Maintenance on a large layout can take a huge chunk of time away from working on a railroad. This is a worry for Doug Geiger with his Granite Mountain Railway. He has experienced maintenance taking up half of the layout work time when he was a member of the Houston Club. The club has given him experience on how to switch machines and fix track misalignments and cars. In this video, Allen Keller talks to Doug and Barbara Geiger about maintenance, inspiration, and how they work together on the Granite Mountain Railway.
Geiger has done much of the work on the railroad himself in his home, which means that he has spent a great amount of time on it. He is lucky enough to have a wife who supports and is even involved in his model railroading hobby. Geiger’s wife Barbara was not put off by his hobby when they first started dating, in fact, she was interested in prototypes herself before they met. She enjoys operation and the variety of skills that modelers can explore while building. Although Doug had to part with some Pullman towels and sheets, Barbara has accepted his hobby, which requires a lot of time working and financial investment.
Doug and Barbara have made an arrangement wherein she is a part of the work force, and he stays at home so he can work on the railroad. Doug takes care of household chores and cooking when he is not working on the model. They are able to support themselves through Barbara steadily working, and Doug working briefly once in a while as needed. The railroad has also become professional enough to elicit some jobs for Doug within the hobby. Thanks to Doug’s layout, he has found work in retail, designing and laying tracks, and writing articles.
Not only does Barbara support the hobby, she participates in some of the building on the layout as a part of the work crew. She has helped with building scenery, putting together cars, and cleaning tracks. She offers a second set of hands for Doug as well as financial and emotional support. This support has allowed for the Granite Mountain Railway’s fast progress and success.