The Beginning – June 2002

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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 staging 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.