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Tunnels

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Tunnels
Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, August 05, 2017 10:40 AM

While railfaning in Marion awhile back this discussion came up on tunnels and I thought it might be a interesting topic for all.

I would venture a guess and say 90% of layouts have tunnels so,how far should we scenic the inside of a tunnel?

I'm in the camp that says as far as the eye can see inside the tunnel under normal viewing and it should be rock since the railroad bored through a mountain while others thought about 18-24" from the opening and some thought it was completely unnecessary..

Your thoughts?

Larry

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Posted by selector on Saturday, August 05, 2017 10:55 AM

Larry, this might be true for tunnels at or near eye level and that are short enough that room light can penetrate far enough to illuminate the finished lining of the tunnel. Such tunnels must also not be curved very much; the longer they are, and the more curved, the worse outside illumination is for viewing anything appreciable to the eye. Even if they are short and not so curved, ambient or directed light is not going to be sufficient because most of us stand above the liner and can't see it unless we get our eyes down and close, or do that for the camera lens.

This has been my experience so far.  As a result, I simply line my tunnels with black Bristol board or a similar product.

-Crandell

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Posted by TrainzLuvr on Saturday, August 05, 2017 11:07 AM

I'm just an armchair modeller at the moment, but I would suggest to model almost all of the insides.  Unless the tunnel is really long and provides a pitch black darkness inside for a lengthy period of time while the train is going through, in which case those sections can be just painted black, but still close-off any light leakage.

Reason being is the advent of onboard video cameras, offering the engineer's view of the journey. I understand that there are some hard-core modellers out there who refuse to enter this century (even sticking to DC), but for everyone else the current and future technologies will give us amazing possibilities of yet unseen railroading simulation.

Being able to see live image from the cab of your locomotive as you go through the layout will create new demands on fidelity of scenery and track accessories such as signals, signs, etc.

Coupled with Augmented Reality - think a visor projecting the engineer's view in-front of your eyes with all kinds of visual stats (speed, grade, break pressure, mini-map, etc) all while you can still see the actual train from the bird's eye view.

We are already seeing the glimpses of that with the use of our mobile devices (via Wi-Fi) as DCC controllers, and live video feed, but I believe it will go far beyond that.

Of course none of the above will be possible with the archaic systems that everyone uses today (Digitrax, NCE, MRC...) as it would require more feedback from the engines and cars (RailCom and future protocols) and what not.

All I'm saying is that if you are planning/building a layout today, think about the future. Unless you are building a chainsaw layout, it is there to stay for years to come, so eventually you will be able to buy all of the above and just plug it in.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, August 05, 2017 11:11 AM

I’m with you Larry!  As far as the eye can see.  I have three tunnels, one dual track and two single track.  I went with two WS interior tunnel casting deep in the single track and three deep in the dual track.  That works out very nice on my layout. 
 
I also have a shorter two lane road tunnel that parallels my track and because it has some light from both directions its rock all the way. 
 
It is surprising how many visitors make an effort looking deep into my tunnels.  Several have ask if it continues all the way.  I only rock stained the first couple of inches, the rest is flat black.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, August 05, 2017 11:21 AM

I'm with Larry and Mel on this. I think the mouths of tunnels should be scenicked for a little ways in and painted dark for a pretty good ways in. I'm not opposed to the idea of cameras going into tunnels, but there's not much to see in there. The main thing I want to avoid is having spectators look at bare naked two-by-fours or pink foam insulation.

There are two tunnels on my layout, and both of them are angled so that you can't see open daylight at the other end, but there is some light that leaks in. That's just the way it is. Constructing some sort of tunnel liner, be it concrete or blasted rock, and painting that dark does seem to help.

Robert

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, August 05, 2017 11:25 AM

BRAKIE

 

I'm in the camp that says as far as the eye can see inside the tunnel under normal viewing and it should be rock since the railroad bored through a mountain... 

 

It can only be "rock" if the tunnel can be self-supporting.  Otherwise, it has to be lined.

I spent some time in WP's tunnel #1.  It's about a mile and a quarter long, as is lined entirely with reinforced concrete.

I suspect older tunnels used masonry.

Wood lining would likely be rare.

 

Ed

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, August 05, 2017 11:29 AM

TrainzLuvr

Reason being is the advent of onboard video cameras, offering the engineer's view of the journey. I understand that there are some hard-core modellers out there who refuse to enter this century (even sticking to DC), but for everyone else the current and future technologies will give us amazing possibilities of yet unseen railroading simulation.

 

I live in the land of varmints so when I run my camera car thru my tunnels I’m looking for webs and spiders.  That reminds me, it time for my monthly bug bomb.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951

My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, August 05, 2017 12:26 PM

 If you think "archaich DCC" can't do the full augmented experience - take a look at this: 

http://mrr.trains.com/videos/user-videos/2017/01/user-video-the-ultimate-dcc-throttle-part-15-detailed-update

Previous parts explained how it was built.

If you're going to run that - a full tunnel liner is a must. The view inside the tunnel on my video of a trip around our club layout is "interesting" if you want to see how a model tunnel is built, but not so much if you want to know what a real tunnel looks like. Otherwise I'm of the school of detailing it where you can see then lining the rest with something black just so you can't see the structure "behind the curtain".

                                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, August 05, 2017 2:15 PM

I have subways on my layout, and from the beginning I'd always intended to have a working video camera at the front of the train.  So, I sceniced the insides of the tunnels.  I also quickly realized that I needed more light, so I upgraded to brighter LEDs at the front of the camera car and added LEDs inside the tunnels, on the inside curves so the camera would not be blinded but the outside curves, which is what the camera sees, would be lit.

I love watching layout tours with train cams.  It's not much work to finish the insides of tunnels when you're building your layout, much less than adding it later, so I would recommend finishing your tunnel walls.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, August 05, 2017 2:17 PM

My tunnel is comprised of two holes in the scenery, with a sheet of black construction paper curved over the track just inside each portal, and stapled to the plywood subroadbed.
This is about all a viewer would see from the west end...

...and even less from the east end...

However, scenery on the peninsula through which the tunnel passes is not in place, so the tunnel is "daylighted" until that construction is completed.  In this photo, you can see the west portal...

...and the resultant light leakage when a camera is placed on the layout....

Wayne

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Posted by TrainzLuvr on Saturday, August 05, 2017 2:18 PM

The way I see Augmented Reality happen is to add to the experience and maybe make things easier and/or more realistic.

This is what I mean by Augmented Reality:

It's a picture of a real world overlayed with computer generated information.

For example, there would be no car cards - all the cars would be marked in front of you in your field of view, if desired so (press a button and it all disappears).

There would be no missing or misplaced cars, as the computer would automatically recognize everything you are seeing and label it appropriately for you.

Yard work would take another dimension. The system would virtually colour code cars based on their destinations and an overlay would be displayed over the yard showing you where the cars are located.

All engines would have a virtual fuel, oil, break pressure gauges, etc. Everything would need regular maintenance just like the real thing.

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Posted by superbe on Saturday, August 05, 2017 11:00 PM

Put me down as being with the ones who say what the eye can see, but I'd go one step further.

Instead of relying on the eyes alone I'd use a camera.

My experience has been that the camera has found a lot of flaws in my modeling that I didn't see.

Bob

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, August 07, 2017 5:16 PM

Thanks all for your input..

Ed,You're correct..I should have thought that part through.Laugh

Larry

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Posted by joe323 on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 6:21 AM

I use aluminum foil painted grey as a tunnel liner.

Joe Staten Island West 

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