Why model railroading? This may seem like a strange question, but it is one I like to ask when I meet a fellow hobbyist, probably because my reasons are not typical of the responses I usually get. My reason, Walt Disney…
“Not Trains??” you ask. Don’t get me wrong, I love trains. I like looking at them (I’ll drive out of my way to catch one passing by, much to the annoyance of my wife), riding them and learning about them, but that’s not why I made my latest layout. I can say the other layouts I’ve had during my lifetime were about trains, but not this one. For me it is more about the creativity and the experience.
My entire 30 year plus professional career has been in the aerospace engineering industry, where many critical and somewhat repetitive design methodologies are used, as not many people care to fly on an aircraft where radically different design concepts are being tested.
I’ve always loved everything Disney, but mostly from the era of Walt Disney. If there was anyone I would love to have a day to talk to, it would have to be Walt. To me he had a dream job of unrestrained creativity, in particular with his theme parks. Remember, before Walt Disney there were only amusement parks filled with thrill rides. Walt’s idea was to create a form of make-believe realism where you entered a place and could escape reality. Disneyland.
My train layout is my Disneyland. Like Walt, I can use endless artistic and technological creativity to make my make-believe world. Like Disneyland, my layout is small compared to the real world, or even most entry-level layouts. This is one of the reasons you won’t see a picture of my entire layout in one shot, as it would take away from the experience.
My HO layout is divided into little worlds, or scenes. Based around the 1950-1960′s, there are scenes of a forested area, city, neighborhood, ocean, Norman Bates house, industrial area, and much more. I enjoy working on the small details, the structures, and of course the trains, just like other model railroaders. But I also like to take it a step farther, with lighting and sound. Now if I could just figure how to get the smells like Disney did, I’d have that too!
Again, my layout is very small and compact, yet I have a multi-channel sound system for each scene. I have hundreds of lights, over 400 feet of fiber optics and lights to create different times of the day. I have a dedicated computer that creates my sounds, interfaces with the DCC prime movers and rolling stock, detection, switching and signaling. Some of my “Video Cams” enable you to visit my world.
The BruceK Model Trains website enables me to share my creativity, tricks, and sense of community to enable others to learn and teach me more! As Walt Disney said, “Once you’ve stopped learning, you’ve stopped enjoying life”.
Proud member of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)