I have been fascinated with trains as long as I can remember. I received my first model train from my parents for Christmas when I was only 8 years old. It was a HO scale Union Pacific engine, complete with 5 cars and a figure-eight track. My father and I set it up in our basement on his workbench, and from the very first moment we switched it on, I was in complete awe. It was that very moment that sparked my enthrallment with model railroads, and I immediately knew I wanted to expand!
I grew up in the small rural coalmining town of Elkford, British Columbia, situated in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I had big ambitions of one day expanding my original little figure-eight layout, but living in the middle of the BC wilderness made this next to impossible. The closest model stores were almost 3 hours away so I didn’t get to visit them often. As I got into high school, I was very active with extracurricular activities, so most of my time was taken up. Any plans for a model railroad were put aside, and eventually forgotten about.
After graduating high school in 2005, I moved to Lethbridge, Alberta to attend the university and start a career. I originally lived in a small apartment for just under 4 years, and between work, school, and a chaotic schedule, plans to start a new layout were basically out of the question.
Near the end of January, 2010, my good friend, who happens to work at a donation and second hand store, showed me a box full of old Tyco HO track and an old Canadian Pacific engine that he found at his work. It was then that I realized my long lost dream of building my very own model railroad.
By this time, I had moved into a new house in early 2009 (where I currently reside), and even though it is quite small, I immediately started searching for a space to start building my benchwork. I eventually decided to build my new layout in my half-finished basement on a standard sheet of 4x8 plywood. With my layout size and location finalized, I went to work right away, planning my new model railroad. I’ve never built anything like this before, and even though I have dreams of one day having a massive layout, this was going to be a perfect start to test and develop my skills as a new modeler.
With that thought, I also created this blog. I will use this to document my progress and ideas, so I can hopefully one day look back and see where I started and the progress that I have made. Even though I only work on my layout a couple hours a week, I take pleasure in every minute of it, and have no intention of ever slowing down.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to sign my guestbook, comment directly onto any of my posts, or you can email me directly here.
- Tyler Bjarnason