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The Future of Model Railroading

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  • Member since
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Posted by CGW121 on Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:42 AM

Sir Madog

Train sims are quite nice - if you are into computer games. But they don´t give you that "Warren Buffet" feeling of owning a railroad, albeit a model one. And they don´t give you the pride of having dreamed it, planned it and finally built it, using your own imgaination and creativity, and not somebody else´s. Add to that the multitude of skills which you develop along the way.

Operating a train with a computer train simulator is for me like a a guy living in a high rise condo and playing "my little farm" on his computer.

There is much more to life than what just fits onto a computer screen.

 

 

The real issue with any train sim is that it is a non hands on experience. Running a 130 mile run is actually boring, at least to me. You also constantly fiddle with the files. It is not a different form of model railroading, you are playing a game. The majority of users really object to such things as brake charging etc. The best of the sims have a cartoonish feel to the graphics and it not operating a railroad it is running trains. I ran MSTS, and Open Rails finally I burned out on them. 

 P.S. Another big plus is I can be a lone wolf if I so choose, with model railroading, or I can operate with a group of friends, something that is hard to do at best with any sim.

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, March 18, 2017 9:46 AM

BRAKIE

 

 
Doughless
But since I run sound, any way to keep a switcher from stalling over a frog without resorting to wiring circuits inside the shell or under the layout, I'd be interested in following.

 

That I don't understand that the problem and I end up scratching my head every time I read about that problem. I never had a issue with my Atlas or Athearn end cab switchers stalling over frogs at slow switching speeds.

I think everybody on this forum knows my thing in the hobby is switching and anybody that has switch cars knows you gotta be up close and personal unlike kicking back and turning on the juice and watch a train run endless loops.

While I enjoy switching cars on TS I still perfer switching on my ISL.

 

 

As Sheldon says, its not really fair to judge an entire brand based upon some poor performers.  

Some of my locos stall.  The same locos over the same frogs.  Others don't.  Its not the track.  Its not the brand.  Its not the series. 

Its only those specific locos.  They simply do not perform up to my standards.

I've torn down trucks.  Rewired trucks.  Checked wheel gauge, track gauge etc.  I had one switcher where one wire was pinched between the green pc board and the shell from the factory, impeding its operation.  Relieved the pinch, allowing the signal to flow freely, and it now works great.

With those specifc locos I assume the signal is not all it should be, but I have not been able to find the problem.  If dead rail can anyway eliminate that, I would be interested.

But I'm not spending $300 on new tech.  I'm not interested helping the developers recoup their R&D costs quickly.  I buy locos.  I don't provide venture capital via purchasing marginally developed products. 

I'm content at selling off the ones that don't work up to my standards until new tech is properly developed and funded by the capital of the people who will profit from it.

If that never happens, that's fine.  Afterall, I only need three locos anyway.  And half the time I run GP38s or 40s, and the longer wheelbase eliminates any problems.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, March 18, 2017 12:03 PM

Dougless,Maybe I'm the luckiest slob in the hobby?

I maintain a 100% trouble free and derailment free operation.Of course all freight cars goes through a inspection before being place in service,all KD or Walthers ProtoMax II couplers and trip is at their proper height and smooth working. My track work is very basic and reliable and wiring consist of two wire from my Tech 6 to the rails..If I need blocks then Atlas selectors will work.

All of that is done by what I was taught back in the 60s or I've learn through experience and learned the hard way.

 

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, March 18, 2017 3:09 PM

BRAKIE

Dougless,Maybe I'm the luckiest slob in the hobby?

I maintain a 100% trouble free and derailment free operation.Of course all freight cars goes through a inspection before being place in service,all KD or Walthers ProtoMax II couplers and trip is at their proper height and smooth working. My track work is very basic and reliable and wiring consist of two wire from my Tech 6 to the rails..If I need blocks then Atlas selectors will work.

All of that is done by what I was taught back in the 60s or I've learn through experience and learned the hard way.

 

 

I don't have problems with track or reliability of any kind.  Nothing I've built has failed, since simple layouts are pretty straight forward.  It was just a few problematic switchers.  Others of the same make and model worked fine.  I have not experienced 100% reliability on any make and model of switcher, except the Atlas S series. 

I'm assuming I'm not the only one who has had this issue with short wheelbased locos, or else the keep-alive products wouldn't sell.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, March 18, 2017 4:24 PM

Doughless
I'm assuming I'm not the only one who has had this issue with short wheelbased locos

You're not.A while ago I remembered this problem I had in '83. While not a short wheel switcher my first N Scale Atlas/Kato RS-3 would stall on the Atlas switch frogs while my Trix FM H10-44(looked more like a H12) would go through those switches at slow switching speed.

My Athearn BB DC SW7 and SW1500 doesn't stall on my Peco medium switches  but,I changed out the wheels to nickel silver and replaced the metal pickup strip with wire..

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by Sir Madog on Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:20 AM

The future of model railroading?

Watch this:

Dead Rail? Check!

R/C? Check!

Bluetooth? Not yet, maybe later!

Battery? Not necessary?

Sound? Check!

Smoke? Check!

DCC? Not necessary!

Extreme Fun? Check!

Price? $5,000 and upward!

 

   Ulrich     

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


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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:44 AM

Hi Ulrich:

Interesting! Obviously live steam, but what are they using for fuel? How long can it run between refuelings? Also, I'm not sure of the scale. Is it HO or larger.

It would be nice to see some of the inner details and how it is re-fueled. It would also be interesting to see it in real operations, i.e. picking up cars, slow speed switching etc.

As for the price, oh heck, it's only money! What else am I going to do with it?

Thanks for the video.

Dave

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Posted by Sir Madog on Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:20 AM

Dave, unfortunately it is a rather poor video of this great engine. The sound is just fantastic, but cannot be heard due to the squeaking noise of the video train accompanying the loco on its run.

The enging is gas-fired, using ordinary propane. Water and fuel will last for round about 20 minutes. It has a regular boiler with flues, a gas burner in the firebox, Walschaerts gear - built like a real steam engine. It´s hand-crafted, hence the high price.

No, it is not HO scale, but 1 scale (1/32) - I hate to say G scale.

Available from Modellbahnen aus Metall

 

   Ulrich     

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


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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:39 AM

Sir Madog
The sound is just fantastic, but cannot be heard due to the squeaking noise of the video train accompanying the loco on its run.

I was wondering where the squeaking noise was coming from as it didn't seem to be from the locomotive in view.

Nothing wrong with G scale in my view, except that I will never be able to afford it, especially a live steamer like that! Then again I won four free lottery tickets today so there is hope, however faint!

Thanks again Ulrich! You always manage to come up with the most interesting videos! Please keep it up!

Dave

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Posted by Sir Madog on Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:44 AM

Keeping my fingers crossed for a decent win on those lottery ticket. I have never won even a penny, but then I never bought a lottery ticket. The curse of knowing how to calculate probability.

   Ulrich     

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


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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, March 25, 2017 8:02 AM

Wow Ulrich, that was great!  The first thing I seen when I logged in here this morning.  I was hopeing their web site had a view with the shell off.  I like to see the working parts.

When the propane ignited, that flash that could be seen under the loco was great.

You come up with the neatest stuff!

Mike.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, March 25, 2017 8:33 AM

Sir Madog
Keeping my fingers crossed for a decent win on those lottery ticket. I have never won even a penny, but then I never bought a lottery ticket. The

Well,If I did play the  lottery and won big time I would go live steam..Why bother with a live steam wanna be that burns propane when I can use coal? Wink

Larry

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Posted by Sir Madog on Saturday, March 25, 2017 9:05 AM

mbinsewi

Wow Ulrich, that was great!  The first thing I seen when I logged in here this morning.  I was hopeing their web site had a view with the shell off.  I like to see the working parts.

When the propane ignited, that flash that could be seen under the loco was great.

You come up with the neatest stuff!

Mike.

 

Mike, the working parts of this loco are exactly those of the prototype - a two cylinder steam engine with Walschaerts gear.

It is a fully working scale model of the prototype, with the bcylinders being slightly larger, though!

Thanks for the kudos, I just came by this manufacturer by chance. Seems to be a new player in the field of live steam locos.

Only to wet your appetite - did you see the announcement for the Russian Decapod?

   Ulrich     

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


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Posted by Bernie on Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:08 AM

Personally, I think batteries are a bad idea.  I would absolutely hate the chore and expense of recharging batteries on all my trains constantly, even if they last a whole two hours.  Another problem with batteries is one that RC plane and quadcopter owners have: batteries that store enough power to last for more than a few minutes (LiPo batteries) have a habit of catching fire if overcharged, drained to zero charge, or looked at cross-eyed.  More than a few RC plane hobbyists have had their houses destroyed by planes simply stored in their garage.  So having a basement with a dozen or two dozen locomotives equipped with such batteries would be a nightmare and might even kill the hobby once the news gets out that model railroads are killing entire families.  What I would accept is if the trains had capacitors and also received their power and DCC commands from the track.  The capacitors would give the trains enough power to keep going over frogs and momentary dead spots. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, March 25, 2017 12:54 PM

Sir Madog

 

 
mbinsewi

Wow Ulrich, that was great!  The first thing I seen when I logged in here this morning.  I was hopeing their web site had a view with the shell off.  I like to see the working parts.

When the propane ignited, that flash that could be seen under the loco was great.

You come up with the neatest stuff!

Mike.

 

 

 

Mike, the working parts of this loco are exactly those of the prototype - a two cylinder steam engine with Walschaerts gear.

It is a fully working scale model of the prototype, with the bcylinders being slightly larger, though!

Thanks for the kudos, I just came by this manufacturer by chance. Seems to be a new player in the field of live steam locos.

Only to wet your appetite - did you see the announcement for the Russian Decapod?

 

Not to be real fussy here, but the prototype has poppet valves, not Walschaerts valve gear - note no eccentric crank.....

Very cool to fiddle with a few times, but not a version of the hobby that would interest me long term.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Sir Madog on Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:38 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Not to be real fussy here, but the prototype has poppet valves, not Walschaerts valve gear

Probably my mistake calling the gear Walschaerts gear ...

   Ulrich     

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


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Posted by emdmike on Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:49 PM

I do not see onboard battery power in the smaller scales for many many years yet.  Its not even a factory supplied option in G scale where many who run outdoors DO use onboard battery power to do away with the need to keep track clean.  In that scale, battery and RC control are more common and easily upgraded as technology changes.  Now wireless control via our smart phones ect is here to stay.  That being said, my little HO layout is analog DC with a MRC golden throttle pack I got when I was 13(I am 44 now) and I just added an old digital horn sound unit from Roanoke Electronics today.  No DCC for me, just more to go wrong or have to be installed/shoehorned into engines.  Mike

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Posted by DavidH66 on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11:18 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

But the biggest laugh for me is the small layout thing. I would sell it all and just put a few favorites on display rather than settle for some 12' long point to point shelf.

 

I agree that the sound thing seemed "odd", but this is where I disagree. Even though I am an avowed "Watch Trains Run in Circles" guy when it comes to Layout designs for my personal layout, I feel more people could get into the hobby if they knew just what they could do with a small corner of there "man cave" or garage.  I felt like Lance should have talked more about this than he did.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11:47 AM

DavidH66

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

But the biggest laugh for me is the small layout thing. I would sell it all and just put a few favorites on display rather than settle for some 12' long point to point shelf.

 

 

I agree that the sound thing seemed "odd", but this is where I disagree. Even though I am an avowed "Watch Trains Run in Circles" guy when it comes to Layout designs for my personal layout, I feel more people could get into the hobby if they knew just what they could do with a small corner of there "man cave" or garage.  I felt like Lance should have talked more about this than he did.

 

David, in case you have never followed my posts, I am a self involved somewhat old guy (60) who has been at this model train thing for nearly 50 years. Worked in a hobby shop from age 13 to age 22.

I long ago stopped being concerned with "getting others into the hobby" or with how others enjoy the hobby. It is a big tent, all are welcome, but please do not be offended if I'm not interested in your version of this diverse hobby.

My comment was about me, I would not enjoy a small layout at this point. It would just frustrate me.

Now, the other side of that coin is that I agree with Lance on one major point - large or small, I like simple. But I want to run long 1950's mainline trains - that takes some reasonable space and trackage.

I will leave it to others to promote the hobby, I did my share from behind the counter 40 years ago.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by fieryturbo on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:09 PM

Well at least this thread has gone beyond complaining about an article.

I do own Train Simulator and play it on occasion.

It gives me the opportunity to learn first-hand about how some of this stuff works outside of a modeling context.  I'll never be a railroader as that's not my thing, so this is the best way for me to get involved on a different level of detail.  It helps me make better decisions about my modeling.

So some of you may knock it, but to me, it's just another resource to learn about the hobby, like books or films.  I don't see why anyone would knock it.

Julian

Modeling Pre-WP merger UP (1974-81)

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 4:05 PM

Not to worry. The hobby will continue to evolve. I have been in the hobby since 1949.

Change is inevitable.

Rich

N

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