Nested in a dedicated portion of his basement is the Planes, Trains, and Cranes room which yields the PT&CRR. The basement was dedicated to the railroad in 1990 when the house was purchased. The railroad is comprised of a massive collection of American Flyer accessories on custom build track-work in the center of the room. Gary collected and traded Flyer as he traveled back and forth between Southern Wisconsin and Atlanta Georgia. Gary's love for Flyer came in his youth with an American Flyer Atlantic set that he displays in a showcase at the entrance to the room. As a youth he played with his trains as well as sharing excitement with a neighbor friend who owned a Lionel set. As most of the typical childhood toys, this set was boxed and stored to open again some day in the future. It would then emerge with returned excitement for his family at Christmas by surrounding the tree with memories for Gary and a renewed excitement for others.
The PT&CRR table is approximately 7 feet wide by 15 feet long, give or take a siding extension or a cutout for passing viewers. The bench work is built solid with buss wires running around the table under each set of rails. there are accessory wires under the table as well powered by their own 30B transformer which allows the speed of the accessories to be throttled. The layout can run four trains at the same time each having their own throttles. The buttons for the accessories surround the outside with easy reach for children. The center track houses the rocket launcher activator and when pushed we go to war as five rockets try to take out the ceiling lights and the Goodyear Blimp that is capturing everything on film I am sure. All of the accessories work and are designed for little fingers and imagination. There is a very nice sound system called Sounder Station that utilizes diesel and steam sound with a multitude of other sounds that emit from a surround sound speaker system built into the walls.
Also in the basement is a small two level 027 Lionel three rail railroad which was the first railroad to create the smoke scent for seasoning the walls. In the other corner is a G scale Thomas with his two passenger cars. Above the layout is a Hallmark Christmas bulb display that also has a train a couple cars running around inside.
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