Sunday, March 29, 2020

How complete is your railroad?

by Rick Mills

It is said that a model railroad is never finished, and sometimes we get discouraged at a perceived lack of progress. Measuring progress can be very elusive and subjective. 

Here is a little tool to estimate the level of completion of your railroad. 

There are ten categories. Rate each category from 0 (nothing done) to 10 (complete). Then add up the scores to find the percentage of completion for the entire railroad. 

Here is an example of a railroad under construction.

Backdrop - 10
Lighting - 10
Benchwork - 10
Trackwork - 8
Track wiring and control - 8
Scenery - 2
Locomotives - 2
Rolling Stock - 5
Structures - 5
Small details - 0
Total - 60 of possible 100

This example railroad is 60% complete. This is, of course, a very rough estimate - since no attempt is made to weight the effort required to complete each category. However, it can be used as a personal tracking and goal-setting tool. Say you are at 60% and wish to complete it in four years. You can strive to increase your completion by 10% per year by chipping away at the various categories that number less than 10. Perhaps make a New Year's resolution to take a "measurement" every January 1!

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