Bill Aldrige’s New York, New Haven and Hartford model railroad layout is highly detailed. The layout has a detail that most layouts don’t have – the power and signal lines running with telephone and signal poles. Bill decided to include them simply because they were there. He used spandex for stringing the telegraph wire. The material has an elongation of about 200%, so it has a great ability to stretch without snapping. This enabled Bill to string multiple wires without too much sag or too much tightness. He uses a very fine spandex which is available commercially. The wires are secured to the telegraph poles by wrapping them around the insulators of the Rick’s Styrene poles that Bill uses. After wrapping them around the insulators, he touches them with a drop of acetone, which dissolves the plastic and secures the wire, evaporating almost immediately for instant gluing action.
Bill finds the hobby relaxing. During his working years he would find it to be a kind of therapy, since it’s a great way to distract the mind and concentrate. He was also always interested in the various facets of the hobby, as it involves so many different disciplines. He realized when he first started to do scenery that he needed to determine how to make the layout look realistic, which brought him out into nature to study it. Bill ended up enjoying this observation, as most modelers tend to become observant of everything around them.