I started Noise From the Basement to mainly focus on video games. The site name being used to capture the nostalgia many gamers have of consoles hooked up to an old TV in a basement rec room. As an adult I’ve had an on again and off again relationship with basement gaming over the last ten years. With a more modern TV and surround sound I’ve been able to make a lot of noise in my basement gaming, although I don’t do it as much as I should.
For me the original “Noise From the Basement” wasn’t video games but electric trains. In the late 80’s, yes the era of the NES and all its contemporaries and predecessors, I had a train layout in my basement. I know that seems more like something from 1958 than 1988, but it’s true. Of course it was an old Victorian house, and the basement was creepy. It was filled with spiders and bugs, and humidity that rusted the tubular Lionel track.
To me it was like a haven for my imagination, and dreams of what I could someday add to my layout. Even though my layout only had two scale sized people on it, I used my imagination to make up stories about them, and about the residents of the houses and workers at the factories in my layout town.
I still remember the day I got the 4×8 plywood that became my train board. It was a rainy day and I was bored at home. I remember the day a big truck full of lumber pulled up in front of our house. I dismissed it as my parents were always fixing up our house and with a few new projects in the works I figured the lumber was for that. But off all the lumber that we got my Dad came in the house with the 4×8 plywood sheet, and he and my mom told me it was going to be a train board I could set up in a spare bedroom. It seemed like in no time at all that my father pulled the folding legs off of something else, and got the 4×8 roll of Lifelike fake grass, to finally have the board setup.
The board moved from the spare bedroom, to the basement after a few years, and eventually to a different spare bedroom a few years after that, till I decided to move on and outgrew the old board. I don’t know what happened to it after that, but I think of it a lot and I’m pretty sad I its gone.
If you look in the header picture for my webpage and Facebook page you will see my classic Lionel Santa Fe F3. I included it in the picture since I wanted to occasionally have the electric train content on the site. My father and I found that at a train show the Lake County, Illinois fairgrounds used to have in about 1986. It cost me $40 of hard earned allowance money, and I wasn’t sure why my Dad insisted I buy it. As the years rolled on though I found out that the original Santa Fe F3’s from the late 40’s and early 50’s were and still are, icons of not only Lionel but of the whole hobby of electric trains, and even of the decade of the 1950’s itself.
The locomotive has always been with me and in sight ever since, and even as I’m writing this it sits in a cubby of my office desk a little above my head. It’s made me an O Gauge Santa Fe and BNSF fanboy till this day, and I occasionally buy O Gauge items from both railways, mostly Santa Fe.
If you follow my page, or follow me on Facebook, you probably know I have and write about a number of hobbies I enjoy, perhaps too many. Electric trains are one of those hobbies, but the issue with something like O Gauge trains is their size and the room needed to run them. For the most part a lot of my electric trains haven’t been run in years, which is painful to say as someone who loves the hobby.
I’ve had various thoughts over the years of doing something as grandiose as a garden railway, to something as simple as a traditional vanilla 4×8 plywood layout, like I had years ago. But even a 4×8 layout can still require a small room worth of space, as you need additional space to get around the table, especially for the occasional “rail disaster”.
I can’t guarantee O gauge model railroading on this site all the time, but I’d like to occasionally put up some content. So if you like classic model trains you may want to stick around.