A freedom layout: 1. A layout sized no bigger than required to provide ongoing interest and modeling challenges.  2. One that fits into your life instead of taking over your life in the process of building it; one that leaves you free of the nagging pressure to finish it.

That’s my unofficial “official” definition for what I’m going to call a small focused layout now. I’ve written a lot on this subject because it interests me deeply. I really don’t care if someone wants to fill their house from basement to attic with benchwork, track and trains. Nor do I really care what scale you work in or the standards used. It’s your hobby and your choices. This is a guru-free zone.

However, I do think it’s time to ask serious questions about where this hobby is going or might go. Like it or not the times and individual lifestyles have changed and will continue changing, which will impact this hobby of ours in ways we might not imagine.

Lots of people are content to bury their head in the sand and claim everything is just rosy in model train land with high green signals all around. I’d rather look the coming changes in the eye and figure out their implications. In my opinion, it’s the only way the hobby is going to move forward and survive.

So, a “freedom layout” is my concept for a different way of looking at the layout design process and what the hobby means to us individually. It’s a mindset and a goal. Time to have this conversation don’t you think?

Switching cars for spot order