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Model RR - Out with the Old
The old layout, which had been built with many changes over the years, goes back to the late 1970's.  The end result was a train room filled with spaghetti tracks, steep grades and tight curves.  So, we made the decision to stop making fixes and start fresh, to make better use of the space.
The old structures were removed and stored, along with lighting, bulbs, transformers, etc.
All of the nickel silver flex track could be removed and reused, even where ballasted.  A thin sharp putty knife was carefully slid under the rails to pop-up the track with very little damage.
Since most track pieces were full length, about 95% was reusable.  I did not unsolder joiners but clipped the ends off using rail cutters.
Once a section was cleared, I used a jig saw and reciprocating saw to cut through plywood and supports to free up whole sections.  They had to be small enough to carry out of the room and down the stairs.
More track still had to be removed and the switch machine located under the table.  Also, all the wiring under the table had to be removed.  Since I had used high quality wiring, most was salvageable.
The old mountains were all plaster cloth over paper and cardboard.  Nothing to save.  Just rip out big chunks and place into large plastic leaf bags.
I felt the bridges and trestle bents would be worth the extra effort required.  The extraction was tedious.  Both cutting and light prying did the trick.  Nothing was damaged beyond simple repair.  The bridges were like new.
The last sections were cut apart for removal.  You can see the old under-table terminals for wire connections.   Never would I crawl around and lay on my back to run wires and solder again.  I would find a better way.
Green carpet was glued down to flooring and had to be removed with a scraper.
The old carpet is gone and we are ready to start laying the flooring.  You can see storage shelving against the wall which will remain in place.
The new laminate floor goes down beautifully.
Abby is my helper and supervisor.  She loves construction and all the tools, even when they are running.
Our train room is located in a semi-finished attic space that is dedicated to trains and storage.  The old train room was a spaghetti bowl of tracks, compounded mistakes and inaccessible everything, but it had provided much fun and best of all a lot of experience from learning the hard way.  To make the necessary changes, my wife suggested that we totally start over.  Once that decision was made, everything had to go.   So, given a clean slate, we decided to make other improvements by installing laminate flooring, lighting improvements, paint and adding other finishing touches.  Since there were many boxes and other things stored under the train layout, it all had to be moved as well.   Here are a few pictures of demolition and remodeling. 
To play slide show, click on the 1st picture.
What would lie ahead?  Can I have the dream layout?  First I needed some goals, to set some priorities, and make a carefully conceived and thought out plan.