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All good things must come to an end and I'm afraid the Bethlehem Central Railroad has made its last run.

As I've read on MLS and elsewhere, the odds of finding someone who would pay a little extra for a 3,215-square-foot house with one of the region's largest garden railroads occupying a 24x30 building and third of an acre are really nil.

But I'm going to hold off on selling all the rolling stock, buildings, trestles, power supplies, spare parts, etc. and dismantling the 2,000 feet of track until there's a buyer for the house in view. Meantime, though, I'm making a list of who wants which at what price for when that day comes.

Worsening back problems, just plain getting old(er), and not wanting to leave our heirs a mess to clean up after we're gone led Nancy and I to decide the time had to downsize our living quarters and spend more time relaxing and traveling.

The BCR had a wonderful eight-year run with hundreds of people having enjoyed the railroad's unique Bible programs or just plain having fun watching and running trains. The 39-minute DVD movie ("Your VIP Tour of the Bethlehem Central Railroad") continues to circulate and the Garden Railway Ministry will stay open for a while longer to receive donations to cover the cost of the movie. If anyone would like a copy, e-mail me with a snail mail address and I'll send one off.

The DVD will give a rather profound view of the huge amount of stuff that will be sold off.

Blessings, y'all...

Tom Ruddell
 

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Tom,
Sorry to read about all this. Have a copy of your DVD and enjoy watching it over & over. I understand your reasoning, I think the overall age of most garden railroaders could be the downfall for our hobby.
Good luck with your sale & move.
 
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Brother Tom,

with you recent lack of online activity, I had feared this was a coming...I am sure there is something I need, I will run through the DVD and let you know. I'll Be praying for you both as you begin the selling/buying/moving process...are you still thinking NC? It was really great to see your post even if it were a sort of bad news. I'm sorry I haven't been better about keeping up with you!

Cale
 

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Tom

Bummer, very sorry to hear this, be sure to keep a couple for the fireplace matel.
 

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Yeah, same will happen to all of us someday. I'll sure miss it, when that day comes for me, keeps me busy making/planning stuff. I might put in an elevated line to run a train on, when/if we move. I'd keep a few things, join a local club and run on days they have an open house for running. ? Still have fun that way and a young guy to put the train on the track for you. I'm sure a club would appreciate your knowledge/expertise. Surely your kids want a piece or two also. Jerry
 

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Sorry to hear of the demise of your wonderful and inspirational railroad. I hope you'll save at least a small bit of your collection for perhaps a smaller less labor intensive empire in the future. No need to just sit back and die as long as we're still breathing.

My present railroad is elevated of course as I'm sure you know. I figure that as long as I can shuffle out there with my walker or whatever I'll still be able to railroad long after I'm able to do any serious building. "Bring me my specks so I can see the dadblamed thing and turn up my hearing aid so I can hear the Phoenix sound Ma"! hehe! At least I won't blow myself up with a live steamer (unless some young whippersnapper tricks me) ;)
 

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Hi Tom,

I have heard of your railroad but not seen anything of it.

It made sad reading that you have to disband and hopefully someone will buy your property and keep it going = that seems to be the general consensus so far.

I guess it is a signal to many (I have made the three score and ten) that times, and we, do change so accordingly I have kept my railroad small with the view to the future.

I wish you and your family well. + + +
 

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It always makes me sad when someone has to take up their rail road. Snif /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif
 

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Sad to hear.

Perhaps you'll build another in your new situation. Maybe less ambitious.
 

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Tom,

Having twice abandoned layouts and rebuilt in new places, I can sympathize what you are going through. This will give you a chance to start fresh in your new place. Sure, you'll have to downsize your fleet, but you will have a new set of challenges ahead!

Is there a reason you wouldn't be able to have a shelf layout of some sort? Keep a few of your favorite trains?

I'd be interested in a list of your items, especially anything lettered for your railroad. I'll leave it letter BCR, and when it runs on the MRR, we'll let you know. In that small way, your railroad will continue spreading the good news (about large scale, among other good news it could be spreading..).

Mark
 

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I also have enjoyed the CD and hate to hear that it will be dismantled but understand why very well. A member of our club just downsized to a apartment and sold his place on a lake.
He first sold the house with the RR but the deal didn't go at end. Resold the house and the new buyers didn't want the RR. What a shame as he had a beautiful RR on a lake setting.

Best of luck to you and your wife.
 

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Tom,
Sorry to hear that you're closing up shop but understand that none of us are getting any younger. My friends and I really enjoyed our visit several years ago but the premier highlight was just being with our most gracious host and hostess. Many thanks for the experience and Godspeed!
Jim Shutt
SAGRES
 

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Tom,
Honestly I'm really hoping this is an April fool's day prank? I've got enough bad news today.

If it is true then you are in my thoughts and prayers. I'd really like one of the DVD's too! If there is anything left after these guys get dibs, well, I'd be honored to run it on my future pike!

Chas
 
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