FAQ for visitors

To answer some of the most common questions:
• The SPL is built in HO scale. This means it is 1/87th the size of the real thing. HO is a nice size: big enough to be fairly easy to make things, small enough to fit into a reasonable space, and it is the most popular scale so there are the most variety and best prices. HO is still pretty big, though, for the space we have available.
• We do it because it is fun, because it is a form of artistic expression, because of the endless fascination of miniatures, because the technology is cool, and because we like trains.
• Yes it is expensive. Nearly as expensive as owning a large four-wheel-drive. About half as expensive as collecting cars or owning a boat or competing in just about any sport.
• Yes it takes heaps of time. About ten thousand hours for ten thousand dollars. Pretty cheap entertainment at a dollar an hour isn’t it?
• Digitrax DCC with DS54s, BDL168s, and JMRI Java-based CTC on an old Pentium. Decoders from Soundtraxx, Digitrax and TCS. Zephyr, DT300 and UT4 throttles. Locos from Athearn, Atlas, Proto2000 and Kato. Kadee couplers and metal wheels (mostly and eventually).
• I cut the uncoupling “glad hands” off because they look so unprototypical. We do all coupling and uncoupling by hand.
• No I can’t fix your DVD.