#169 November Status Report
November 11, 2021
The Big Train Project Status Report (Part 169)
This month’s report looks at some of items on the EnterTRAINment Junction (EJ) layout that I found of interest that I had not noticed or reported on before. As usual, the order in which they are presented is in the order a visitor would see them while progressing along the EJ layout’s aisle.
First up, front and center under the bridge that’s right next to the aisle by the Civil War camp is a model of a railborne mortar, complete with ammunition (Figure 1).
Next, just past the Civil War camp, adjacent to the canal, the lockkeeper’s residence has gained some additional details (Figure 2). The lockkeeper is busy chopping wood to get ready for winter, while the missus it doing the wash and hanging it on the clothesline. Her washtub and washboard are visible to the right of the cabin. On the other side of the canal stands their garden, complete with scarecrow.
Near the entrance to the middle period, on the upper-level road near the firehouse, there stands a motorcyclist. Scale models of motorcycles are readily available, but their riders are not so. This rider is a heavily modified version of one of the standard scale figures used throughout the layout. EJ’s volunteers have become quite adept at the major surgeries required to make figures fit and look realistic in their revised poses.
A little farther along the EJ aisle below the open-air market on the middle city lower level is a new post office, complete with delivery van and a location for train run-by pickup and drop-off of mail pouches (Figure 4). Note the postman preparing a pouch for pickup, while another pouch, just behind the van, was recently dropped off. The round sign to the left of the van says: “Caution, look out for mail bag when train passes.” This is another of those glimpses provided by the EJ layout into the history of railroading and how it affected every-day American life in the middle period.
In the industrial area across the aisle from the modern city, the residents of the trailer park there have set up an above-ground pool for the kids to play in and a set of clotheslines for the wash (Figure 5). Hopefully the splashing from the pool doesn’t keep the clothes from drying.
Finally, the Amish farm, under the balloon’s flight path in the modern period, has gained some additional characters and some horse-drawn carriages and farm implements to provide some additional life in the scene (Figure 6).
Such relatively simple additions, as shown above, add life, add detail, and tell stories about history and about life in America. Much is connected by the railroads that ran, and still run, through scenes very similar to what is presented in EJ’s model.
© November 2021 Tom Bartsch
MVGRS Big Train Project Coordinator