Up here in the Great White North, we might be frozen, but not forever—not like the Manitoba & Minnesota Sub. in my basement.
We have had a lot of snow this year in Manitoba; more than in the past few years, that’s for sure. And now we’re in the middle of a really cold spell—minus 20 and below (Celsius).
But on the layout, it’s always summer, and always the early 1990s.
Frozen in time, in other words.
It’s also frozen in time in another way, as I explained to my friend, Sheldon, who visited today. (The reason for the crossbucks in the snowbank—to help him find my house).
A trip to the M & M Sub. is literally a trip back in time, in two ways.
First, it's figuratively a trip back in time to the early 1990s, a time when CP Rail's trains were mostly pulled by the ubiquitous SD40-2 units.
It was a time when you could see a variety of liveries on those and other units: Multimark and no Multimark, Twin Flags, SOO (white and red and only red), and others (e.g. ex-UP and primer red and grey).
It's also a literal trip back in time to the early 1990s, when DC was the only way to operate trains, and Blue Box Athearn locomotives were considered among the top of the line model railroad locomotives..
Yes, that’s right: For those of you who might be new to the blog, the M & M Sub. uses DC (Dinosaur Control) and block controls.
In the early days, it was a matter of money. I didn’t have much, and it was too costly to convert to DCC.
Now, money isn’t as much of a problem, but I still don’t feel the need to change over from DC.
Although I can run up to four trains, I mostly run the layout by myself, so there’s no need to worry about needing to have multiple units running at the same time.
Plus, it's getting near to the end of the life of the layout; in another year or two, I figure, we will probably downsize to a condo or apartment.
Then the M & M Sub. will meet the fate of all layouts, coming down as they all must—part of the great Mandala of time.
Upgrading to DCC at this point would be foolhardy, then, if all I might have in the future is a small switching layout with a locomotive or two.
But until then, I will continue to enjoy the M & M Sub., even if it is frozen in time.