully operational. I can stand and watch two trains roll across the layout, passing through tunnels and over bridges. Canoers and swimmers wave as the trains pass over Maple Valley Trestle. Folks in Maple Valley love to watch the freight trains roll through town.

I am happy there is still much to do on the Maple Valley Short Line Model Railroad. Already, I have enjoyed hours of moving trains around the railroad. I am still in the process of wiring a new control panel with lots of flashing lights. I recently bought some streetlamps for Maple Valley that will add a beautiful ambience to the town.

Of course, Scandal at Maple Valley is an ongoing saga that now has thirty-three episodes. I invite you to follow A Coffee State of Mind so you can learn the latest about the disappearance of Sylvia Meisner.

As always, happy model railroading!

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