Chapter 2: The Plan

The initial inspiration for this layout was derived from a plan Iíd developed for another
modeler, which was designed for a hollow core door.

I liked it enough to consider building it for myself, but lacking the space for an HCD,
I downsized it to two by four feet. Looking at the the two plans, itís hard to see the
logical progression; after having designed literally hundreds of layouts, I can only say
the process remains a mystery even to me.

Unlike most others, this plan didnít deviate much after the initial design. About all I did was
rearrange some of the buildings and streets and add an elevated line (orange) and a trolley
line (green), a result of the historical research Iíd done into Jersey City.

But then I was faced with a decision on the layoutís era, and that became a conundrum.
I was unable to decide between early and late Twentieth Century. Thatís when I struck
upon an insane idea: do both. Viewed from one direction, it would be the 30s; viewed
from the opposite direction, it would be the 80s.

Online I was met with considerable negativityónot that it was necessarily a bad idea,
but that I would probably fail at pulling it off. Ordinarily this would be the sort of thing
to push me toward success, but I started to cave into the naysayers. It would take
another layout to show me a better alternative: the Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad not
only allowed me to model two different eras, it also allowed me to model two different
season (although that choice was already decided by the track Iíd used for the other
layout).

Curiously, the choice of era was never finalized; this could be the early one and Hoboken
the later one, or vice-versa. It didnít matter; construction could still proceed on both of
them regardless of which way the pendulum swung.

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