WR&N Mark I: How It All Began

My first "serious" layout, styled as something of a New England logging railroad, was created as a tool to learn scratchbuilding, kitbashing and other modeling skills, and to that end it was entirely successful. It also spawned a long series of N Scale layouts—large and small, barely begun or nearly completed—to carry the same name. Incidentally, the name is a play on the Black River and Western, the first train I ever rode, an event that convinced me to make model railroading my "forever hobby," which I did.

Inspiration was drawn from an article in the June 1966 issue of Model Railroader (which I'd bought while on summer vacation, establishing me as an old man). Bill Barron's* "Layout in a Coffee Table?" presented a very intriguing concept, so I adapted his sketches of a six-foot-diameter HO Scale layout for a three-foot-diameter N Scale plan.

Although looking at photographs of the layout today makes me cringe a little, I'm still proud of (most of) the work I'd done all those decades ago.

*Yes, this really is the Bill Barron who penned the articles for Model Railroader.

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