Norm Stenzel began construction of his Brandywine and Benedictine model railroad in his basement room in 1989. It took him one year to finish the basement. He recommends finishing the modeling room to any modeler because it makes it more enjoyable. Dust is not a problem in a finished room.
The basement is also independent from the rest of the house with an installed air conditioning and heating system. It is not hot while operating with many people and not too cold in the rest of the house. Problem-solving on the railroad motivates Norm. He loves coming up on a problem, no matter how big or how small. It is rewarding to coming up with his own solutions.
One example of his problem-solving is the turntable. The turntable on the layout is the third version that he has built from scratch. Previous versions had improper support until he came up with the idea of using the front hub of a bicycle for the bearing pack. It has two adjustable bearings, and the tension can be adjusted to be tight or loose as needed. The main line itself from point A around the helix and back to point A is around 324.5 feet. It took about a year to hand lay all the track, which is quite fast. As he laid track he eventually found a rhythm and was able to work quickly.