The Acadian Coast Eastern
A freelanced 1930's Maine narrow gauge line                                                                      President and Chief Gandy Dancer:  Sandy Eustis

Guest Book

I hope you've enjoyed visiting the Acadian Coast Eastern.  I welcome your comments, questions, or any ideas you might have for improving either the layout or the website.  Thanks for stopping by!  

I think I've taken on a small-enough project that I might actually get to finish it in my lifetime, particularly if I'm able to find the one modeling tool I'm still looking for – a round tuit.  FWIW, I probably average about 8 hours a week "in Maine", but I've had stretches of 0 hours for weeks at a time (going away on vacation from my retirement -- the best!), and stretches of 20 hour weeks for a month or more.  I estimate that a third of my Maine time has been spent operating or just daydreaming rather than modeling.  So 52 weeks per year x 8 hours per week x .67 x 4.5 years = maybe about 1250 total hours of  working on the ACE, of which 10-20% was on stuff I've removed and redone.   So what you see on the website now probably represents about 1000 hours of workin' on the railroad way less than all the livelong day.  I told you I work slowly. 


I do know that I have years of additional enjoyment in front of me, and I might get around to posting new photos and updates on my progress now and then.  Anyway, model railroading success is a journey, not a destination, and every week I get to take a few pleasant trips to down east Maine as it might have looked in the 1930's.

The ACE is my fifth layout.  All of the others were in HO scale, and all were designed around Western Maryland themes (working a couple of coal mines, hauling coal to the coast along the mainline, Baltimore industrial switching, delivering loaded hoppers to a major east coast power plant.)  Only one of those previous layouts got to a stage where I had basic landforms and most structures in place, and that happened only because it was an 8'x6' that filled a walk-in closet.  In those days I was working full time, and I never spent more than 100 hours a year on model railroading.  Each time I moved I had to rip out a couple of years worth of open grid bench work and track.  So this time around, I decided to make the layout as portable as possible -- who says us old dogs can't learn new tricks?  Now that I'm retired, I get to spend more time at my favorite hobby, and the current state of the ACE is about as far along toward completion as I've ever gotten.  Even so, I probably have several years of work ahead of me before the ACE is reasonably complete, though I'll almost certainly be moving one last time before that happens.  I can't decide whether actually finishing a layout is good thing or a bad thing, but I do know that it's the process that's so much fun.      
Showing: 6-10 of 15
Jamie said:   January 21, 2015 9:41 pm PST
Hi. I want to build like this. Did you just buy narrow track and trucks and put them on "O" gauge engines/cars? Or did you have to buy these things? I have the skills to do it, I just need to hear someone tell me it can be done. How do you figure out radius? Trial and error? I'd really appreciate any advice you could give me.

Clive Skeates in the UK said:   November 4, 2014 8:12 am PST
Great to see how much you have packed in without it looking crowded. I am building in a space 10 x 16 and you have given me hope!!

Chris Gladwell said:   September 8, 2013 9:20 pm PST
Great message here Sandy " just get on with it " I am in the process but the going is very slow due to my procrastination. Like you I wanted to include everything but am spending more time dismantling what I have done to bring it back into reality. Still am in two minds about era and nationality ! Should build what I can see around me in Australia and be satisfied with that. The internet is great for info but also opens the window on some excellent modelling being done. If I just don't get going how am I ever going to get the experience to do some myself ! GOOD ON YOU. All the best, Chris

John Weigel said:   May 22, 2013 1:13 am PST
A great job is a modest space. Well thought out. Looks like it can be operated prototypically. Well done!

Ralph Watson said:   February 24, 2013 9:29 am PST
Having operated this layout I can say that it depicts rural Maine well. Just be sure you get the train to the station on time as Marge IS waiting and you don't want to have Marge mad at you.

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This site was last updated on 11-2-14
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