Building 3463 became our new home and work was started on our third layout in as many different locations. Initial planning included tear-out of existing interior walls, partitions, etc., to the bare walls and drafting the scale plans of our new layout. As construction began, the members were modeling in both HO and N scale and layouts were built in each scale. The N scale layout was constructed in a smaller room. The club later dropped the N scale layout and went with HO totally.
After four years of construction effort, in 1979 we had 180 feet of mainline and obtained loop-to-loop operation capabilities for the first time since the tornado. The new HO scale layout filled a 40' X 20' room. In the photo to the right, the N scale layout is visible through the windows of the smaller room in the left background. We were now able to "play a little" with scheduled free running and operations nights. We were all getting a little tired and weary after four years of all work nights. The railroad was running trains again!
We have been building, modifying, maintaining, and planning additional changes and updates for the last 22 years. The amount of work required is staggering and results are slow to materialize. First comes detailed blueprint work which includes track, elevations, cities, yards, and everything must be to scale. Then comes the months (and years) of effort involved in building the benchwork, laying track and electrical wiring. Last is the scenery - never ending mountains, tunnels, track scenes, painting backdrops, detailed benchwork for the various buildings and bridges. Everyone knows a layout is NEVER finished.
For over forty-four years the club has enjoyed the exuberance of accomplishment and dealt with setbacks and devastation. The club has hosted four Southeastern Region (NMRA) Conventions, including the 1959 SER Charter convention, 1969, 1979, and 1999 conventions and was instrumental in starting Division activity within that region. Ours is a club that looks toward the twenty-first century with optimism and confidence.