Re: last hurrah for the RPI layout?

Schuyler Larrabee

This is second hand, and possibly not 100% accurate, but in outline, this is the story:


The layout was built in the basement of an RPI dorm.  RPI has been renovating dorms for some time, and it’s now time for them to do this dorm,  RPI is very aware of the significance of the Club both to the hobby and also its value as a historical representation of railroads in the Albany/Lake George/Champlain/Vermont area.  Tim’s characterization as one of the best model railroads in the world isn’t an exaggeration.  It’s easily on a part with the La Mesa club in San Diego, though that is probably larger.


The renovation involves a complete rehabilitation of the dorm, including the entire plumbing system, meaning that they will be ripping out all the exposed-over-the-layout plumbing.  While I personally think it would be >possible< for a contractor to erect scaffolding over the layout (with the backdrops cut down), I am sure that the extra costs for construction would be very high, and undoubtedly the layout would suffer damage.


RPI had promised the club that they would provide a new facility elsewhere suitable for the layout, and that they would assist the move out of the basement into that facility before the renovations were to begin.  As it turns out the timing didn’t work out, so instead, the layout is to be disassembled in sections, crated, and warehoused until such alternate location materializes.


Whether that can ever happen and what shape the sections will be in when uncrated . . . no one really knows.


I’ve had the pleasure of operating on that layout twice.  It is one of the best working layouts of that scale I’ve ever had the chance to operate.  In my experience, everything WORKED.  Locomotives, switches, power, rolling stock, everything. And it a visual treat, everything looked good and appropriate – even the paper mockups of buildings not built yet.  I’ve operated on some small layouts that have worked as well, but RPI is exceptional for the simple scale of the layout.


As Tim said, it’s very sad to see this layout go away.  We can only hope for it to be resuscitated at some future time.




From: <> On Behalf Of Todd Horton via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 9:03 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] last hurrah for the RPI layout?


What's happening to it?


Todd Horton



On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 8:41:56 PM EST, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:




Just an FYI -


This Saturday is (very likely) the last op session for the NEB&W (RPI) layout

in Troy, New York. This is one of the best model railroads in the world. So sad.


Tim O'Connor





*Tim O'Connor*

*Sterling, Massachusetts*




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