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V3 of the Northern New England Scenic model railroad is at an end. It is being taken down in favor of a smaller and more manageable version which will become V4 of the Northern New England Scenic.

I made this decision after almost a year away from the railroad due to various other life pursuits, I realized that one of the things keeping me from working on it was that it had started to feel like it really was work… a chore… a monstrous effort that would take 5 or more additional years and probably another $20K to reach my full vision. And what was that vision? Putting everything else aside, the one common goal through V1, V2, and V3 of the NNE Scenic was to model the stretch from Conway NH through Crawford Notch. Those mountain views and the signature Frankenstein Trestle were the plan for level 2 of V1 that I never got to, the aim of the northernmost end of V2 that I never reached, and the plan for level 3 of V3. Everything else varied… the other towns, whether and how to do ops, whether continuos run was supported or not. The one constant was always the desire to model that stretch. But here I am stuck still working on the lowest of the three planned levels of V3, taking up the entire finished area of the basement, and nothing but “work” to do for years before I would get to the one part I have most wanted to model.

I realized I can achieve that goal while getting most of the basement back as family craft/game room by restarting and significantly downsizing. The new plan is not yet drawn up in XTractCAD. But I have it roughly in my head. It will be strictly along 2 walls and will be a nolix 2 level with continuous running supported. It will start ar Conway and proceed north along my long 27′ wall and model Bartlett at the adjoining corner of the two walls. From there it can climb along the second wall and make a climbing turn around and continue climbing as it heads back. Frankenstein Trestle and probably Willey Brook bridge will both be present along the second level climb. It will then reach Crawford Notch station. There will be a turnaround loop at the end of both levels which with a little electronics to automatically throw the loop turnouts based on occupancy detection will enable the continuous running.

It will take much of the summer removing, organizing, and storing everything on V3 that can be reused and tearing out and disposing of the massive benchwork. The new layout will also have shallower benchwork along the walls which means everything I have from V2 and V3 will end up in a large dumpster. C’est la vie. Better to think in terms of future plan than get trapped in false thinking about past sunk costs. Other than new narrower and lighter benchwork, I should have enough track, turnouts, electronics, and other supplies already for the entire V4 plan. No need to spend thousands on more track and turnouts and electronics.

For now, this site will continue to reflect V3. Once plans are sufficiently far along on V4, the site will be revamped to push V3 back a level in the page hierarchy as a historical archive and V4 will then be featured. But that is likely not until sometime in 2025.

NNE Scenic V3 Overview

Version 3 of the Northern New England Scenic is nearing the end of its fifth year of construction.  Unfortunately, life has taken center stage since about three quarters of the way through year four, as I have not had time to work on it since summer of 2023. The design is for a three-level N scale pike that occupies a roughly 27’x18′ finished room in the basement of our home.  There is an adjacent 27’x12′ unfinished space that houses the utilities for the home, storage space, and modelling space.  Eventually, the unfinished space will be finished to improve comfort for modelling and for crew to sit and interact when not out operating trains on the layout.

The biggest changes in year 4 were work on the Salem MA Yard, extension of the benchwork and preiiminary trackwork from the Salem Yard into the closet area to represent the line continuing on to Boston, and scenic work in Hampton, NH.

These pages will see further updates of progress over the remainder of 2023 into 2024 with the objective of completing the level 1 track work and the potential to begin mounting the benchwork for the middle level.