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Ultimate Model Railroad

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Ultimate Model Railroad
Posted by NWP SWP on Saturday, November 11, 2017 11:04 PM

What if you had unlimited funds and space what features would you include in the ultimate layout?

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by Sir Madog on Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:17 AM

In my age, wishes (and dreams) tend to get smaller and maybe much more realistic. I would never start a project I would not be able to finish to a degree I could enjoy the fruits of my effort. That puts a dramatic end to what one could do if one had unlimited space and unlimited funds.

Having said that, what would I do? I´d model a small town terminus of a branchline, including engine facilities (steam era). I´d also have one or two small intermediate stations on a sinle-track line, with sufficient track length to support, say, 30 minutes to complete the round. You could do that in a average sized room, but as my scale of choice is 1 gauge or 1/32 scale, I´d need a gymnasium for that!

   Ulrich     

People of my age don´t tan, they simply rust!


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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:50 AM

If that was the case I'd still be doing the same thing  I'm doing now.  I don't think funds and space are the main issue.  For me I need to see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.

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Posted by gregc on Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:22 AM

have you seen the articles on Rod Stewart's layout?   Warren Buffet also has a layout.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by Marc_Magnus on Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:26 AM

Big Smile[quote user="NWP SWP"]

What if you had unlimited funds and space what features would you include in the ultimate layout?


Just take the full time to finish my Maclau River in Nscale.....so I don't need to work again.....
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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:31 AM

When I got back into this hobby a few years ago, if given the space at that time I would have preferred to do an around the room shelf layout.

I'm the type of person that likes to scratch build and make almost everything for my railroad.

Looking back now I'm more satisfied with the 4 by 8 layout choice then in the beginning.  I now think an around the Shelf layout may have been a little overwhelming considering the time it takes to build things.

Take care

                  Track fiddler

 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:19 AM

gregc

have you seen the articles on Rod Stewart's layout?   Warren Buffet also has a layout.

Well, yeah, but Warren Buffett's railroad is the BNSF.

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

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:41 AM

My layout, now in storage and awaiting a new home, is 13 years old.  It fits in a 24x24 foot space above the garage, and is in HO.  I have found over the years that building 1 square foot of layout takes one month, if I can spend enough time on it.

I have pretty much everything I want on the layout - an operating subway, a turntable and roundhouse, a carfloat and terminal, yards, staging and plenty of industries.  If I had more space, I'd like, well, more space.  My industries are all pretty close to each other, and it would be pretty nice to have more than a train length between towns.

Other "druthers" are things I've learned from the experience of this layout, and maybe I'll get to fix them when I reconfigure it for its new home.  I'd definitely build another carfloat terminal, and probably use a wheeled table to move the float from one terminal to another.  I would make the subway point-to-point and larger, instead of the simple, small oval as I built it.  I'd like more staging and I'd want it to be double-ended, and a separate loop for trolleys.  I'd like to expand my passenger service, too, including an electrified line for the GG-1.

Too much dreaming?  Probably, but dreams are what model railroading is all about.

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

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Posted by msrrkevin on Sunday, November 12, 2017 2:51 PM

I would want some kind of standard/narrow gauge interchange - right now I just "pretend" by having a few adjacent tracks.

- Kevin

Check out my shapeways creations! HOn3 and railroad items for 3D printing:

https://www.shapeways.com/shops/kevin-s-model-train-detail-parts

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, November 12, 2017 3:03 PM

NWP SWP

What if you had unlimited funds and space what features would you include in the ultimate layout?

 

I would buy an actual railroad...

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, November 12, 2017 3:17 PM

If I had unlimited funds I would probably buy like 100 acres in the black hills and build a 1/2 scale railroad.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Sunday, November 12, 2017 3:31 PM

Walt Disney had a 1/8 scale live-steam train in his back yard and visitors would always be given a ride around the place. One day someone said, "Hey Walt, you should charge people a nickel for a ride." The rest, as they say, is history.

(No idea if this story is even remotely true, but Disney did have a fairly large-scale live-steam train in his back yard.)

LINK to SNSR Blog

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, November 12, 2017 5:03 PM

I think I just aaw the ultimate model railroad - Ken McCorry had an open house today and I was just speechless. I've seen plenty of pictures, but you really can;t get an idea of just how big it is until you see it in person. 

                               --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 railandsail on Sunday, November 12, 2017 5:31 PM

Do you have a link to some of those pics of that layout?

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:28 PM

Just Google Ken McCorry, you'll see all you want.  I did, and yea, it's great.  It's claimed to be the biggest home layout, in the country.  Howard Zanes has to be a close second!

Mike

 

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Posted by angelob6660 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:18 PM

My railroad dream would be to realize making my G.N.O. Railway. To be set in the 1980s with the rest of other railroads like Conrail. 

I will like to finish my other railroads, BN, NYC, ATSF, SP, UP, BNSF. To share one layout and/or multiple eras 1960-2007.

It will contain few industries, freight yard, intermodal yard, 2 Amtrak station, 1-3 mainline trackage, open scenery, cities.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

Moderator
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Posted by tstage on Monday, November 13, 2017 12:35 AM

Fabricating a 1:1 replica of a NYC 4-6-4 Hudson from blueprints and run it on a 100-mile section of track as a tourist train.  I would also make it so that the streamlining could be easily added and removed to achieve a Dreyfuss Hudson.  Yep, that would be my ultimate layout. YesStick out tongue

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, November 13, 2017 5:35 AM

It would include a little bit of everything. It would be super long and take a really long time to walk your train through the entire layout. It would include at least two cities and a mountain pass in between them plus several farms and lots wilderness along the way.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, November 13, 2017 7:31 AM

MisterBeasley

My layout, now in storage and awaiting a new home, is 13 years old.  It fits in a 24x24 foot space above the garage, and is in HO.  I have found over the years that building 1 square foot of layout takes one month, if I can spend enough time on it.

I wouldn’t do any thing different, I’m content with my layout as is.
 
Mr. Beasily, I really like your theory of calculating time.  I just ran my time invested and my layout isn’t quite finished but using your one month per square foot comes very close to my layout.
 
I started on it in 1989 and today I have about 4 square feet to go.  I had to put my layout on hold with very little work on it for 20 years do to pressure at work.  The overall time will come very close to your formula, 8½ years total for my 105.5 square foot layout.
 
 
 
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 dknelson on Monday, November 13, 2017 5:47 PM

As far back as May 1951 MR, Linn Westcott tried to visualize and plan the "perfect" layout where cost is no object.  The article is called "If I Had a Million" and it is worth reading even today, for his wish list if not for the actual track plan itself.

Interestingly, in our own time a very fine modeler named Monroe Stewart has basically built Westcott's "If I Had a Million" trackplan in N scale (and designed and built the house to accomodate it).  Even in N it is huge.  Featured in January 1997 Great Model Railroads.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, November 13, 2017 6:07 PM

The East Broadtop is lanquishing.  Since money is not object I'll go 1:1 scale narrow gauge and make the owner an offer he cannot refuse.  It would be chump change for the owners of Facebook, Amazon or Google.

 Unfortuately that wouldn't be me.  I do have an uncle whose father refused to loan his drug store owner neighbor money for a start up.  It was Noxzema
 
 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, November 13, 2017 6:09 PM

Any discussion about ultimate model layouts would have to include Dave Trussel's Greeley Freight Station Museum in Greeley, Colorado.

He started with a 5,000 SF layout inside a 9,000 SF building, and says he wishes he had double the space.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog

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Posted by KemacPrr on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 10:40 PM

Not sure if mine is the biggest private home layout . MR said that not I !!  I know of at least one other out there that is close to 4500 sq ft. Mine is 3120. But the difference is while the 4500 sq ft is two levels I do have 4 levels in a few spots. Anyway even after almost 26 years in existence it's still a fun railroad to operate on and has withstood the test of time well. I did have some help building it and still have help in resetting it between op sessions but all maintenance and any new construction is all me anymore. The RR has seen different eras over the years. The current era and probably the last is the late PRR and all of PC a 1964-1975 time period. Before that it was 1956-57 with both steam and diesel. The video done by Keller years ago was the 1976-1982 Conrail era period. Changing the eras for me keeps interest higher and more even rather than major tear downs . There are a number of recent video's on You Tube by Bill Fagan that were taken earler this year. ---   Ken 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7:29 AM

For most of us that ultimate RR na na land.  Sure, air craft hanger and runs that could represent San Francisco to Chicago - selectively compressed of course - is something I used to dream about.  Eventually reality forces it's way back!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Contrarian's contrarian
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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:31 AM

I'd buy the UPs steam shops, FEF3, Challenger, Big Boy and cars and hire the crew.  If the turntable is gone, I'd add one.  Then I'd run excursions all over and give rail fans and kids priority for free rides.  Then I'd start adding and restoring lots of other steamers, only requirement being U.S. examples.  And maybe have some selective diesels, and some gas turbines.  Perhaps I'd just buy the whole UP, and change motive power to steam.  And buy the old Baldwin, Alco and other shops and start building new steam engines. And... 

If funds were large but not unlimited, I'd tear down our existing house, dig a basement the full length and rebuild the house.  (That way I will not need to repaint).  I'd build an HO layout with dual mainline and long runs, which would allow more realistic block signalling.  I would plan for operations & switching, but also be able to just run circuits when the grandkids visit.  

Meanwhile, I'm having fun with my 5x10 layout.  My dream layout would seem overwhelming but I would not want to hire help, preferring to see the fruits of my own effort.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by gdelmoro on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:56 AM

I would build This: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=world%27s+largest+model+railroad+layout+germany&&view=detail&mid=8F6B1BCDF6C0AF1DD3008F6B1BCDF6C0AF1DD300&FORM=VRDGAR

and invite everyone on this forum to come and operate it.  Of course I would have severl operations instructors, experts to pare rookies with and cameras to record your operating session.

Stick out tongue

Gary

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 1:06 PM

I'd build somewhat bigger, but more spreadout. 

My train room is 21' x 18', which is big enough in HO for me to include pretty much everything on my wish list, except that the space between towns bears most of the "selective compression".  So if I had unlimited space and funds to match, I might add a town or two, but most of the expansion would be for mainline running.

Afterall, I'm the one who has to build and maintain it! Snail

Jim

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 2:34 PM

Right now, I WOULD buy the aircraft hanger.  No, no.  The BIG one, over there.

I'd use it as a venue for Free-mo setups.

There would be employees to "handle things".

I'd build (with help from my guys, as necessary) the various modules that pop into my head.  For example, there'd be a number of super modules with passing sidings QUITE long--maybe 60 feet.  And etc.

Ed

 

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Posted by DENZIL E RILEY JR on Friday, November 17, 2017 9:25 AM

Ken,

Got a chance to visit your layout during the Steel Mill Convention, Don't under estimate the amount of layout there! Great layout!

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