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Boys Life 1959 layout

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  • Member since
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  • From: Dover, Pa
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Boys Life 1959 layout
Posted by ED_YORK on Saturday, October 24, 2009 10:52 AM

 I have aquired the old issues of Boys Life magazine for the Glenn Wagner layout.

I will be willing to share copies of the layout to anyone interested.

I do not have file hosting at this time.  I will send a pdf to your email address.

Please email my address [REMOVED] for a pdf of the layout and other info from Boys Life.

Ed

 

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edward horvath
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Posted by Greg H. on Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:59 AM

I would be interested in taking a look.

Greg H.
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Posted by ED_YORK on Sunday, October 25, 2009 6:45 AM

 Greg,

I have the layout in pdf format.  What email address should I use to send ?

Ed

 

edward horvath
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Posted by Greg H. on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 9:19 AM

Ed,

 Did you recieve my e-mail?

Greg H.
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Posted by afzski on Thursday, October 29, 2009 6:00 AM

Ed

 

I as well would like to have a copy - please send pdf to afzski@yahoo.com  Smile

 

Alex

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Posted by seacoast on Thursday, October 29, 2009 11:06 AM

Ed, what scale/guage (O or HO) is the layout in your magazine and what size was it?

George
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Posted by Greg H. on Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:49 PM

Does it matter what scale it is in?

 After all, you can always rescale it.

Greg H.
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Posted by Greg H. on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 12:29 PM

Has anyone heard from Ed?

Greg H.
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Posted by seacoast on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 12:05 PM
No Greg I guess it doesn't matter what scale it was, just thought you knew.
George
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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 12:52 PM

The Boys' Life 1959 layout was just another HO 4X8. Tight curves, switchback industry spurs, not much room for structures or scenery, etc., etc. Fifty-year-old design ideas.

Except for nostalgia, I can't understand why anyone would care, but that's just me.

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Posted by Greg H. on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 1:05 PM

cuyama

The Boys' Life 1959 layout was just another HO 4X8. Tight curves, switchback industry spurs, not much room for structures or scenery, etc., etc. Fifty-year-old design ideas.

Except for nostalgia, I can't understand why anyone would care, but that's just me.

Well, given that I hadn't seen it and don't mind looking for ideas that can be applied to a smaller scale ( in the same area ) even just another HO 4x8 with tight curves, holds the promise of something I might not have thought of before.

 

Greg H.
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Posted by steinjr on Thursday, November 05, 2009 3:17 PM

 

Greg H.

cuyama

The Boys' Life 1959 layout was just another HO 4X8. Tight curves, switchback industry spurs, not much room for structures or scenery, etc., etc. Fifty-year-old design ideas.

Except for nostalgia, I can't understand why anyone would care, but that's just me.

Well, given that I hadn't seen it and don't mind looking for ideas that can be applied to a smaller scale ( in the same area ) even just another HO 4x8 with tight curves, holds the promise of something I might not have thought of before.

 

 Possible, but not likely.

 Here: http://www.trainplayer.com/Site3/FeaturePages/user_layouts_gallery.html#Boys_Life_4x8 - it took all of 2 minutes to find using google, with keywords:

Boy's life 1959 layout

And then having to find the new link on the trainplayer.com web site, since it had been reorganized since the last update of the google cache.

Smile,
Stein

 

 

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Posted by Greg H. on Thursday, November 05, 2009 3:33 PM

Wow!

Talk about a busy layout - reminds me of some of those Atlas track plans where they try and cover the entire area with track.

Greg H.
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Posted by steinjr on Thursday, November 05, 2009 3:36 PM

 

Greg H.

Wow!

Talk about a busy layout - reminds me of some of those Atlas track plans where they try and cover the entire area with track.

 Yup. Which kinda was the point Byron was making :-)

 Grin,
 Stein

 

 

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Posted by Greg H. on Thursday, November 05, 2009 3:54 PM

To be fair, I have seen some 4x8's that were not to bad - indeed would have been fairly decent rescaled to N or Z scale, while still retaining the 4x8 size, I'm not sure that layout would benefit from anything but Z and doubtful of that.

Greg H.
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Posted by Texas Zepher on Friday, November 06, 2009 9:02 PM

Hmmm,  while I am not in the "anti-spaghetti" bowl 4x8 camp, I find very little to like about that layout. 

To me it doesn't look like anything Altas has ever proposed.  Those that do might want to do a closer comparison.  The Altas plans at least attempted to have a rhyme and reason and convey some element of real railroading.

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Posted by WVM_Nut on Friday, November 27, 2009 5:26 PM

 Actually, I've seen the color photos of this layout as they were in BL and it wasn't all that bad. Mountains weren't taking up 3/4's of the layout. This layout had a small town in the center. The switchback down the center was actually a trolley/interurban. It was rather Midwestern as I recall, quite flat.

There was another layout in BLM as well that I recall, it was photos only, I believe the year was 1969 and either July or August. It was a nicely done island layout, my wild eyed guess would've been 5 x 9, it looked bigger than 4 x 8, but no track plan was given. 

Yes, those layouts are old school, but they serve to show an era in the hobby which we will never get back. I must admit, I wonder whatever happened to those layouts. When you were a kid in those days, such things were really cool.

 

 

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Posted by Oakhurst Railroad Engineer on Friday, November 27, 2009 11:17 PM

I remember that other layout article.  If it was 1969, I would have been 7 years old.  I think that article helped me fall in love with model trains.  Combine that with the Sears Christmas "Wish Book" filled with several pages of "train sets" and you have the beginning of a great hobby ...

Remember, those articles showed kids like me there was a different way to build a layout ... not just a couple of symmetric loops or a figure eight for running around and around ... there was switching of industies and switchbacks and small yards to make up trains ...

Marty

 

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Posted by MoJo on Thursday, December 10, 2009 2:19 PM
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Gentlemen,

I am a "Boys' Life model railroad researcher."

I got interested in model railroading through Boys' Life.  I first saw the BL model railroad when it was published in 1972.

A little history:

BL has published several model railroads over the years.  The first full model railroad construction started in 1959. 

That first layout was an HO 4 x 8 folded dogbone layout.  It had mountains, buildings and so forth.  It was expanded with a yard module to make it a 5 x 8 layout.  The series ran in bits and pieces into 1966.  Over the years, I doubt any boy actually built the layout since it took so long to publish all the articles.  A lot of these articles were eventually collected by the BSA into a booklet titled "Model Railroading."  From time to time you might be able to find it on ebay.

I have also found a module construction article that was published in the mid 60's.  The exact date escapes me right now.

Learning from their experiences, I suspect the publishers wanted to put together a series of articles that a boy could read within a year, thus the 1971-72 layout articles were published.  This layout is the one in Train Player.  

A lot of the structures from the first layout and the module were transferred to the second layout.

The one layout that eludes me, that I know existed, was a 4 x 4 N scale layout.  There is a photograph related article in the December 1971 issue of BL, (the same issue that is the first of the second HO layout articles) that has a couple of pictures of the layout.  I remember seeing the layout in a previous magazine, but for the life of me, I cannot find it.

The late Glenn Wagner was the man who put together all or most of these articles.  He was the "Linn Westcott" of BL.  

I kept all the original articles from the 1971-72 layout.  And I've acquired a few of the back issues as well.

I've also acquired many of the articles prior to that.  I emailed BL some years ago, and a gentleman sent me photocopies of all the Wagner articles - just not the 4 x 4 N scale layout.

There are other construction articles that have appeared in BL from time to time over the years, even some that you can search out on google books.  Out there are a lot of BL issues as far back as 1990.

Joe

 

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Posted by wm3798 on Friday, December 11, 2009 1:51 PM

 I only vaguely remember any MR articles in Boys Life.  What always stuck with me was the "Think and Grin" column...  What a bunch of groaners those jokes were!

 

Lee

Route of the Alpha Jets  www.wmrywesternlines.net

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Posted by ED_YORK on Sunday, December 13, 2009 12:36 PM

 Hi,

 If you are interested in seeing the layout, just email me at edward1222@aol and I can forward the layout with other articles

 

Ed

edward horvath
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Posted by ED_YORK on Sunday, December 13, 2009 12:41 PM

 Hi Joe,

I have collected the back issues for the 1958-1959 Glenn Wagner HO layout as well as the building, scenery etc that followed.

However, some of the later issues of 1960 on have more info that I might be interested in.

Please email me at edward1222@aol.com, you might be able to fill in my blank spots.  

I'm planning to process all the article to scan data and have some local teens help build the layout.

 

Thanks for the history,

 

Ed

 

 

edward horvath
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Posted by up831 on Monday, January 18, 2010 2:49 PM

I too remember those layout articles very well.  Eventually, I went through all of my BL's and cut out every article I had including the layout expansion done about 2-3 years after the original articles.  The layout setting was in New England because Mr. Wagner made a point of stating that most of the structures were scratchbuilt and based on real buildings in Laconia, NH.  Personally I thought those structures were priceless!  I never could figure out why some enterprising mfr never made any versions of those bldgs. into kits.  While the planning concepts may be dated, that doesn't necessarily mean they are no longer valid.  This was a time when most of us were just getting old enough to turn from our toy trains into scale modeling.  Quite possibly Glen Wagner's layout may have inspired more of us to get involved in this hobby than would ever be known.  I know that in my case, it was the BL layout and Linn Wescott's "HO Railroad That Grows" that influenced me more than any other sources.  I still have both!

Less is more,...more or less!

Jim (with a nod to Mr. Van Der Rohe)

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Posted by PASMITH on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:54 AM
Here are some rough plans and pictures of my HO/HOn30 4X8 from the early 80's. Peter Smith, Memphis
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Posted by JimRCGMO on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:43 PM

steinjr

Possible, but not likely.

 Here: http://www.trainplayer.com/Site3/FeaturePages/user_layouts_gallery.html#Boys_Life_4x8 - it took all of 2 minutes to find using google, with keywords:

Boy's life 1959 layout

And then having to find the new link on the trainplayer.com web site, since it had been reorganized since the last update of the google cache.

That is one of the layouts, but not the major one by Glenn Wagner that ran in BL over several issues. I have the Boy Scouts brochure/booklet with the main one (and further back in the booklet, they have 2-3 pages on the one you found above.

The BL layout I am more familiar with did have tight curves (18" radius mostly, with the inner loops being 15" I believe - don't have the booklet here with me at the moment), but it also had a lot of (for the time) useful cost-saving and other techniques (like using Homasote and breaking it and stacking the pieces to get some simple but effective-looking mountain rock areas. The series of articles also had plans for building your own stock pens, loading ramps, etc., and they later (also in the booklet) added a small yard with the Atlas turntable (almost the only ready-to-buy one back then) and servicing area.

I'll dig up my scans and put the main layout up here. Wait a bit...

Here's the main layout:

The layout plan (in the red-brown rectangle is a bit hard to see, but they also did an 'overhead view', and you can see more of the layout plan (without most structures on the layout) in this:

Hope that gives those interested, an idea of what the layout was like.

 

Jim in Cape Girardeau

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Posted by Doc in CT on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:33 PM

Texas Zepher
To me it doesn't look like anything Altas has ever proposed.  Those that do might want to do a closer comparison.  The Altas plans at least attempted to have a rhyme and reason and convey some element of real railroading.

 

I believe that is because John Armstrong designed a number of them for Atlas (making good use of the track Atlas had at the time - which means no sectional curves greater than 22in or large number turnouts).

Co-owner of the proposed CT River Valley RR (HO scale) http://home.comcast.net/~docinct/CTRiverValleyRR/

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Posted by BC Southern on Monday, March 13, 2017 11:00 PM

Hi! Ed; I am trying to get back into HO scale railroading. When I was a teenager, I built the Wagner layout from Boys Life; but through a devorce I had over 20 years ago, I lost it. I would really like a pdf file sent to me of all the information about that layout if you have it. I would really like to build it again. My E-mail address is [REMOVED].    THANKS!

 

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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 9:28 AM

JimRCGMO is correct thats the '59 layout.  The series started in Dec 1959 issue.

Here is an N scale 4x8 idea based on the 1959 Boys Life layout. I have been playing around with.  Back then I spent hours studying the series, wishing I had the room and money to build it. 

The orange lines were done in Xtrakcad to fit the upper bunk of a bunk bed.  When I decided to enlarge it to 4x8 I overlayed the bunk design on the Boys Life photo using Corel Paint Shop Pro. Then I imported into and redrew it in SCARM.  Track is Peco55.  Min mainline radius 14".  Grades are under 1.5% except the right hand inner loop which is just under 2.5% (edit revised grade to under 2%)  The tracks going off the top would go to two seperate staging yards. No connection between them. 

I probably won't build it.  I am more inclined to a shelf layout design

 

 

 

 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by Ron High on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 9:47 AM

BEST Scale Trains did bring out the Merrimack Farmers Exchange a few years back, As a teenager and scout I did build a couple of the buildings using Walthers building papers , cardboard and balsa strips. They were a lot less expensive than todays Best kit.

http://www.besttrains.com/products_1094.html

Ron High

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