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Looking for honest suggestions and opinions

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MSM
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Looking for honest suggestions and opinions
Posted by MSM on Monday, July 26, 2021 11:45 AM

I'm reposting after my MR account was hacked earlier this month, sorry if this caused anyone elses account to incur any problems.

Thanks in advance...

 

 

 

 

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, July 26, 2021 6:43 PM

Welcome back!

 

Ed

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, July 26, 2021 7:09 PM

Hello All,

MSM
Looking for honest suggestions and opinions

That's a lot of track in a small space.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, July 26, 2021 7:47 PM

As I told you before when you had it posted, I think it is a very good yard/terminal design.

It has similarities to mine:

 

I would be intersted to know how much additional space you have and how you plan to use it.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, July 26, 2021 9:43 PM

I have several problems with it.

The yard is buried back in the layout with means anybody switching will have to reach, see over the engine facilities or RIP track to the switching lead.  Very inconvenient and risks knocking stuff over.

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

If you do have a hostler there may be issues with them trying to work the engine facilites at the same time the yard job is working the left end of the yard.  Two bodies competing for the same floor space.

Also consider that you can't depart out of the bowl of the yard.  EVERYTHING has to go thru the R&D tracks.  That makes them the chokepoint.  I much prefer a crossover scheme where you can depart out of any track in the yard, that gives way more flexibility to the yardmaster, especially if he is running a lot of short locals.

As far as your questions, I prefer the large square under the track magnets, just marj the location with a tie painted yellow or white.

Switch control, I prefer manual in a yard, but reach issues could be a problem, with all the stuff between the yard and aisle.  Powered switches would require a large footprint for a control panel.

Otherwise its a very complete yard and generally, should be very workable.

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 26, 2021 9:57 PM

dehusman
n my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

Laugh You are exactly right about that Dave.

My engine facility only will exist as a show-place for my brass locomotives. I will probably take one out for a run every once in a while.

-Kevin

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 ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:05 PM

dehusman

I have several problems with it.

The yard is buried back in the layout with means anybody switching will have to reach, see over the engine facilities or RIP track to the switching lead.  Very inconvenient and risks knocking stuff over.

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

If you do have a hostler there may be issues with them trying to work the engine facilites at the same time the yard job is working the left end of the yard.  Two bodies competing for the same floor space.

Also consider that you can't depart out of the bowl of the yard.  EVERYTHING has to go thru the R&D tracks.  That makes them the chokepoint.  I much prefer a crossover scheme where you can depart out of any track in the yard, that gives way more flexibility to the yardmaster, especially if he is running a lot of short locals.

As far as your questions, I prefer the large square under the track magnets, just marj the location with a tie painted yellow or white.

Switch control, I prefer manual in a yard, but reach issues could be a problem, with all the stuff between the yard and aisle.  Powered switches would require a large footprint for a control panel.

Otherwise its a very complete yard and generally, should be very workable.

 

 

You obviously studied it a little hard than I did. But I do seem to remember something from the old posts about access to both sides? I could be wrong, but I think the fine prints says "36" aisle" behind the yard.

Yes there are a number features that I chose to leave out or minimize on my track plan, I guess it does depend on your goals and interests.

I had a hard time reading all fine print..... But clicking on my track plan is not much better I suppose.

But I now see the layout space is 24 x 24 - not sure I would devote that much of the room to the "terminal" if I only had that much space. But then again not everyone would use 1500 sq ft the way I plan to.

I think in these days of "prototype modeling" it is easy to get caught up in having all the "correct" stuff even for freelance modeling.

And the OP does state in his info on the plan, in the fine print, that the yard operations are the focus of the layout. Unlike mine where the thirty staged mainline trains are the focus, but there still are opertunities for switching and such.

Maybe the OP would benefit from reading my layout thread? Or maybe he has?

I would link to it, but I lost the secret code for doing that and I'm just not that much of a computer geek since so much ofthis site is not user friendly.....

Dave, I would be interested in your thoughts about my track plan, construction starts soon.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:15 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I would link to it, but I lost the secret code for doing that

I have the secrect code! I will use my powers to post a link to the ATLANTIC CENTRAL Track Plan for Sheldon.

-Kevin

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 JDawg on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:29 PM

I think that the OPs track plan is a solid one, but in my opinion it is too cluttered. It is a spaghetti bowl, albeit an organized one. That being said, if you (the OP) really like this type of operations, I would say go for it. But I would definitely thin out some trackage. Again, just my opinion, others will have different ones.   

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:45 PM

Thank you Kevin.

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 26, 2021 11:05 PM

JDawg
I think that the OPs track plan is a solid one, but in my opinion it is too cluttered. It is a spaghetti bowl, albeit an organized one. That being said, if you (the OP) really like this type of operations, I would say go for it. But I would definitely thin out some trackage.

Hi JDawg,

I think the OP should keep his track plan intact. Suggesting that it is an 'organized spaghetti bowl' is a somewhat contradictory statement IMHO (no offense intended JDawg). My understanding of spaghetti bowls is that they are neither organized nor well thought out. I agree with others who have said that it is a well designed plan. I think that simplifying it would be counterproductive. The OP wanted a complex plan and that is what he has, and apparently the plan will work. I think it would be fun to operate on.

My 2 Cents

Dave

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 6:13 AM

dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops.

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 7:36 AM

There is a 36 inch wide aisle on the backside of the yard "accessible by a door", what ever that means.

Its going to take a another person to operate that side of the yard.  Since the other shelves of the layout are against the wall, I don't see an easy way for the person in the middle to get to the backside of the yard.

There is probably a way to cut out some of the railroad maintenance functional tracks and narrow the yard by 6 to 8 inches, making it an easier reach from the pit.  

- Douglas

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Posted by JDawg on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 8:49 AM

hon30critter

 

 
JDawg
I think that the OPs track plan is a solid one, but in my opinion it is too cluttered. It is a spaghetti bowl, albeit an organized one. That being said, if you (the OP) really like this type of operations, I would say go for it. But I would definitely thin out some trackage.

 

Hi JDawg,

I think the OP should keep his track plan intact. Suggesting that it is an 'organized spaghetti bowl' is a somewhat contradictory statement IMHO (no offense intended JDawg). My understanding of spaghetti bowls is that they are neither organized nor well thought out. I agree with others who have said that it is a well designed plan. I think that simplifying it would be counterproductive. The OP wanted a complex plan and that is what he has, and apparently the plan will work. I think it would be fun to operate on.

My 2 Cents

Dave

 

 

Sorry by the contradictory statement. I just meant that there is a lot of trackage. In my opinion, it's too much track. Again, that's just my opinion. I comple agree that the layout would be a blast to operate on. I just really feel there is too much track for the given space. No offense taken HOn30, the OP asked for helpful suggestions, and that is what we each offered, though on different sides of the operations isle. 

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

Yesterday is History.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 8:58 AM

richhotrain

 

 
dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

 

 

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops.

 

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich

 

I will agree that engine terminals are only useful if they are "planned" into the operating scheme, and generally only for layouts operated by multiple crews, not so much for lone wolf operations.

My plan for my engine facilities is pretty minimal, separate steam and diesel areas to store extra power, add to the scene, but most importantly to facilitate power change operations on thru trains.

That will be the whole deal for some trains, come out of staging, run around the first half of the layout, pull in the yard, get new power, continue on thru the rest of the layout, return to staging.

Other trains may also set out, or pick up blocks of cars as well as getting a power change.

So I need just enough engine terminal to park four or five diesel lash ups and eight to ten steam locos on ready tracks.

If I was going to find something wrong with the OP's plan, it would be the short length of the yard, but he only has the space he has.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 9:16 AM

richhotrain
 
dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

  

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops. 

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich

I'd think about that a bit before you take that step, Rich.

I agree that diesel-era layouts may not have much need for an elaborate engine terminal. But a steam era layout is a different animal.

In the prototype world, steam locos were maintenance nightmares. Steamers would generally go only a few hundred miles before requiring some work, so locos were swapped out on trains pretty frequently. That means a lot of terminal activity even in a smallish facility.

On my own layout the Casper engine terminal is the only one for a couple hundred "miles" in either direction (just as in real life). So with very few exceptions, every train passing through Casper requires an engine change. Something like that makes the terminal an integral part of yard operations, and not just a scenic element.

Od course our models don't need all that maintenance, but it's about simulating the prototype.

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 10:31 AM

If you're going to "operate" your layout, that should include the engine facilities, too.

I expect the roundhouse and environs to be quite busy on the subject layout.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 3:05 PM

Hi there. I zoomed in the image and I saw some of the fine print. I see that there are plans for loops in there - sorry if I missed that in the previous post. It might be useful to post the entire plan to have an overall view. As is, it appears to be a huge locomotive facility and yard - something that someone would build to store a lot of rolling stock. However, because of the multiple returning tracks and loops, there would in fact be not too much room for storage. 

Simon

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 6:19 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain 
dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene. 

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops. 

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich 

I will agree that engine terminals are only useful if they are "planned" into the operating scheme, and generally only for layouts operated by multiple crews, not so much for lone wolf operations.

Yeah, I think that is my problem with my engine servicing facility. I am a lone wolf. "Operating" an engine servicing facility does not become a high priority when trying to operate two yards, a coach yard and a freight yard on my layout, plus working sidings for a bunch of large freight houses.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 6:22 PM

Pruitt
 
richhotrain 
dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.  

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops. 

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich 

I'd think about that a bit before you take that step, Rich.

Therein lies my problem. I keep going back and forth, thinking about whether to keep the engine servicing facility or abandon it with something more functional, whatever that might be.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 6:24 PM

7j43k

If you're going to "operate" your layout, that should include the engine facilities, too.

I expect the roundhouse and environs to be quite busy on the subject layout. 

Ed 

That's what I thought too when I planned and built the engine servicing facility, but it has become the least visited section of my layout. As I previously mentioned, it may be a problem unique to lone wolf operators.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 7:57 PM

richhotrain

 

 
7j43k

If you're going to "operate" your layout, that should include the engine facilities, too.

I expect the roundhouse and environs to be quite busy on the subject layout. 

Ed 

 

 

That's what I thought too when I planned and built the engine servicing facility, but it has become the least visited section of my layout. As I previously mentioned, it may be a problem unique to lone wolf operators.

 

Rich

 

Rich, when I was part of a regular operating group that met every week at a different persons layout, engine terminals were often an important part of the scheduled activity.

On some layouts, at least some of the trains were not fully staged in advance. Your train orders would tell you which locos to retrive from the engine terminal ready tracks, which caboose to pickup, and which block, or blocks, of cars in the yard will be your train.

Like wise, trains that terminated in the yard, required that locos and cabooses be "put away", either by the road crew or by a yard hostler.

My operational plan will include these moves for some trains, and will include power change moves as I described above.

As related above, steam locos seldom traveled more than about 100 miles without some service. Most steam stayed on the same subdivision and simply ran back and forth between two engine terminals.

For example trains moving west from Baltimore on the original B&O mainline where pulled from Baltimore to Brunswick MD, a distance of about 70 miles, typically with two Mikados. At Brunswick the power was switched out for bigger power for the next leg over the mountains and the original power was serviced and put on trains returning to Baltimore.  Some of those Mikados likely logged many thousands of miles all on that 70 mile stretch of track.

So while I am only modeling one sub division terminal, that is the kind of operation I am trying to simulate.

But I don't need to get too heavy into some of the stuff the OP is planning. I will have a work train parked in the engine terminal, I will have separate diesel and steam areas. There will be a caboose track. I will not have any extensive back shops or major repair facilities.

So, a west bound train might leave the staging with two Mikados on the point, pull in the yard, and have them switched out for two 2-8-8-0's, and then just continue on, complete the trip around the layout, and return to staging. The yard and terminal are "roughly" half way thru the scenic portion of the layout.

Sheldon

      

    

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 8:00 PM

richhotrain

 

 
7j43k

If you're going to "operate" your layout, that should include the engine facilities, too.

I expect the roundhouse and environs to be quite busy on the subject layout. 

Ed 

 

 

That's what I thought too when I planned and built the engine servicing facility, but it has become the least visited section of my layout. As I previously mentioned, it may be a problem unique to lone wolf operators.

 

Rich

 

 

If there's only one of you, and tasks for 8, you're gonna be stretched thin, for sure.  So you pick whatever you enjoy most, I assume.

I have seen at least one layout where it was entirely engine servicing.  THEN you've got no choice.

On a biggish layout, and if I was by myself, I suspect I'd end up either running trains round and round ('cause it's fun to watch them) or doing industrial switching.  Depending on my mood.

 

Ed

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 8:05 PM

7j43k

 

 
richhotrain

 

 
7j43k

If you're going to "operate" your layout, that should include the engine facilities, too.

I expect the roundhouse and environs to be quite busy on the subject layout. 

Ed 

 

 

That's what I thought too when I planned and built the engine servicing facility, but it has become the least visited section of my layout. As I previously mentioned, it may be a problem unique to lone wolf operators.

 

Rich

 

 

 

 

If there's only one of you, and tasks for 8, you're gonna be stretched thin, for sure.  So you pick whatever you enjoy most, I assume.

I have seen at least one layout where it was entirely engine servicing.  THEN you've got no choice.

On a biggish layout, and if I was by myself, I suspect I'd end up either running trains round and round ('cause it's fun to watch them) or doing industrial switching.  Depending on my mood.

 

Ed

 

And that is why I designed my layout to do both of those things when I don't have a crew of eight.

I will be able to put five trains on display loops and still switch most of the industries.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 9:04 PM

Yeah, I agree with all of the comments shaming me for not using the engine servicing facility that I created. Laugh

Where I went wrong was early on when I first got into HO scale modeling back in 2004. I had no idea where I was going at the time, so I bought everything that appealed to me from bridges to large passenger stations to roundhouses to turntables to coaling towers, blah, blah, blah.

But over these past 17 years, I have refined my modeling tastes and found myself with stuff that I don't want or need, not only structures but also locomotives and rolling stock, especially passenger cars.

Now, I find myself staring at my large engine servicing facility and asking myself, why?

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 9:17 PM

richhotrain

Yeah, I agree with all of the comments shaming me for not using the engine servicing facility that I created. Laugh

Where I went wrong was early on when I first got into HO scale modeling back in 2004. I had no idea where I was going at the time, so I bought everything that appealed to me from bridges to large passenger stations to roundhouses to turntables to coaling towers, blah, blah, blah.

But over these past 17 years, I have refined my modeling tastes and found myself with stuff that I don't want or need, not only structures but also locomotives and rolling stock, especially passenger cars.

Now, I find myself staring at my large engine servicing facility and asking myself, why?

Rich

 

Rich, it's fine if those aspects of operation don't interest you, but at least now you have some prototype context, as to why and how others may be using theirs.

I'm sure there is someone on here who took one look at my track plan and said "what? there is no "destination"? - only one town?", or "display loops?, real model railroaders only run point to point".

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 10:57 PM

richhotrain
But over these past 17 years, I have refined my modeling tastes and found myself with stuff that I don't want or need, not only structures but also locomotives and rolling stock, especially passenger cars.

It has taken me 40 years, two scales, two eras, and five layouts to figure out what I really want out of this hobby.

I also have a lot of passenger cars that do not thrill me all that much.

-Kevin

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 Tuesday, July 27, 2021 11:19 PM

SeeYou190
 
richhotrain
But over these past 17 years, I have refined my modeling tastes and found myself with stuff that I don't want or need, not only structures but also locomotives and rolling stock, especially passenger cars. 

It has taken me 40 years, two scales, two eras, and five layouts to figure out what I really want out of this hobby.

I also have a lot of passenger cars that do not thrill me all that much.

-Kevin 

To borrow a lyric from U2, I stll haven't found what I'm looking for.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 6:35 AM

richhotrain

 

 
SeeYou190
 
richhotrain
But over these past 17 years, I have refined my modeling tastes and found myself with stuff that I don't want or need, not only structures but also locomotives and rolling stock, especially passenger cars. 

It has taken me 40 years, two scales, two eras, and five layouts to figure out what I really want out of this hobby.

I also have a lot of passenger cars that do not thrill me all that much.

-Kevin 

 

 

To borrow a lyric from U2, I stll haven't found what I'm looking for.

 

Rich

 

I must be unusual, I started in this hobby at age 10, I'm 64 now, and by age 20 I know exactly what kind of model railroad I wanted. All my layouts since then have reflected my current goals.

I started out as a teen modeling the 60's, but other than that era change to 1954, I have never changed scale, locale, or type of railroad. By my 20's I had most of my design and operational goals in place. By my 30's I had the space and money.

In my 50's I perfected my operational plan and partually took down one layout to redo it.

So most everything I have gathered fits my goals perfectly.

Now to build the last version......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by NVSRR on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:19 PM

I noticed the track spacing is 2 1/4.  Through the yard where you have. 30. Inch dimension I count 18 tracks through that dimension point.   That right there would need to be at least 46 inches for all that track.    Or did I miss something?
shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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