On The Road Again

Many years ago a work related move (one of a series) found me living in a small, rented, two bedroom home unit in the New England city of Armidale, NSW. Prior to this move I had access to two garages in which I was building two separate HO layouts, with one doubling as a workshop and layout room. Over the last few weeks it’s dawned on me that I’ve gradually taken a similar step back to being confined to pretty much a spare bedroom for my hobby activities.

This photo shows one of my two modelling desks. I've been using this one for the last 18 months, allowing me to model on weeknights while I live close to work.

This photo shows one of my two modelling desks. I’ve been using this one for the last 18 months, allowing me to model on weeknights while I live close to work.

The roll top desk is one I picked up for $40 second-hand a few years ago and refurbished. It has some good points as a modelling desk and some limitations, but I’ve always wanted to own one and I wasn’t prepared to pay hundreds for new one that I would hesitate to bash about. It sits on small trundle wheels and is a lot more usable as a work desk since I installed a light under the pigeon holes. The white cupboard is a recent purchase from Bunnings and was acquired to go under the layout benchwork of Morepth Mk III. It provides good storage for kits and will serve well as a place to position models so I can photograph them.

So far my partner and I have only taken the most preliminary of steps on our journey to building our new home: drawing up some plans, wrestling with solicitors and banging our heads against the wall of indifference of local government regulations. Between the two of us we own no less than four separate houses. It would be more accurate to say various banks own them, but I’m sure you get the idea. In our initial planning it seemed a logical first step to consolidate our “real estate portfolio” and it was decided that a good first step would be for me to sell one of the houses I own. For the last 18 months I’ve only been living in this one on weekends and school holidays, so the choice was logical on one level however this is the house where my train room is located.

Prior to approaching an estate agent I decided to begin the process of de-cluttering the house and this has involved taking some items to my partner’s place to be stored – the property she’s not going to sell and where we will eventually build our new place – taking a couple of trips to the local tip and each weekend carrying a trailer load of gear back to my place in Casino, NSW. The Casino house is within commuting distance of my work and I live in it during the week. While I’ve moved a bit of my train gear to my home in Casino over the last few weeks, this weekend it really started getting serious. I’ve had a desk for modelling set up in the house ever since I bought the place but I’ve now started to transfer my collection of unbuilt kits and part of the layout. A section of QW made the trip today and I’ve set this up in the spare bedroom that now constitutes my modelling workroom.

The town end of QW made the trip over to my Casino home today. It's looking a bit the worse for wear at the moment. I'd just finished bashing it about and re-wiring it about the same time I decided to sell the house so it hasn't got the promised make-over. Yet!

The town end of QW made the trip over to my Casino home today. It’s looking a bit the worse for wear at the moment. I’d just finished bashing it about and re-wiring it about the same time I decided to sell the house so it hasn’t got the promised make-over. Yet!

We estimate that the new house probably won’t be ready to move into for approximately 3 years. We have at least two houses to sell first and a hormonal teenager to get through her HSC prior to building the new home. In the mean time I’ve got to set myself up in such a way that I can continue to make some progress on Morpeth Mk IV. I may not do a great deal of work on QW between now and then, I’m worried that any work I put into the layout may have to be ripped out again prior to installing it in my new train room. However having part of the layout set up will allow me to test locos and rolling stock and it keeps me in touch with one of my favourite elements of the hobby, layout building.

All in all things are coming together nicely.

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One thought on “On The Road Again

  1. I feel your pain. In 1999 we moved from a house with a basement in Illinois to a 3 story town home in northern Virginia — I carved off space on the lower level to serve as a RR room but never had a chance to do anything serious because of work commitments. In 2004 we moved to Las Vegas and during our 10 years there lived in 3 different houses. The hang up was that every other year we moved to different rentals in Carson City for 5+ months for the legislative session so there was never a sense of permanence. I did hang modules on the wall in the last house but in the fall of 2010 we bought this house at the beach in Ocean View DE as a vacation/future retirement home — 5.5 hours on the plane an 2.5 hours in the car from Las Vegas. Knowing that we were going to make a final move took away all the incentive to build more layout in Las Vegas and we decided to sell the LV house in late 2012, spend the first half of 2013 in Carson City, then moved to the beach in June 2013 with me commuting to LV for the final year of my contract. I will get a 9 x 20 room with HVAC in half the garage just slow going getting things sorted out — this first summer has seen a parade of friends and family that truly precluded any work on the garage other than sorting out an giving away lots of business clothes and furniture from my mother’s house (she passed away in January 2014). I hope to get things on an even keel this fall and to begin to really enjoy my retirement!

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