The very first step is determining your vision of the model railroad
that best suits your interests and needs. Some clients define this vision with sketches, others with words, still others with
copies of prototype photos or magazine clippings. This vision is your picture of what you would like the layout to
be and it may be very detailed or simply stated. In addition to this vision, I encourage clients to look carefully through
the questions on this website.
Obviously, I don't expect detailed answers to all
of these questions, but it might help you focus your ideas so we can work together most efficiently.
It works great to send me an email with the ideas
these questions have generated along with any sketches or doodles you might have and a dimensioned sketch of your layout space
showing windows, doors, obstructions, etc. (scanned or surface mailed).
I spend a little time on this background info you
provide to get some ideas in mind. Then I prepare a detailed proposal with a firm price for your agreement.
When you send back the signed agreement and initial
payment. The first step in the design process is for me to provide you with a scale drawing of your layout space for your
agreement with all the key measurements.
The next step is the preparation of a rough CAD
conceptual design footprint. This locates key elements, such as yards and staging, but does not yet have the detail of a finished
design. Occasionally it takes a couple of revisions on the conceptual
design, but usually the initial footprint works well.
After your approval of this rough design footprint,
you receive the first detailed to-scale version of the track plan, usually within a few weeks.