Essay - Winter, The Season of Model Railroading?


Winter, The Season of Model Railroading?
One of a Series of Musings on Building A Layout

By Nicholas Kalis

Layout Tour Chairman

 In our Division (centered on Washington, DC), Winter is commonly thought of as the season for model railroading. It is when daylight time is shorter and yardwork and sports take a backseat to being in the basement.

 What folks forget is Winter poses challenges for some stages of model railroad building. With snow on the ground, taking a pair of sawhorses outside of your garage to cut some wood (to let the sawdust fly with the wind) becomes problematical. Of course, if you have a super shop with a dust collection system, you can ignore the above warning. But few of us have such an extensive shop.

Even working in a cold garage, though invigorating, can put a crimp our work. Taking breaks into the warmth of our heated homes does admittedly ameliorate this problem to an extent. Though it does require a patient spouse should you be dragging dirt into the home with every foray in search of warmth.

Painting outdoors also poses challenges – humidity makes it more difficult for paint to dry and cold makes it harder on the painter.

Should construction on your layout stop during winter months? Absolutely not; use each winter to make all the progress you can on your layout. Should you take some of Winter’s challenges into account when planning your work? Absolutely yes. Don’t let all your model railroading project pile up for winter. Budget your time; schedule for fairer weather months painting and dirty jobs that if left for Winter would require forays into a cold garage or an even colder out of doors.

 See you at our next open house…. Better yet, see you at your open house!

 For Publication in the Potomac Flyer