I started construction on my O&W layout more than fifteen years ago now. Family needs now require that the spare room (well, the formerly spare room...) in which it has been housed be converted for other uses. While this is a bit bittersweet to be sure, as Jason pointed out to me recently, I have been able to do something that many modelers never get to do. namely, actually build a layout and bring it to a fairly high level of completion, so I really can't complain. I've even been lucky enough to have the layout featured in several magazines and have photos published in a couple of books. Most importantly, through the construction and operating of this layout I have been introduced to many great people and have formed several lasting friendships that will continue even after the trains have stopped running.
As for the physical layout itself, well, it's not all bad news. One of those above-mentioned friends plans to use sections of it to get a jump start on a layout project that he has been planning on and off for a while. The locomotives and some of the equipment will go into storage waiting for the next project, but I firmly believe that they would be better off operating somewhere rather than just collecting dust in a box. As a result, some of the freight cars will be turning a wheel on some local layouts like those being built by friends and operators Randy Hammill and Chris Adams.
I'll continue to build models. In fact, this will free up some time to complete numerous locos and cars that I offered to build to the RPI club (how do I get myself into these things?). As for the future of this blog, I'm hoping that it will morph into more of a general prototype and O&W and prototype modeling blog including submissions from other like-minded modelers.
As for my own layout projects, I'll probably spend a few years scheming about what I might be able to fit... somewhere... sometime... and I'll probably build a diorama or two just to keep my hands dirty. Also, I'll continue to operate on other layouts as I am invited and able. So, to (probably mis-) quote Winston Churchill:
"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Finally, thanks are due to everybody who has been interested in my efforts over the years, and to my incredibly supportive family and my wife, Theresa, who have allowed me both the space and the time to build and enjoy this layout.