I am now officially a full time Model Railroader and DOC Retiree. My last day was April 29, 2022. I am ready to turn the page and begin anew with my lifetime pursuits. I have been waiting for so long for this moment; that I can’t believe it is finally here. With the house repairs in full swing; it is nice to have a few days now to rest and get ready for resumption of my hobbies.

The layout has the complete “horseshoe” built again at this point. We are waiting for the installation of new mini-split ceiling units in the 3rd floor before going any further down the wall in the event the layout will need to be disassembled. I am going to put the window back in and remove the large 28,000 in wall unit for the newer heavy duty mini-split that will be installed in the ceiling. So, I will start with putting the Freeman 4 tracks in first. I will build a temporary switching lead that will allow me to remove it when the new window is put in.

I am going through my fleet of locomotives and freight cars one last time; as well as some Digitrax equipment. I have sold off the older DCS 100 and DB150 Boosters; as well as the DT402D and UT4D. I am now going to sell the DS 54 stationary decoders with manuals. All of these items are in excellent shape; I am just updating all electronics to the latest equipment. I am likewise going to standardize on Digitrax and ESU decoders. I will sell any remaining non-standard decoders on eBay this spring and summer.

I am looking forward to getting some projects in the books and get back to running trains. It has been a long time coming. Allison and I are grateful; but both of us look forward to the next chapter of life that doesn’t include working a full time job. We are also looking forward to getting the remodeling done here so the house can get back to normal.

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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.


David Lehlbach · May 1, 2022 at 2:16 pm

Congrats to you Tom! Now the fun begins!

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