No. 76: 2018 Projects and Renewal

Happy 2018! 

I’ve always found the New Year to be a great time to reorganize and reprioritize life goals.  Getting organized and setting goals within the hobby is important too, so I always take a little time to set new hobby goals and priorities for the coming year.

Getting organized is the first step to setting goals, so I spent a few hours on December 31st and New Year’s day doing a lot of cleaning, organizing, and goal setting in the layout room.  Below is a photo of what the layout looked like a year ago.  

IMG_4545 - Copy

Thanks in some part to goal setting, it looks a little better today…except for the little derailment thing…


I also maintain a list of current projects, including categories such as

  • Kits New in Box
  • Models Under Construction (with list of parts needed)
  • Models Ready for Paint
  • Painted Models Ready for Decals
  • Decaled Models Ready for Finishing (Weathering, etc.)


Having a solid list of projects helps me organize the projects I want to complete, and organized how I can pay for certain things.  It also helps me to decide if I should or should not buy any new things. 


I also completed an inventory of all my rolling stock.  Establishing an inventory helps me decide if I want to sell anything, and/or what I want to add.  The boxes shown above hold 130 layout-ready cars; about another 30 completed cars are on the layout.  The layout can use about 35 cars comfortably, so as you can see I have more than enough cars.  With 52 or more or more rolling stock projects in the box, or under construction, I need another freight car like I need a hole in my head.


A few years ago I completed a very thorough roster of layout-ready freight cars.  Ideally the car distribution for my railroad should be a little over 50% box cars with hoppers and coal-carrying gons a close second.  I was pretty close to the target.  I’ll complete a review this in early 2018 and see how things are going.


I went through other boxes of materials as well.  In the photo below I was cleaning out and organizing a travel box full of track and wire, and switch machines and electrical stuff.   My cat Scooter decided to jump up on my shoulders and settle in.  He’s a great animal–he will often accompany me to the train room in the evening and follow me around, and try to find a way to get attention.    


After all the organization, here are my big goals for 2018:

  • Complete the Ackley Layout (it’s at 90%)
  • Complete 50% of on-hand rolling stock models (new kits and those already under construction)
  • Rebuild and expand the “bump out” on the layout to add two industrial customers
  • Consider building a new layout (A small switching layout, city/industrial theme)
  • Start writing articles again


Final Comments on the Portage Project

Meanwhile my friend Mike Moore received the box I sent with the Portage Tower model, and tool houses, and a few other things.  Mike sent a few quick photos of the models on his layout.  Love those Burlington red engines–they’re among my all-time favorites.  Looks good, Mike!



Blessings to you and your families in 2018! – John G


3 thoughts on “No. 76: 2018 Projects and Renewal

  1. John, I like the idea for setting goals for the upcoming year. As for the new layout, I hope you keep the one you have and just buid the switching layout over one of the staging yards. From the photos it looks like you would have the room. Happy New Year!


  2. Thanks Fred! Great to hear from you and I hope you and your family are having a blessed New Year. It’s probably been cold–ours has been rainy.

    That’s a fabulous idea to build the second layout over the first. I could elevate it and build the staging yard on top of each other. That’ll be fun to track-plan out in the coming weeks.

    Say, Fred, why don’t you write a post for me for the blog? Any topic…well, as long as it somehow relates to modeling of course.

    John G


    • John, We are doing well. We have both retired and are in the middle of a move. But I’m getting a basement now for my layout, I will give it some thought for a post for your blog.
      Fred M.


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