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.      
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Mike Larson said:   February 19, 2013 9:18 pm PST
Thank you for allowing us to see all that you have done. You've done some VERY nice work and it comes at the best time possible. I'm not much of a track planner but I have a similar sized room that has "come available" that might just get see parts and pieces of your track plan if you don't mind. I'll be back often to see your progress and, who knows, may finally get something I've wanted to do started at long last!

Rick & Debbie Bell said:   February 18, 2013 5:51 pm PST
Great work! We did a similar layout when we lived back in New Jersey. Had to make a lift to enter the room. Got it published in the 2011 On30 Annual. Go to our web site at if you want to see some photos of the dismantled layout. We went double deck in a 10x8 room. Crazy!! Now building in a larger area here in Montrose, CO. You do excellent modeling...really capture the atmosphere of the Main Two-Footers! We will be checking in to see your progress. WELL DONE!

SteamtownPete Hess said:   February 18, 2013 3:21 pm PST
Enjoyed what you are doing ... Great work ... looking forward to more progress photos ... Visit my website: Pete

Jim Diment said:   February 18, 2013 10:04 am PST
Great work, Sandy! I have a similar space (13x18), theme, and approach to the hobby. You may think you're "slow", but your photos make clear you have accomplished more than me. Still, I enjoy having the layout to work on, am in a bit of a modeling surge right now, and find your efforts inspiring. Keep it up!

Special K said:   February 7, 2013 9:59 am PST
I'm enjoying watching this website develop! Wondering if I might get a dance with the Gandy Dancer!

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