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My Plan For A Space Saving Timesaver

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My Plan For A Space Saving Timesaver
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:26 AM

I need some input from people that have built versions of John Allen’s classic Timesaver switching puzzle.

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My next layout will incorporate this classic as a completely separate element in the town of Centerville. This will be on a hinged section that covers the four curved tracks that go into staging.

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The intention is to use three wye turnouts in the locations indicated to reduce the overall length of the Timesaver. I think I have the track capacities correct for each location, and I also believe I have the track relationships correct even though I am going to use a different style turnout that normal.

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This will only ever see 36-40 foot long freight cars and an SW-7, NW-2, or S2 switcher, so the tight turnouts should never be a problem.

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I am going to scenic the Timesaver with industrial buildings to provide a reason to spot the cars.

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Since this will be a hinged section to provide access to the hidden trackage below, all the Tortoise Switch Machines will be inside of the buildings and the linkage run underneath the subroadbed to the throw bars on each of the turnouts.

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I am hoping the whole module will be less that 48 inches long. I have not yet mocked it up to verify this.

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Please let me know your thoughts, and especially if I am making a big mistake that is not obvious to me.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by UNCLEBUTCH on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:56 AM

Perhaps I just don't understand the idea.

All the tracks dead end, where do the cars come from,where do they go ?

How will you decide what to move where ?   Why?

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:01 PM

UNCLEBUTCH
Perhaps I just don't understand the idea. All the tracks dead end, where do the cars come from,where do they go ? How will you decide what to move where ?   Why?

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John Allen's Timesaver is a switching puzzle. Each track can only hold a certain number of cars.

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Normally, from what I understand, it is run with one locomotive and five freight cars. You use whatever method you like to decide where each of the cars needs to move to, then you try to spot the cars in the correct location as quickly as possible.

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Nothing ever comes or goes from the Timesaver, it just keeps moving around.

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They are great fun, and the basic rules of a Timesaver have been around for 50+ years.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:14 PM

Its a puzzle.  Trying to move multiple cars to multiple destinations in the least amount of time....or least number of moves.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mtAqlOhUoY

 

- Douglas

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:28 PM

 They key to the Timesaver (and other switchign puzzle plans) is that the tracks can only hold the exact number of cars. So long as you maintain that, it doesn't matter what track you use, and the shorter cars can easily negotiate smaller turnouts.

 I used to have a DOS game that was a Timesaver. COuld play as much as I wanted, with no space used.

                                       --Randy


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Posted by Colorado Ray on Thursday, January 9, 2020 9:36 PM

My adult son is a huge fan of LEGOs.  We just bought the track and switches for a LEGO timesaver.  Turns out to be about 11 feet long.  Going to to put it along a wall in a second floor loft.  That area could have made a nice scale ISL, but I have to admit the LEGO trains are kind of fun.  The scale prototype modeler in me cringes when I say that, lol.

Ray

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:53 AM

I am surprised I have never seen a LEGO Timesaver at a train show. Nearly all the good sized shows in Florida and Georgia have a LEGO group participating.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 10, 2020 6:01 AM

Doughless

Its a puzzle.  Trying to move multiple cars to multiple destinations in the least amount of time....or least number of moves.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mtAqlOhUoY 

Zzz

LOL.  I gave up watching the video at 2:36. It provides a good argument against yard operations.

Zzz

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Friday, January 10, 2020 7:25 AM

Kevin have you though about the double timesaver? If I recall correctly John Allen had a pair (or more) of timesavers which he would push together. He then put an engine on each timesaver and the engines then interchanged with each other. This could be useful if you wish to consider connecting the timesaver to the rest of the layout.

That said I’m saying you should nessearily connect the timesaver to the layout, I would as I like to see the way cars move across the distance of the entire layout and I like how cars can be interchanged from train to train. Still you may not be that type of person, so leave it as you’ve planned!

Good Luck either way!

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 10, 2020 8:13 AM

Sometimes, I watch the real thing, on VRF's Waupaca, WI cam.  A local shows up, and switches the Waupace Foundry, Plant #1, but it also drags along cars for other industries, like the Foundry's plants #2 and #3.

Usually mid afternoon.  Sometime I wonder, just how long it takes for the conductor to get out of the cab, and throw a switch.

If the length of that video was as long as the real thing takes, it would be about a 8 hr. video!

Never got into switching puzzels.  I haven't switched the industries on my layout in a long time.  Surprise  I better move some cars around before I take any more photos, or somebodys going to call  it out. Laugh   But, Photobucket hasn't straightened out my account yet, no need to take pics I can't show.  Angry

Mike.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 10, 2020 9:26 AM

 A Timesaver doesn;t reflect real switching operation in the least. It's strictly a game. Some will say "John Allen LOVED the Timesaver" - yes, as a GAME, after the real operations on the GD were done, a few die-hards would be invited upstairs with John to shoot the bull and play the Timesaver game. At least, according to some who were there, like Andy Sperandeo 

 In the context of a game - hey, it's played with trains, how bad can it be? It's fun. Many train shows, some group brings one and lets anyoen have a go in return for a small donation.

 There was a period when most every track plan had a Timesaver stuffed in at one of the towns. One author ALWAYS included at least one TImesaver is all his plans.

 The name Timesaver itself is another classic John thing - it doesn't save any time, it's a time WASTER. 

 AN even simpler puzzle is the Inglenook - and even better, there are plenty of examples of the track arrangement existing in the real world. SO you cna incorporate one of those in a layout and no one would be the wiser. Depending on how you route cars to spots, you could do it simply most times, with no real puzzling invovled, just drop the empties, pick up any loads. Or you could direct enough cars to the area that the tracks are filled and you have to actually solve the puzzle to get your train switched out. 

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 10, 2020 10:01 AM

rrinker
 A Timesaver doesn;t reflect real switching operation in the least. It's strictly a game.

Yep, I get that. 

rrinker
it doesn't save any time, it's a time WASTER. 

Laugh I also get that.

Just chatting along with everyone else.  I'm getting over a messed up knee thing, so I'm spending way more time sitting here, instead of my normal routine.

Mike.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 10, 2020 10:18 AM

 I was mainly directing that at Rich, who said after watching 2:36 of the Timesaver video, he didn't want to switch cars any more. Big Smile

                           --Randy

 


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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 10, 2020 10:27 AM

SPSOT fan
Kevin have you though about the double timesaver?

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This will be in the city of Centerville on my eventual layout, so it will not be a double.

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As I said in the opening post, this will be built onto the hinged section that covers the entry into staging, so it will not connect to other trackage. It is intended to be a pure Timesaver as thought up by John Allen.

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I am using small WYE switches to make it as short as possible. I hope I can mock it up this weekend and get an idea how big it will be.

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I have seen many fine examples of Timesavers being built into layout trackage.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 10, 2020 11:52 AM

rrinker

 I was mainly directing that at Rich, who said after watching 2:36 of the Timesaver video, he didn't want to switch cars any more. Big Smile

                           --Randy 

Moi???   Laugh

I offered that comment mostly tongue in cheek.

But, honestly, watching that guy sitting there, flipping switches...or whatever he was doing, had me yawning.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 10, 2020 1:14 PM

 It's meaningless to watch someone run a Timesaver if you don't have the intial position and the desired finish in front of you - it looks just like you say, a bunch of aimless flipping and flopping around for no apparent reason. If you had an idea of which cars need to go where, it would make more sense the moves being made.

 But it's also nothing like actual switching.

                               --Randy


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Posted by cuyama on Friday, January 10, 2020 1:46 PM

rrinker
But it's also nothing like actual switching.

+1

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 10, 2020 3:41 PM

cuyama
+1

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I've been waiting all day for Cuyama to show up and respond to my thread, and all I get is a "+1"?

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I need to know if there are any potential unknown problems to building a Timesaver more compact by using WYE turnouts.

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Can I benefit from your wisdom and experience?

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, January 10, 2020 3:56 PM

SeeYou190
I've been waiting all day for Cuyama to show up and respond to my thread, and all I get is a "+1"? . I need to know if there are any potential unknown problems to building a Timesaver more compact by using WYE turnouts. . Can I benefit from your wisdom and experience?

No need to wait around for me, I don't have much to add on Timesavers. Personally, I don't like the puzzle aspect of just moving a single empty slot around, which is the challenge of a Timesaver. I have actually run on one of John Allen’s original Timesavers at a Pacific Coast Region show. For me, meh. But YMMV

In about the same space, Linn Westcott’s Switchman’s Nightmare could provide more realistic switching action. But that’s not what you asked.

If you want to use wye turnouts, it probably will work fine, as long as they are not too tight for the equipment. Just pay attention to the length in the clear for the runaround and the spurs, since that’s the point of the original puzzle.

Byron

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 10, 2020 4:33 PM

cuyama
No need to wait around for me, I don't have much to add on Timesavers.

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Byron, Thank you for responding. I don't comment on your posts very often, because layout design is not my thing, and I am very poor at it for sure.

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However, I enjoy reading your thoughts and oppinions even if I don't leave a comment. You really seem to have a thorough understanding about layout design and are very constructive when you respond.

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Thank you for what you said. The reason for the WYEs is because the length needed to clear the adjacent track is less than with a standard turnout.

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I will mock it up this weekend and see how it looks.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:02 PM

cuyama
 
SeeYou190
I've been waiting all day for Cuyama to show up and respond to my thread, and all I get is a "+1"? .  

Personally, I don't like the puzzle aspect of just moving a single empty slot around, which is the challenge of a Timesaver. I have actually run on one of John Allen’s original Timesavers at a Pacific Coast Region show. For me, meh. 

+1

 

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 10, 2020 7:44 PM

 I used to cheat on those puzzles with the 15 pieces and 16 spots - pop them all out and put it back together with them in the right order!

                                     --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 10, 2020 9:43 PM

rrinker
I used to cheat on those puzzles with the 15 pieces and 16 spots

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OK, so the classic John Allen Timesave plan has spots for 15 cars.

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How many cars are you supposed to play with? I have always heard it was five, then plus the locomotive, you occupied six spots, and have nine remaining.

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I do not think it would be possible, or any fun, to do it with 13 freight cars and a locomotive so you only have one empty spot.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 10, 2020 10:25 PM

 For the purposes of the game, there are 5 spots. Some can hold multiple cars. The original spats are the two at the top which hold 3 cars each, the two lower left which hold 2 cars each, and the far right which holds 2 cars.

 Original rules had 5 cars set up, and one had to be delivered to each spot. Later additions had a random number of cars to be delivered to each spot, never more than the spot could hold. So the upper left, might get 0-3 cars. Bottom left, 0-2, etc. The really trick one was if the middle left and the right both got 2 cars. Place them at the wrong time and you kill your runaround.

For the purposes of the game, the start position for each player is set up exactly the same, and judgement can be based on either time taken, or number of moves. Pretty sure the orginal John Allen one, the loco moved at a set speed, you just had a toggle to change direction. 

 BTW the original Timesaver survived the fire, and is still around today.

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 10, 2020 11:01 PM

rrinker
there are 5 spots. Some can hold multiple cars. The original spats are the two at the top which hold 3 cars each, the two lower left which hold 2 cars each, and the far right which holds 2 cars.

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OK, so where I have the loading dock in the middle of the run-around, that destination should be eliminated.

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Thank you.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 11, 2020 1:06 PM

 Yes, and on the right side where both those tracks have 2 diffenenrt industries - each of those is really just one spot with either a 3 or 2 car capacity.

 If you add in specific door spots or multiple buildings sharing a siding like that, it might make for a more interesting game, although it would also make it more likely that you could set up impossible to solve solutions. Unless you ALWAYS removed the contraint that already spotted cars must remain in place - if instead you say they can be moved (hmm, add a penalty move because any unloading requipment would have to be disconnected and any workers cleared away...) but must be restored to position even if they weren't part of the cars being switched, it could work. Further stretching the bounds of reality but could livenup the game.

                                           --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 SeeYou190 on Saturday, January 11, 2020 5:21 PM

Well... this stinks.

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Even with the super compact #2 WYE turnouts, the whole thing is still just a tad over 5 feet long. I really need to get it down to 54 inches. It does not look like a timesave built into my layout will be possible as I hoped.

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Any ideas are appreciated.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by cuyama on Saturday, January 11, 2020 5:42 PM

If you are willing to stray from the traditional John Allen Timesaver arrangement, there are many designs found on Carl Arendt's Micro Layouts Pages

Arendt Timesavers

Edit: Note also that Inglenooks can be a bit smaller

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Posted by Colorado Ray on Saturday, January 11, 2020 10:21 PM

Since the timesaver is to be a stand alone layout; why not model the 1880's era with 30 ft cars?

Ray

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Sunday, January 12, 2020 12:30 AM

SeeYou190

Any ideas are appreciated. 

What if you built the timesaver in N scale instead of HO? This would work especially well if the timesaver was in the back of your layout (i.e. farther from the isle than HO tracks) in order to make a bit of forced perspective! And you’d definitely fit the timesaver in alot less space!

Now if you want to keep it in HO scale (N scale would look very strange in front of HO!) them what if you built it in some narrow guage, perhaps an industrial railroad. HOn2 1/2 (which is HO scale N guage) would work well!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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