Monday, March 7, 2011

Sadness at the Passing of Small Layout Guru Carl Arendt

Over the weekend came the sad news of the passing of Carl Arendt, a tireless promoter of modestly-sized model railroad layouts. Ok, some really tiny layouts, ones that make Dunes Junction look like a basement empire.

Carl's quirky but always entertaining and informative Micro/Small Layouts for Model Railroads web site is a pioneer of do-it-yourself model railroad journalism. He published photos and track plans of little train layouts from all over the world. (We namechecked him in an early Up Dunes Junction post) He covered lots of stuff that escaped the notice of big old model train magazines--but did a lot to make the hobby accessible to people who don't have the time, or the money, or just the interest to have a DCC-powered basement empire with scores of locomotives, hundreds of cars, epic scenery, and monthly operating sessions.

I especially enjoyed his coverage of what I would call super-narrow gauge models--1/22.5 and 1/24 models that ran on 16.5mm, AKA HO, track and running gear.  I've always had a soft spot for the narrow gauge thing (not as soft a spot as my thing for catenary and pantographs, though) and really enjoyed the innovative ways Carl featured these little tiny industrial, agricultural, and mining trains.

I never met Carl but I feel like he is a model railroad buddy.  I've spent many an hour perusing the Micro/Small Layouts site, and gleaned plenty of inspiration from the treasures he gleaned from around the world. I am sad he is gone, and our hobby will miss him.  Here's wishing his family condolences and many helpings of the good cheer he brought to the model railroading community.

Micro/Small Layouts for Model Railroads