The purpose of this blog is to discuss and document the conceptualization, planning and construction of a unique and personalized, seasonal model train display for our home in my wife’s honor. It will be centered around her Hogwarts Express O gauge train set and whimsically titled The Burnesyd Magical Muggle Railway. The model train hobbyist world is filled with information about traditional static setups, but there is very little information -and even less instructional discussion- on making a well-constructed but temporary model train display.
So, my secondary purpose for this blog will be to share my research, my methods and my plans for the display in the hope that someone might find them useful, that someone else might wish to accomplish a similar feat and construct something for their own family. I would find that very gratifying indeed.
This is my first model railroading experience. I will be beginning with the basic Hogwarts Express train set and an extended layout of Lionel FastTrack™ as the base of my project and building up from there. While I have never constructed a train diorama before, I have extensive experience from earlier in my life with scratch-building as a table-top war-gamer, so I expect that expertise to assist me somewhat in my endeavor. However, I will be working with new materials in a different scale and incorporating unfamiliar components, specifically powered environmental effects. Thus, the blog will always be open to commentary and I will gladly welcome all suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, the site may -at times- feature speculative fiction based upon the Hogwarts Express and its earliest years of operation. This will always be respectful of JK Rowling’s works and established world and -of course- will always be utterly family-friendly. My primary passion is writing and I feel compelled to make that a part of my process. In partnership to this, I will share the results of any research into the (fictional) historical information I find about the Hogwarts Express, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogsmeade, King’s Cross Station and Diagon Alley -or any other location or settings from the greater Harry Potter universe- during the construction of the Railway.
Finally, you may encounter a ghostly shape on some pages, like a silhouette of a dog, glowing blue. This is Boomer, my 8 year old Black Lab that passed away shortly before Christmas last year. He was a good friend and a loyal companion for many years and I still feel his loss deeply. As I said, this project is about creating magic and wonder and hope. While I will never again be able to see Boomer in this lifetime, the idea that the spirit of his exuberance and unfailing love for life is somehow infusing this project, the train display, as well as myself brings a little joy and a little hope into my own life. As it were, Pottermore agrees as Boomer -my stalwart protector and a light in some of my darkest times, my wonderful half-beagle, half-black lab dog- was the same as my Patronus, the Mongrel Dog. So, if you see him on pages throughout your visit on this site, be sure to say a silent hello to Boomer, my Patronus and Best Buddy.