Monday, July 22, 2019

End of the Line for the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Sub.

It’s the end of the line for the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Sub.

Not this blog; I hope to keep it going for awhile yet! I’m talking about the layout which the blog is based on.

In a year or two, we expect to move to a smaller place. The kids are grown up and moved out, and we don’t need such a large house. (As nice as it is.)

So rather than rush to tear down the layout, I’m taking my time this summer to take it apart.

I hope to leave up a section of the upper level along two walls to build a small industrial shelf layout; got to have something to work on!

This isn’t the first time I’ve dismantled a layout; I did it in 1994 in our previous house, when I tool down my 12 x 18 CP Rail Grimm Valley Sub.

(Interestingly, as the photo above shows, it was almost 25 years ago to the week that my first layout had its last run.)

And in 2010 I tore down the three-level centre peninsula of my current layout, a several-year process to create a single level portion in the middle of the room.

But now, after 25 years, the whole layout is disappearing. It’s sad, but it’s also time.

Before . . . 

During . .  . 

Truth is, I’ve been spending less and less time in the layout room of late. I always enjoyed running trains from time to time. But those times had become less frequent.

So I’ve been preparing myself psychologically for this day for a number of months. Doesn’t make it any easier, but it helps with the resolve.

In preparation for the tear-down, I had some friends over for a last time. Then, on July 19, I did a final run—just me and my memories as I watched a train traverse the layout for the last time.

Then, a day later, the dismantling began.

Over the next few posts, I’ll talk a bit about what it’s like to dismantle a layout, and what the layout has meant to me.

In the meantime, enjoy the photos of the last run.


  1. I've really enjoyed your blog over the years. Thanks for all the great posts! I'll miss seeing photos of your amazing layout. Best of luck with the move.

  2. Sad to see the layout go. I've enjoyed following the progress and your photos. Look forward to seeing your next project!
    Andrew Kerr

  3. Model railroading allows us to continually evolve - modelled locale, modelling skills, model layouts. So while it's not surprising that the M&M Sub (Layout only!) is evolving into history, I find it hard to believe a new layout will not rise from its demise. Perhaps the Phoenix Lines??

    All the best and looking forward to the next stage of this journey, John!

  4. WOW. Its not an easy thing. All the best to you.

  5. It was always fun, running a few trains on your layout, John. Foreign power was always welcomed on the M&M Sub! Thanks for having me over and for all the times you opened it up for others to enjoy.

  6. Sad to read. I've really enjoyed your photos of your layout on your blog. I hope that you start something new and satisfying for you!

  7. All good things come to an end. I'm glad that I was able to see it before it disappeared.

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  9. Sad to see it go after all these years. If some of your equipment needs a new home, I'd be glad to provide one!

  10. I have enjoyed reading your blog and learning from your layout. I hope you will choose to build a small switching layout. Will you be keeping the Thompson river layout?

  11. Hi John
    I was sadened to read of your news -
    and as I read about it I recalled an guest editorial that you wrote in Canadian Railway Modeller about MOdel Railroads and Tibetan sand sculptures a copy of which I have hanging in my model railway room.

    perhaps you will be inspired and find future enjoyment on a "new Canvas" in the form of perhaps smaller model railway project.
    Good Luck and best wishes
    John Green Vancouver BC