Well, I gave up the ghost (no pun intended) and turned over my layout design to a professional layout designer this month. I am intending to have this plan implemented as soon as it is ready. I am still focused on Benton Jct; West Frankfort; and Jenkins siding…along with the Buckhorn Industrial Branch. I am currently ensuring that I get the best measurements of the current layout room. I am going to go with the best plan for the space when all is said and done.

I have been mulling over doing the Southern end of the layout. I just don’t have the space currently to do everything that I want. I can’t take out any more walls or obstructions without expensive renovations; and I don’t have the funds to do so if I wanted to. Plus, it would delay my work even longer. So, I am going with what I have at present. Currently, I am putting away cars that I will not need for this version…and working on locomotives; as I await the track plan deliberations.

Trainfest is upon us…next month. I would like to go up to the show and see what is coming out this year. I am hopeful for a GE B23-7 from Rapido…but time will tell on that. Athearn should have some new stuff on their cabooses in the Genesis line there; ScaleTrains might have a new thing or two; it would be extremely cool to see it all…take it all in.

My health continues to improve. I have been taking better care of myself of late. Getting some more tests done…and getting ready to go back to work for a short while. I am looking forward to the work and having a schedule once again. I will incorporate exercise into my regimen once again; and hope to get the remaining weight off me before winter really sets in by January. I hope to start the new year down 75 pounds…and WITH a layout running.

I want to thank Todd Stevens again for getting me back onto Facebook. I have been away too long. He sent me some awesome shots from a Coal Miners Page on there that really got my juices going…Excellent photos of the Zeigler 4 mine…really close up shots. I couldn’t be happier. Thanks again, Todd!!

Attended the Mississippi Valley N scale Train show last week. It was a decent show; but didn’t buy anything. Don’t mind donating to the cause with a visit, however. It was a beautiful day.

Until next month…

Categories: Uncategorized

Thomas Austin

I am a Southern Illinois Native. I am a fan of nostalgia, and the history of Southern Illinois. Model Railroading has been a large part of my life; and it helps serve that interest. Through this interest I have learned much about the region; the people; and the industries that gave us all hope of building a life beyond our formal education. Small Towns in the Midwest built this nation...and this site aims to share that fact with the world.


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