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Help With Layout Concept

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Help With Layout Concept
Posted by ncandstl576 on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 5:30 PM

For a while now, I've been brainstorming ideas for a future layout. Currently, I have two main "concepts" at the moment.

1) Richmond & Ohio Railway
Year: 1954
Locale: Virginia/West Virginia
Operated using TT&TO

The R&O is a proto-freelanced Class I that borrows heavily from the C&O, N&W, and the Virginian in its location and motive power. It's larger than than the Virginian but a bit smaller than the N&W, with a main line running from Norfolk to Cincinnati via Richmond. 

For motive power, they have the usual 2-8-2s and 2-8-0s, along with Baldwin 2-8-4s (similar to the L&N "Big Emmas"), 4-8-2s, and 4-8-4s. In coal country, there are several articulated and mallet types. The R&O has also taken to purchasing locos from other railroads, like the NC&StL 2-8-8-2s. 

There are even a couple streamliners, all on the Norfolk-Cincinnati route. These are the Old Dominion (the R&O is "The Old Dominion Line"), and the Jack Jouett (named for the "Paul Revere of the South" - look him up). The R&O's diesels have a blue and gray scheme (I based it on the Aberdeen & Rockfish and NC&StL).

One thing I really like is having other roads make appearances via interchanges or trackage rights, but it seems coal haulers didn't really do this. Can someone who knows better explain this a bit to me? 

2) "Vague Southern US Idea"
Year: 1940s-1950s

As it says, this concept isn't very well developed, due to me not being sure what I want to do with this. I have three main ideas here:
A) Model a prototype: If I went this route, I'd probably do the L&N or NC&StL, but I'm mulling over other possibilities. This would give me much more focus, but modelling a prototype would require doing more research. I like TT&TO, but depending on what I choose, this could change (I know the NC&StL was quick to convert to CTC). 

B) Prototype railroad, but proto-freelanced line: Two of my favorite Southern roads are the NC&StL and the Tennessee Central, and while I certainly wouldn't mind doing them as straight-up prototypes, I'm considering modelling "what-if" versions of them. 

C) Proto-freelance: This one allows maximum freedom, but also could definitely be tricky. I'm trying to consider location, including plenty of prototypical roads to interchange with, and operating interest (as well as the history of my fictitious line, as that will impact how it looks in the 50s). I also get to use TT&TO here with no trouble, which is definitely a plus.

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 5:47 PM

Welcome to the forum. Your first few posts will be moderated, so there may be some delay in seeing them appear.

Only you can know what would be most interesting to you.

Most folks find that they need long runs between locations to make TT&TO work well. How much space do you have and what scale are you using? Have you had the chance to experience TT&TO operation on other layouts?

ncandstl576
One thing I really like is having other roads make appearances via interchanges or trackage rights, but it seems coal haulers didn't really do this. Can someone who knows better explain this a bit to me? 

Virtually all Class 1 railroads (like the C&O, N&W, etc.) have/had interchanges where freight cars are interchanged between two different railroads. Trackage rights, in which trains from one railroad run over the tracks of another railroad, are a different issue and much less common -- although there are examples from the 1950s.

What is it that you want to do with "foreign" trains on your proto-freelanced line?

Good luck with your layout.

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Posted by ncandstl576 on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 6:26 PM

cuyama
Virtually all Class 1 railroads (like the C&O, N&W, etc.) have/had interchanges where freight cars are interchanged between two different railroads. Trackage rights, in which trains from one railroad run over the tracks of another railroad, are a different issue and much less common -- although there are examples from the 1950s.

What is it that you want to do with "foreign" trains on your proto-freelanced line?

I'll be completely honest, I lack the knowledge to know what exactly I'm looking for with TT&TO and interchange traffic.

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Posted by dixieflyer on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 7:14 PM
If memory serves, the L&N interchanged with the C&O, N&W, and Southern in eastern KY. At the L&NHS convention the other week we had a class/presentation on TT & TO ops by a former division superintendent and one of the HS officers got up and recalled how when he was on the trains they got a bunch of orders when they had to run over N&W territory, etc. Warren/dixieflyer500 living by the West Kentucky Coalfields.

Attempting to model the L&N and NC&StL in western Kentucky

Ride the Battlefield Route!

Ride the Dixie Line!

To and From Dixieland

NC&Stl Railway

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Posted by ncandstl576 on Monday, October 08, 2018 5:11 PM

 I've been considering modelling the Georgia, Florida & Alabama Railroad, which ran through my local area between the 1890s and 1926 (link: http://www.taplines.net/gfa/gfa.html) The Seaboard Air Line acquired it in the 1920s, but it could be interesting to show what it could have looked like in the 1950s. Perhaps they expand into the Alabama coal and coke fields? They interchanged with the Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, and the Central of Georgia, so this add some operating interest. 

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 9:44 AM

ncandstl576
I'll be completely honest, I lack the knowledge to know what exactly I'm looking for with TT&TO and interchange traffic.

If you are at the beginning of the learning curve on model railroad design, a great place to start is John Armstrong’s Track Planning for Realistic Operation

Concepts like TT&TO unfortunately can sometimes be like “flavors of the month.” The high profile of some things in the commercial press and forums can make it seem that it’s something that every modeler should aspire to. But in fact, TT&TO suits a small percentage of era, locale, and traffic density situations and an even smaller percentage of available spaces for modeling.

So my suggestion would be to start with the fundamentals and layout deign best practices in parallel with your search for prototype inspiration – and certainly before making a final decision. 

Good luck with your layout.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 10:33 AM

Another plug for John Armstrong’s Track Planning for Realistic Operation.  I've worn out my copy and found most of it to be very helpful.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by ncandstl576 on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 12:11 PM

cuyama

 

 
ncandstl576
I'll be completely honest, I lack the knowledge to know what exactly I'm looking for with TT&TO and interchange traffic.

 

If you are at the beginning of the learning curve on model railroad design, a great place to start is John Armstrong’s Track Planning for Realistic Operation

Concepts like TT&TO unfortunately can sometimes be like “flavors of the month.” The high profile of some things in the commercial press and forums can make it seem that it’s something that every modeler should aspire to. But in fact, TT&TO suits a small percentage of era, locale, and traffic density situations and an even smaller percentage of available spaces for modeling.

So my suggestion would be to start with the fundamentals and layout deign best practices in parallel with your search for prototype inspiration – and certainly before making a final decision. 

Good luck with your layout.

 

I understand what you mean, and I'll definitely take your advice into account. That said, I'd like to model a Southern Class I railroad in the late 1940s-early 1950s, and many of the prototypes of the era used TT&TO, making it something to include for prototypical operation.

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 1:23 PM

ncandstl576
That said, I'd like to model a Southern Class I railroad in the late 1940s-early 1950s, and many of the prototypes of the era used TT&TO, making it something to include for prototypical operation.

How much space do you have and what scale? 

The key to operating TT&TO realistically is long runs between passing points so that crews have room and time to think about their next move while considering the timetable, their orders, train registers, and the clock. 

Many people model prototypes that used TT&TO, but their space isn’t practical to actually operate under TT&TO rules. So they compromise and use some other method of train control.

 

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Posted by ncandstl576 on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 2:30 PM

cuyama

 

 
ncandstl576
That said, I'd like to model a Southern Class I railroad in the late 1940s-early 1950s, and many of the prototypes of the era used TT&TO, making it something to include for prototypical operation.

 

How much space do you have and what scale? 

The key to operating TT&TO realistically is long runs between passing points so that crews have room and time to think about their next move while considering the timetable, their orders, train registers, and the clock. 

Many people model prototypes that used TT&TO, but their space isn’t practical to actually operate under TT&TO rules. So they compromise and use some other method of train control.

 

 

I'm afraid I'm just an armchair modeller for the time being, I'm still in high school and have limited space. As far as actually building a layout goes, that will have to wait at least a few years. In the meantime, I've been reading up on prototype and model railroads.

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Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 11:02 AM

ncandstl576
I'm afraid I'm just an armchair modeller for the time being, I'm still in high school and have limited space. As far as actually building a layout goes, that will have to wait at least a few years.

Deja vu all over again. Smile

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 11:56 AM

Now, now, the OP did warn us it was for future planning.  In fact his only question was how does interchange and tracking rights work.  We need the younger folks to carry on this old man's hobby.

ncandstl There is another prolific poster in the forum who like yourself is in high school.  He starts a lot of threads asking for specific how to advice and after people take the time to give detailed answers, he drops that idea and brings up a new one. 

People get discouraged when they spend the time to give elaborate answers, only to find that the question was only a hypothetical one. 

Keep your enthusiasm and ask your questions.  Your interest in what you want to model may well change once you have the money and space to build your own layout.

 

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by ncandstl576 on Thursday, October 11, 2018 4:18 PM

BigDaddy

Now, now, the OP did warn us it was for future planning.  In fact his only question was how does interchange and tracking rights work.  We need the younger folks to carry on this old man's hobby.

ncandstl There is another prolific poster in the forum who like yourself is in high school.  He starts a lot of threads asking for specific how to advice and after people take the time to give detailed answers, he drops that idea and brings up a new one. 

People get discouraged when they spend the time to give elaborate answers, only to find that the question was only a hypothetical one. 

Keep your enthusiasm and ask your questions.  Your interest in what you want to model may well change once you have the money and space to build your own layout.

 

 

 

Thanks BigDaddy! I'm grateful for the responses I've gotten so far and hope there will be more to come! I do understand why providing answers to questions that won't be needed for the forseeable future can be off-putting, but I did try to make that clear in my original post. 

 

I've always wanted to model the transition era: first-gen diesels painted in eye-catching colors, the streamliners, steam making its final stand - all appealing to me. What location I'd like to model, and if I went with prototype or proto-freelance is where I tend to flip-flop. If I go with the GF&A, doing research - as in, "walk into a library and ask to look in the archives" - will be made easier, only requiring me to drive perhaps 70-80 miles at most. I suppose that's my fall break sorted!

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