I started the Dominion & New England layout in P48 as a personal challenge to raise my level of craftsmanship and the prototype fidelity of my models. As I write this, I’m looking at four locomotives, none of which are running on the layout. The steamers are just beyond my ability to convert to P48. Enlisting help with the basic P48 conversion runs about double what I paid for the locomotives. The diesels I can handle but I’ve allowed myself to be sidetracked into building better drives. I’ll continue with that effort. Upgraded motors, DCC and sound are well within my ability. Turning new driver tires, narrowing frames, etc…, maybe not.
I’m also staring at a dozen freight cars that could be running on the layout but are waiting for P48 wheelsets or complete trucks. And they’re not cheap either.
I started the conversion to the Protocraft Symington-Gould AAR Type “E” operating couplers. They are beautiful! But my layout is a shortline with lots of switching and I’m finding they are just too finicky for me. As it happens, Kadee is selling a more prototypical “E” coupler now — no, they’re not as nice looking as the Protocraft but they’re not bad. And they operate much better. The spring is hidden so there is no obvious give away.
There is simply not enough done on the layout to prevent me from starting over in Ow5 (1.25″ O gauge). I can relay track a lot faster than all of these other chores and it’s a whole lot less expensive. I’ll continue to lay the track to a high standard even if it is a slightly wider gauge.
Please don’t let me discourage you from trying P48. Others have successfully built large P48 layouts. In my case, my machining skills and my pocketbook just aren’t deep enough. I’m not getting enough done to really enjoy my efforts.