Highlights of 2014-2015 & Goals for 2016

2015 turned out to be a productive year on the Valley Line. My goals this time last year were to "Do More Model Railroading and make some progress on the layout (not to mention whittling down the number of freight car kits I have!)" Well, I didn't get to any of those freight car kits, but I certainly made some progress on the layout. I'm sorry I missed the opportunity last New Year's Day to look back on 2014, so I Resolved this year to review my progress so far and use that as a motivator for making even more progress in 2016.

Major Accomplishments - 2014
Major Accomplishments -2015
Lately, I've been feeling like I'm not as far along as I want to be - I started this layout just over 4 years ago and the trackwork isn't even finished yet. To be fair, there have been some previously unplanned expansions along the way, but the feeling is still there - especially when I see my wall of shame unbuilt freight car kits. And one major "fail" of  2015 was that I had only 2 operating sessions all year - though the cool thing is that one of those ops sessions was with my dad. I also didn't make it to Springfield (due to illness) or Collinsville (due to work).

BUT...

If you ever feel like you're not making much progress, just go back and review what you've already accomplished. I started this post as a quick pep talk to myself, figuring that remembering a few previous years' highlights would spur me to be more productive in the new year. But it wasn't until I started going back through my posts that I realized - I've actually done quite a bit! And that is a very, very cool feeling - not to mention one of the best reasons to start a layout blog (just sayin').

Well, it's the time of year for New Year's Resolutions, so here are my

Goals for 2016
  • By June 1 (in time for the NE Proto Meet (formerly Collinsville)):
    • Finish the rest of the trackwork, including new "west end" staging yard as well as Essex/Deep River/East Haddam
    • Install the rest of the backdrops & fascia
    • Install the rest of the lighting
    • Have either Old Saybrook or Wethersfield "done" - backdrop, buildings, signals, scenery.
  • By December 31:
    • Have either Old Saybrook or Wethersfield "done" (whichever isn't done already)
    • At least start on Dividend and Cromwell, including the huge Hartford Rayon complex in Dividend.
    • Have at least 4 operating sessions over the course of the year.
That's certainly an ambitious, but hopefully not unrealistic, list. You're all my witnesses/accountability partners - it'll be fun to check back this time next year and see how I did.

Fortunately though, I don't have to do it alone - I'm truly blessed to have some great friends that have helped a LOT on this project. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank BillRandy, Pete, Pieter, Dick, and Tom for all their help during many layout work sessions, and Max, John, and Bob for their priceless research resources. Finally, though indirectly but no less importantly, I want to thank all of YOU for posting such helpful comments, for occasionally talking me off the ledge, and generally for your support and encouragement. While I've discovered that journaling is a great way to keep track of accomplishments, the reason I share this "journal" with you is to be able to benefit from your experience and, hopefully, to have my experience help you too.
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