Our Model > Progress >
This page also links to the original progress pages of 2002 - above.
The baseboards that would become "HO Mauch Chunk" started out as the baseboards for a proposed UK-based S4 layout that would be called Helmshore. However, it became apparent that although this would be fun to build, it would be rather boring to operate, and the group started to discuss alternatives. Steve had visited Jim Thorpe in 1996 and stayed with a model railroading friend (Eugene Mones) and visited the Hudson Model Railroad Club. He proposed Jim Thorpe as a subject and photos were admired. It was only later that we discovered this was a CNJ line and the additional problems (and pleasures) this would cause!
Even this early, the internet was used extensively to get photos and plans and a number of helpful people sent information. We were able to start planning, although the track plan later changed many times as more information became available. The photo shows a variety of the plans and photos laid out for an open day in summer 2002.
We moved into our new room in the Merseyside clubrooms in early summer 2002 and after painting the walls and ceiling, started to erect the baseboards. We are using trestle legs with horizontal supports for the baseboards proper - designed by Chris, our architect. The boards are high by most standards to give a more realistic viewing height.
The layout will have a fiddle yard running along the back and the modelled section at the front, with tight, hidden curves at each end. There will be no central well - see the track plan.
In August 2002 work continued on the baseboards. The trestle legs were adjusted and the horizontal supports for the boards were "unwarped"! Sadly, one of our members, Don, decided that he had to give more priority to his charity work and very amicably parted company with us. Thanks Don for all your work on the room and the baseboards.
In September 2002 the baseboards were finished and the river cutouts were completed. Pins and eyes were drilled into the ends for correct positioning of the boards, and they were fitted together for the first time. The Peco code 75 track and switches for the fiddle yard was also purchased (see Ian doing the calculations in the centre!).
October 2002, cork roll was laid with PVA glue and heavy weights to provide the underlay for the
track. Trackwork was laid in the fiddle yard using the "out of the box" Peco
switches. Despite the Merseyside Club exhibition at the end of October, the
trackwork was continued round the front to provide running lines and
were soldered to the track to provide power so that trains could be run on our Open Day on
In November 2002 the fiddle yard trackwork was adjusted to allow all possible rolling stock (i.e. a UP Big Boy!) to pass.
Last minute modifications were made to the track layout following the provision of additional track diagrams by Tom Biery. In December 2002 the track plan (plotted out in Templot software by Richard Oldfield) was finally delivered allowing us to finalise the location of the track and hence the buildings on the modelled section. More building mock-ups in cardboard were built - especially of the Hotel block as we got better town plans and some photos of the Central Hotel. We also found a good photo of the goods depot.