Hi All. The switch to HO is underway in earnest. Here's a brief rundown of my "KC Lines: West Bottoms" theme: * Circa: early 1960s * Locale: West Bottoms in Kansas City, * Theme: My interpretation of various West Bottoms elements. Basic theme will consist of yard switching, urban industrial switching, transfer trains to/from a live stage, and some "eye candy" through trains when the mood moves me. I am making provisions for a "rotational" concept to allow the "primary (host) railroad to be rotated as I see fit. (This session the primary/host line is the Frisco, and the other KC lines will be seen in the Transfers/Throughs, next session the primary/host line could be the KCT, and the other KC lines will be seen on the "Transfer/Through" trains, etc.) Most KC lines will be represented via "Transfer Trains" and may possibly be seen on "Through trains". To cater to this "rotational" concept, the railroad related structures will be somewhat generic and not railroad-specific. * Equipment: I anticipate only 4 axle freight power to be seen, and those only on the mainline loops. Switchers will predominate elsewhere. However, I have NOT ruled out an "eye candy" passenger train or two! Freight rolling stock will be 95% 40' cars, some shorter. The remaining 5% will be 50'. * Mainline radii: Outside loop: 24". Inside loop: 22". Mainline switches: #6. Yard/industry tracks: #4. As of tonight I have a "Ver. 1" track plan. I expect many revisions and refinements as I study it off/on over the coming days/weeks/months. The stats: * Switches: 4R -21 4L – 19 6R - 7 6L - 9 Total: 56 * Approximate number of industrial spots: 72 * Yard capacities: 12[SUP]th[/SUP] St. Yard: 69 (This is the on-stage "main" yard.) Transfer Yard: 22 (This is a "live" stage yard that will have scenery/etc.) Here's what's purchased or already on hand two weeks into the decision: * RTR Frisco VO1000. Hope to be sending it off for DCC/Tsunami sound installation soon. * RTR Frisco SW7 w/DCC and QSI sound. (Paid $99 new in box.) * RTR CGW DS4-4-1000 w/DCC and Tsunami sound. * Two MDC 36' steel under frame "Swift" meat reefers to go to the cold storage/distribution warehouse. * Code 83 switches from Peco and Atlas for evaluation. Probably going to purchase enough Atlas code 83 flex track to almost do the layout within the next few days. However, I'm debating taking a look at Peco's code 83 flex track first. In addition to the above I will be able to reuse the following still on hand from the previous HO years: * RTR CB&Q SW7 w/DCC and QSI sound. * Undec NW2 w/DCC and QSI Sound. (Will paint it "someday"... just not now.) * 8 KC&G engines. * 20-something pieces of rolling stock leftover from my previous HO days. * Several Stewart/Kato F units and several Life Like P2K engines. However, these are all undecorated... so will be way down the list of priorities. The short term plan is to continue purchasing the things I'll need as I finalize my track plan, continue the process of selling off stuff, (S and other stuff), strip the current bench work of S scale track, and redo the backdrop Masonite and the corners. Once the layout is ready to receive track again, I hope to have enough stuff on hand to start in earnest. My long term goal is to be up and functional in two years. Not "finished", but functional, and therefore can enjoy some personal operation as well as having a friend over to operate with me. It's been WAY too long since I've had a FUNCTIONING layout. Instead I kept spending valuable time trying to squeeze trains that were too big (Sn3, O, and S) into this small space I have to work with, and not being satisfied with the result being seen on the layout. So, that's it for now! I'll bet all of the above is more than you wanted to know!