It's been FAR too long since my last update...a lot has happened in that time.
It all started with a visit to our financial adviser late last summer. During the course of our yearly update meeting he advised us that we were in the position where we could retire at age 58 if we so desired, especially if we could make some minor changes to our expenses.
I had already resigned myself to the fact that I would need to go to 60, so this revelation, along with my total hatred of my job in the last year, moved us to action. The "For Sale" sign was in the ground outside the house within a week or two. We found a home plan we liked and signed a contract with a builder to construct us a new, smaller home...on a small lot.
To make a long, stressful story short....9 months and 4 cancelled sales later, we finally sold our 3300 square foot house on 1.5 acres and moved across town to our 2500 sq.ft house on a 50 x 100 ft lot. Biggest thing was the cutting of our monthly house payment nearly in half!! Retirement in 3 years and 10 months......here I come!
Of course the downside of the move was the dismantling of my Ardglen Bank model Railroad....once again, the starting of the scenery was the kiss of death.
But, the new house has an upstairs bonus room that will be the home to my office and a new railroad. The main space will be about half of what I had in the old house, but I had the builder add on a 5 x 5 attached area to house a helix out of the main layout area.
below is a plan of my new space:
I've been debating with myself since the layout room plan was formalized, as to what part of New South Wales I was going to model this time. I want to keep the same early 2000's era as before, due to the volume of equipment already purchased. I keep thinking about backdating, but think that it wouldn't be a good financial move!
As of now, there are 4 choices in the running (in current order of preference):
1. Dubbo - including part of the Dubbo to Orange line, and lines to Merrygoen, Conamble, Cobar and
Parkes all separate staging. This is the favorite of friends Blair and Matt. Will have yard shunting and traffic flowing to all different lines along with grain train work on line to Orange.
2. Gunnedah - basically modeling Main north / Northwest from Boggibri to Curlewis, with the Mill town of Gunnedah as the focal point. This plan would best utilize all the equipment I already own.
3. Ardglen Bank - a shrunk down version of my previous railroad, basically modeling only Willow Tree to Murrurundi. This was my front runner for some time as I was able to visualize the entire layout in my head as to how it would fit in the room. Main problem with this plan is the fact that it would only be running trains and bankers....would probably get boring pretty fast
4. Total Freelance - use bits and pieces from all over the state to allow me to utilize my current Equiment Roster. Ray Pilgrim's Bylong being the inspiration for this option.
In the weeks ahead, I'll post some sketches on possible track plans for some of these options with the hopes that my mates down under will critique and suggest changes or other options