Seeking pictures of hi-rail or”toy” layouts

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Seeking pictures of hi-rail or”toy” layouts
Posted by The Gnome on Friday, June 01, 2018 10:19 AM

As i understand the definitions, hi rail and Toy layouts are the opposite of prototype, modeling, diorama layouts.  Structures and other scenery might be a little mismatched in scale.  Not sure what else is different.

hi railers/toy train people are more interested in running their trains than in realism or precise modeling of terrain.

Would anyone be willing to share pictures of their hi-rail/Toy layouts?    Simplicity has its own elegance.

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Posted by Bob Keller on Friday, June 01, 2018 1:10 PM

My take is that hi-railers are more focused on realstic scnery more than realistic operation. We've run contless layouts with realistic scenery, and (in reality) improbably combinations of locomotives and rolling stock. Think the folks who identify as 3-rail scale would be more likely latch onto realistic operation. Just my 2 cents.

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Posted by artyoung on Friday, June 01, 2018 4:47 PM

Simplicity best describes the scenery on a traditional "toy" layout. It might be nothing more than green paint on plywood, or display a collection of Plasticville buildings (or tin or ceramic), with a papier mache mountain. Other layouts might focus on operating freight cars and accessories to load/unload coal, logs, pipe, etc.

Think of the sort of display one used to see under a Christmas tree.

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Posted by The Gnome on Friday, June 01, 2018 6:20 PM

Bob, thanks.  If hi rail is a compromise between Toy and Realism then i can see that the increase in accuracy might be in the scenery rather than the train.

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Posted by The Gnome on Friday, June 01, 2018 6:22 PM

Art, thanks.  A toy layout might start as a flat board.  Then if the Hobbyist wants to move to hi rail, he might work on the scenery.  I get it.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 02, 2018 8:35 AM

There's also a very practical reason for "hi-rail" versus "O gauge scale" operation.

"O gauge scale" entails use of rail with a much lower profile, and that means O gauge engines and rolling stock with much narrower wheel flanges.  Nothing wrong with that but there is the probability of much more frequent derailments and other operating problems.  "Hi-rail" doesn't have that problem due to the higher rail profile and much wider wheel flanges.

Also, there's a lot more availability and versatility in "high-rail" engines and rolling stock.  The engines are usually a helluva lot less expensive too!

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 10:32 AM

Firelock, ok, hi rail does not just mean more realistic scenary than is typical of toy train layouts.  It also means being averse  to realistic track for the pragmatic reasons you gave.

what i still cannot quite grasp is the aversion for on30 in the toy train community.  On30 is O scale cars running on a compromise track.  the MR forums deride on30 as being toy-like and say it belongs in the CTT forum.  But some in the CTT forum say if it runs on ho track its ho and belongs over in MR. CTT already compromised on track realism with hi rail.  Why not embrace ho track as well?  They would capture some more readers.

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 11:21 AM

http://cs.trains.com/ctt/f/95/t/145317.aspx?page=1

This thread has some pictures of toy layouts.

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Posted by Bob Keller on Saturday, June 02, 2018 11:26 AM

Generally the On30 crowd goes for realism with two rail trains and scale couplers, cars, and accessories. OGR covers them. Don’t know if MR or RMC do.

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 11:35 AM

On facebook, it seems that some on30 groups  self identify as being „serious“ modelers and others do not.  Fantasy modelers could slide into being toy guys very easily.  Some even populate their layouts with action figures from kids shows and games.  Warhammer or whatever.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 02, 2018 12:38 PM

Nuthin' wrong with On30.  Don't ask for specific examples, but I know there's been layouts pictured in CTT where some O-gauger layouts have been made a bit more colorful and interesting by the addition of an On30 line or two.

Hey, there's been O gauge layouts pictured where someone's added an N-gauge line, usually as an amusement part ride.

Since Bob's brought them up, I can tell you the editor of OGR is a passionate On30 adherant.

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 12:49 PM

Based on Bob‘s hint, i went over to OGR and did a search for on30.  Right off a thread popped up in which a newbie asked a question about on30.  A long time participant responded by telling him he did not belong in an o gauge forum.  The editor jumped in to say that was wrong, on30 was very welcome.  Too late, damage was done.

lets face it.  When your name is O gauge, O scale on HO track is a little bit of a stretch.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 02, 2018 1:09 PM

Don't pay attention to those people on the OGR forum, some of those guys have a mean streak, God alone knows why. 

It's why "Penny Trains," myself, and a lot of other CTT "Forumites" don't bother with  them. "P-T" even calls the magazine and website "Ogre." 

I do find the magazine enjoyable and interesting.

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 2:38 PM

Ogre!  Thats funny.

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Posted by tarheeltracks on Saturday, June 02, 2018 6:13 PM

Hope I'm not putting my neck on the chopping block, but I plan to add some ON30 to my layout at some point... and I sure won't be over at Ogre to ask any questions!!! 

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Posted by stebbycentral on Saturday, June 02, 2018 6:38 PM

As a sometime On30 modeler, I can say one of the reasons that it has few adherents on the "scale" side is that it is really a compromise.  Historically very few American railroads were ever built in 2 1/2 ft guage (On30).  The majority of the narrow guage railroads built in the USA were 3 ft (On36 in model nomenclature).  Railroads like the Colorado & Southern; the Denver, Rio Grande & Western; and the other storied lines of the Old West were all 3 ft guage.  On30 was created specifically by manufacturers to allow them to use existing HO track and HO mechanisms to mass produce cheaper equipment.  Equipment which is actually 6 inches narrower than the prototype.  That's why On30 gets disrespected among "true" O-scale narrow guage adherents who use only 36" track and trains. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, June 02, 2018 7:35 PM

Prewar style layout: Toylike, vivid, unrealistic colors, often on the bare floor, carpet or a simple table with minimal scenery (usually just paint with a bit of sawdust thrown on for texture.)

Postwar Lionel display layout:  See http://ctt.trains.com/videos/layout-visits/2012/12/lionel-factory-layouts

This layout still has the basic paint and sawdust landscaping, but the mountains and trains are more realistic than their 1900-1942 predecessors.  These layouts were produced at the Lionel factory in large quantities for the retailers who purchased them.  So of course the scenery had to be kept simple.  But as you can see in the photo below:

That didn't mean that all of their display layouts were simple!  This is still a very popular way of building Lionel layouts. The winter version of my bedroom layout keeps things simple and traditional:

https://youtu.be/mKnah0pIz9U

One of Lionel's best, was the D63:

A D63 in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnDjL4_iEC4

I took the basic concept (city on one end, mountain on the other, divided by a viewbreak) and built my summer layout in that vein:

So, with a simple change of scenery my "toylandtown" becomes hi-rail.  The buildings are made of cardstock.  The station is based on the royal waiting room at Hua Hin Thailand:

 

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 8:13 PM

Penny, these layouts are brilliant and very helpful.  Now i get it.  Here is what you taught me.  

Vivid colors.

When we say scenery, we do not mean buildings. Buildings are important in setting the context and atmosphere. Layouts often are flat.  Buildings can be switched in and out to completely transform a layout.  Like from Toyland to Thailand.  Genius.

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Posted by The Gnome on Saturday, June 02, 2018 8:15 PM

Tarheel, i cant wait to see your layout.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 03, 2018 10:17 AM

Great video you posted Becky!  It was neat seeing your 2035 out for a romp on the mainline.

Gotta get one of those blockbusters.  Still looking...

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Posted by stebbycentral on Sunday, June 03, 2018 11:05 AM

Firelock76

Great video you posted Becky!  It was neat seeing your 2035 out for a romp on the mainline.

The only quibble I have with the video is that in the scene where Tom Baker gets hit by the locomotive, he should have come back as Peter Davidson.

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, June 03, 2018 8:35 PM

Firelock76
Great video you posted Becky! It was neat seeing your 2035 out for a romp on the mainline.

I'm working on a new one.  But on the Thai layout it's hard to come up with good gags.  There's only one good road and it's hard to reach all the way (4 feet) to move vehicles around.  I have one good gag in mind if I can pull it off.  But so far all I have is a nice collection of derailment footage!  Laugh

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 03, 2018 8:55 PM

A good gag for a Thai railroad?  How about a little character in the area with a striking resemblance to Alec Guiness' Colonel Nicholson? 

And a certain bridge...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwIYbvfiij0

One thing, DON'T blow up the 2035!

 

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Posted by LittleTommy on Sunday, June 03, 2018 11:54 PM

Getting back to the request for photos of layouts.

I guess my layout is S gauge "Hi Rail plus wimsy" the scenery is crafted to look like what an HO layout looked like in Model Railroader in the 1950's and following the lead of John Allen (of Gorre and Daphetid fame) I couldn't resist a few touches of Wimsy, like adding Minions and flying saucers, as well as towns and industries named after characters in The Great Gatsby, The Maltese Falcon or family members and/or pets. 

 

 

 

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Posted by The Gnome on Monday, June 04, 2018 8:39 AM

Tommy,

Minions!  I love it.  Bought or made from scratch?

i am inspired to put some of my gnomes back on the layout.

that car in your picture is cool.

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Posted by palallin on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 10:06 AM

Hi-Rail most certainly can mean more realistinc trains.  Many 3 rail trains today are scale in size and detail if not lettering.  For many folks, Hi-Rail means realistic scenery and scale trains running on 3-rail track (usually sharp curves) and using the oversized couplers.

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Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 10:48 AM

Palallin, perhaps the distance between the toy train enthusiast and the realistic modeler is shrinking.  The pull toward realism in scenery and train cars may be difficult to resist.  Realistic modeling is more “serious” than toy trains.  The artistic skills required for realistic scenery are very professional.  The engineering skills required for perfect realism in track layout and operations are impressive.  And the large amounts of money required are extremely “serious.”  

CTT posted a nice video a couple of months back.  The scenery was excellent and the track layout looked sophisticated to me.  But I was happy to see a steam loco and a diesel pass each other.  They looked like different time periods.  I hope so, anyway.  Overall, it was more of a realistic model than a toy.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 8:53 PM

There will be more on the layout soon.  But here's an appetizer.  Introducing "Skippy" the reluctant Dalek!  Laugh:

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Posted by The Gnome on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 9:17 PM

Penny, you had me feeling demented for awhile.  Dalek, what was a Dalek?   Then, Dr Who!  I thought i was a goner.

gondolas are a great ride for funny creatures.

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Posted by traindaddy1 on Thursday, June 07, 2018 7:18 AM

Firelock76...OGR forum: "mean streak" ? Thought I was the only one that had that impression.

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