During the mid-1970s my Mom gave me, as a Christmas present, an HO train set. She knew I’d always loved trains. both real ones and miniature. But I hadn’t owned an electrc train since the later 1950s, when I sold my Lionel 027 and 0-Guage trains and accessories to buy my first Gibson electric guitar.
A “button” was pushed and I decided to build another train layout. This one, however, would be somewhat unorthodox. Yes, the typical railroad trappings would be there — but the train would also travel through my own fantasy realms, including “The Lost World” located atop a plateau (as in the Arthur Conan Doyle novel) — complete with dinosaurs and other kinds of prehistoric beasts, a tar pit (with asphalt scooped from La Brea) and a flashing active volcano. The layout would not be completed until the early 1980s. But its humble origin was on my Mother’s diningroom table.