As I explained in the first two parts, one of the thing that makes model railroading fun is to create scenes that evoke memories and emotions.
For example, WeatherData (now AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions) took field trips to areas that were exceptionally difficult to forecast and to see how our clients interact with those weather patterns. Here is a photo of one of our field trips to California's Tehachapi Loop.
Below is my recreation of that scene.
I get a smile every time I watch a Southern Pacific/Denver Rio Grande & Western/Union Pacific (all clients of WeatherData's) train pass that scene.
I also try to put a few whimsical scenes.
So, once you have a few ideas of what you would like to have on your layout, how do you make them a reality? If you are wanting to use Christmas as a launching point for model railroading, how do you start?
Because I tend to be clumsy, I quickly gave up on HO trains -- too small. However, HO is the most popular size of trains. The layout in my home is O Gauge. Lionel has a getting started area of their web site here. The other large supplier of O Gauge is MTH Trains and their site is here. There are secondary suppliers like Atlas O. Take a look at their catalogs and, especially, their starter layouts (in the back of Lionel's). I'll have some thoughts about how to start in my next posting.