This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Mike’s world Below: As it turned out, when Mike’s I&StL was selected to appear in Kalmbach’s Model Railroad Planning 2005, he was required to submit his detailed track plan of the I&StL, so an electronic version could be made for presentation in the magazine. The only problem was — Mike didn’t have a detailed track plan! Thus far, he and his cronies had built the layout by gosh and by golly. As a result — using good old-fashioned drafting pencils, French curves, rulers, compasses, and kneaded erasers — Mike made a large, detailed master track plan after the fact, measuring track and yards already in place. This drawing shows the State Line/Chicago end of the layout.


your work. Don’t overanalyze things. Don’t agonize over the details. Think in broad, sweeping terms. And if you don’t like the results, throw them out and start over, altering your train of thought how- ever necessary. Don’t agonize. J.F.D.I. That lesson has been applied to my I&StL–The Sequel. As the general, over- all direction of the layout became quite clear to me, I became ever more eager to begin actual construction. But wait! Shouldn’t I be doing a final, detailed track plan, showing where every switch is going to be? Or if State Line will ac- tually fit in the space allotted? Or if the yard tracks will be long enough? No, Schaf. J.F.D.I. And so, with the help of my regular


band of co-modelers and I&StL brain- trustees, who began stopping by every other Friday night to help build the I&StL (and still do), construction commenced. Often things were done by the seat of the pants (usually mine). All we worked from was a crude, general-arrangement hand drawing of my vision for I&StL– The Sequel. If a problem developed that required some serious right-brain think- ing, I called upon longtime close friend and I&StL’s Number One brain-trust member, Mike McBride — a genius left- brained railroad modeler (and former


railroad employee) with a streak of as- tounding right-brained creativity. True, there were times when a de-


tailed layout plan would have spared us from having to redo some aspects of construction and track-laying. But on the other hand, working on a layout in real 3D allowed me to visualize things I would not have seen as easily on two- dimensional paper, and as a result, I&StL’s Pekin Branch was born. Other changes would not surface until I began having operating sessions, and having a minutely detailed track plan would not have necessarily revealed any operat- ing problems. Besides, real railroads are constantly modifying trackage and yards. So, if something doesn’t work out after all, just tear it up, dive in, and do it again — and don’t look back. The one ironic happenstance to this


whole story came with a 2003 visit from former RMC editor Tony Koester, now editor of Kalmbach’s Model Railroad Planning annual. Tony stopped by to see how progress was coming along on the I&StL and if it would warrant a story in a forthcoming MRP. He liked what he saw, confirmed that he thought it would make good reading in MRP, and then asked the question that resulted in my face turning ashen. “Schaf, I’m going to


need to borrow your track plan to give it to the art department at Kalmbach, so they can do final art of your plan for MRP.” Track plan? What track plan?! I


asked myself. (In a Mel Brooks movie version of my story, the script would probably have me say, “Hump Yard? What Hump Yard?”) Gulp. Well — doggone it — now I have


to do a final, detailed track plan after all. And I did. It took a good solid six weeks — six weeks I could have used to plunge ahead on other I&StL-related projects. So, karma got me on the irony of my J.F.D.I. mantra. I still stand behind that mantra. I’m


betting it will get more of you model- ers going on a project sooner than later, and you’ll have more fun in the process. Besides, you’ll likely learn more from mistakes you made than mistakes you simply avoided. If you blindly strive for perfection, you’ll only end up frustrated — and so will those who may be help- ing build your dream layout. That’s not what enjoyable pastimes and hobbies are about.


SEPTEMBER 2015 81


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100