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Layout size - big vs complex - attempting to capture the immensity of the prototype

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 12:56 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
The world, and the rail network, are bigger than our layouts, staging provides that extra imagination of connections beyond what is modeled.

Sheldon,That's very true even my ISLs is cramped as far as realistic head room between industries.

Larry

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Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 10:40 PM

Sheldon,
"Us vs. Them": You know, it's kinda funny.  I've mentioned many times on this forum that I used to have a 25'x50' layout and that I'm a member of a large club that is currently building a 6300+ sq. ft. layout (not too many club layouts bigger than that).   I've never had a "sharp" comment directed at me about it, never had a "us vs. them" moment, etc.  In fact, the only comments I can recall were "Gosh, wish I lived closer to your club."  So maybe it's not the size of the layout that causes the conflict...?

I personally don't mind a train going through the same scene twice as long as there is a good reason for it.  For example, if the train goes through a scene the 2nd time 6"-10" higher, it's okay.  The illusion is that it had to travel some distance to get up there (which it does, really).  But if it goes twice through a scene going on both routes of a diamond?  Nope, that's silly and I won't do it.

Also, I like double decks when done properly.  I've seen bad ones.  They are too close together (or too far apart), have the upper level overhang the lower one, or have no lighting on the lower level, etc.  But a well done double decker can be a thing of beauty.

 

 

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 5:31 AM

Paul3

I personally don't mind a train going through the same scene twice as long as there is a good reason for it.   

But if it goes twice through a scene.....  Nope, that's silly and I won't do it.

That's all well and good until you accept the fact that every layout is nothing more than a fixed set of scenes, no matter how large or small. It is inevitable that trains will pass through or go through the same scene more than once.

Of course, the biggest offender is the simple oval layout. But even a large dogbone shaped layout will result in trains passing through the same scene multiple times. Even a point-to-point with hidden staging cannot avoid repeating scenes except for the fact that there is no continuous running and that becomes a nuisance for most of us who just want to "run trains".

What I find to be ideal is a large layout with continuous running around a loop, preferably a double mainline, with passenger operations, yards, spurs, and sidings in between for variety.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by mobilman44 on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 5:46 AM

Like many of my fellow MRs, I always wanted the biggest layout I could possibly have.......which of course was never big enough.  Even my current 11x15 room filling two level layout leaves me wanting.  Yet, I know that many out there would love to have that kind of space.

Anyway, the thing is, doesn't our imagination come into play?  After all, it is a minature world we have created, and whether its a 4x8 or a 40x80, one's imagination plays a big role in determining how much fun we are having.

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:08 AM

richhotrain
Even a point-to-point with hidden staging cannot avoid repeating scenes except for the fact that there is no continuous running and that becomes a nuisance for most of us who just want to "run trains".

Rich,On  a point to point you go through a scene once going from point A to Point B and again when you're going from point B to point A on your return trip and that's the beauty of a point to pointer.

When I was a member of the Bucyrus HO club we was open during the county fair and after a hour or  so of loop running I was bored to tears and after the third day I was beyond bored.

Why?

Here comes my train,there it goes,here comes my train again and there it goes again,here it comes again,there it goes again and on and on and on.

Larry

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:22 AM

mobilman44
Anyway, the thing is, doesn't our imagination come into play? After all, it is a minature world we have created, and whether its a 4x8 or a 40x80, one's imagination plays a big role in determining how much fun we are having.

Well said!

In my 55 years in the hobby, I have builr a number of layouts in about any scale there is. None of them filling even a tiny room, but all of them fun. My current and most likely, my last layout is the smallest I have built, my mini-modular layout not counting. It´s a 2´3" by 5´3" table top train set, built with vintage tracks and accessories of a minimum of 40 to 50 years of age. It´s a set up against all the rules, with tight curves, sharp switches and all other ingtredients that qualifies it as a genuine toy train, but not a model railroad.

I am enjoying this layout more, than I have enjoyed all of my previous builts! No longer do I have to try to be as realistic as possible while never reaching that goal, nor do I have to pretend to operate my trains - I can simply play with them.

Free at last!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 7:27 AM

Hmmm, I don't see an us vs them conflict.  What I see is a comparison of a preference with another preference for illustrative purposes.

I thought the point of the thread was the preference of capturing the immensity of the prototype, regardless of the space a person has to do it.  

I see it as having large radii and large buildings, properly spaced with room for vehicles; noncomplex track plan (which saves space as oppossed to complex) etc.  I'm probably leaving out other aspects.  Sort of the opposite of what was common in decades past, especially with smaller layouts and the tiny Revell, AHM, IHC buildings. 

Some may not have a preference for immensity, or pursue it differently.

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 7:34 AM

BRAKIE

 

 
richhotrain
Even a point-to-point with hidden staging cannot avoid repeating scenes except for the fact that there is no continuous running and that becomes a nuisance for most of us who just want to "run trains".

 

Rich,On  a point to point you go through a scene once going from point A to Point B and again when you're going from point B to point A on your return trip and that's the beauty of a point to pointer.

When I was a member of the Bucyrus HO club we was open during the county fair and after a hour or  so of loop running I was bored to tears and after the third day I was beyond bored.

Why?

Here comes my train,there it goes,here comes my train again and there it goes again,here it comes again,there it goes again and on and on and on.

 

And again, just because the track makes a loop, that does not mean you have to operate it that way..............

But display running does have its place, whether or not you enjoy it.

In addition to being more prototypical of larger cities, that is why my indusries are on belt lines off the main line. Trains can be on the mainline, with or without operators, while operators switch the yard and industries.

In my view, there are three perspectives in viewing model trains.

#1 - being the crew, engineer, conductor, brakeman

#2 - being the fixed management staff, yard master, dispatcher, division superendant, etc

#3 - being a civilian observer, railfan

Only #1 experiances the sense of "going somewhere", the rest "watch the train come and go"

Personally I take great enjoyment from all three perspectives. This is directly linked to my love of extensive staging that allows a wide variety of trains to come and go from the scene. One train leaves, another appears........

Personally, I think too much attention has been placed on perspective #1 by the current trends in the hobby. I don't always/only want to be the engineer........

More later,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 7:40 AM

Doughless

Hmmm, I don't see an us vs them conflict.  What I see is a comparison of a preference with another preference for illustrative purposes.

I thought the point of the thread was the preference of capturing the immensity of the prototype, regardless of the space a person has to do it.  

I see it as having large radii and large buildings, properly spaced with room for vehicles; noncomplex track plan (which saves space as oppossed to complex) etc.  I'm probably leaving out other aspects.  Sort of the opposite of what was common in decades past, especially with smaller layouts and the tiny Revell, AHM, IHC buildings. 

Some may not have a preference for immensity, or pursue it differently.

 

Thank you for understanding my point.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 7:49 AM

A lot of this depends on how you percieve "immensity".  I worked on a real railroad, so to me they are all toys in the basement to a certain extent.

One of the flaws I see in a lot of "more is better" layouts is the concept that with a 15x20 space I can run 15 car trains and with a 30x 40 space I can run 30 car trains.  If I have a track plan that is designed for 12 ft trains and has sidings 15 ft apart, and I expand the layout where I expand it to sidings 30 ft apart and so go to 25 ft trains that sounds cool.  But I still end up with sidings that are less than 2 train lengths apart.  I have seen guys design a layout with long trains and broad curves but end up with a main line to train ratio that's about the same as a typical 4x8 layout.

I would propose that if you have the room to double the linear length of the layout, keep the trains the same size.

A 15 ft train traveling 45 ft between sidings will be more realistic, feel more prototypical, allow for more prototypical operation (whether it be TT&TO or CTC).

While a real train seems immense, it is in the real world which is even more immense than the train.

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

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 8:10 AM

dehusman

A lot of this depends on how you percieve "immensity".  I worked on a real railroad, so to me they are all toys in the basement to a certain extent.

One of the flaws I see in a lot of "more is better" layouts is the concept that with a 15x20 space I can run 15 car trains and with a 30x 40 space I can run 30 car trains.  If I have a track plan that is designed for 12 ft trains and has sidings 15 ft apart, and I expand the layout where I expand it to sidings 30 ft apart and so go to 25 ft trains that sounds cool.  But I still end up with sidings that are less than 2 train lengths apart.  I have seen guys design a layout with long trains and broad curves but end up with a main line to train ratio that's about the same as a typical 4x8 layout.

I would propose that if you have the room to double the linear length of the layout, keep the trains the same size.

A 15 ft train traveling 45 ft between sidings will be more realistic, feel more prototypical, allow for more prototypical operation (whether it be TT&TO or CTC).

While a real train seems immense, it is in the real world which is even more immense than the train.

 

I agree completely. I made that same point, from a different perspective, when discussing single vs double track mainlines a few post back with Larry.

Rather than keep trains short, double track allows longer trains to look more believable in the model setting. And the larger space makes that effect even better.

And double track was rather common here in the east, in the era I model.

I have no interest in building a single track model railroad where trains only move two or three times their length between sidings, no matter the train length.

And again, it has to do with the three "perspectives" listed above, are you on the train, or viewing the train?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 8:32 AM

Sheldon ... Thank you for this thread. Also, I thank those who contributed.. 

Logically, larger layouts take much more time to build than smaller layouts. Accordingly, one should decide ahead of time how to build it. In my case, I decided to build one section at a time, and do everything including scenery before moving to the next section. After over 15 years, I am still building another section, but I am nearly done filling the train room with my layout. 

My layout design is primarily point-to-point. Actually, it is a sequence of point-to-points going from town to town as I follow about 130' of wall. The basic track plan is a double track main line with a loop at each end. There are some branch lines with single track. There are numerous industrial sidings along the mainline and on branch lines. I have Union Station in the big city and passenger stations in other towns. 

 

I have two ways of running trains on the layout.  .... One is an Operating Session in which I strive to simulate movements of freight and passengers with appropriate equipment.  ..... Second is a running session where I can run any trains I want continuously along the double track with a loop at each end. I can run 3 or 4 trains simultaneously as they follow each other around the layout. 

 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 2:30 PM

Thoughts on the topic:

 

I love larger layouts but only have space for a medium sized layout. This size limitation has turned out to be a blessing as I continue to build the layout. I will never finish the current layout, but it will reach a state of completeness that wouldn’t be achievable for me if the layout were larger.

 

I am building a double deck layout (triple deck if you include staging). The scenery on the top deck is pretty much complete. I host operations sessions on it a few times a year. The current layout full fills my goals that I set forth many years ago in the design stages. I made compromises in the design to have a double deck layout but no more so than in the previous single deck layouts that I have built. The compromises are just different.

 

If I were to start over again now, I wouldn’t go double deck. The main reason is that I found the complexity of construction for a double deck to be more than twice as complicated as building two single deck layouts. Things must be completed in sequence and there are lots of tedious parts as you do the same thing 100 times before moving to the next step.

 

As a do-over, I would go with a large single deck layout that keeps things as simple as possible in terms of track work and hidden elements. I would also continue my practice of trying to buy quality built up items as much as possible and spend the model building time on the unique items that I want for the layout.

 

For me the biggest issue is staying inspired to work on the layout. I find my inspiration from a variety of sources including the hobby press and looking at the giant basement filling layouts featured there. I also have a good local group of excellent modelers that keep me on track.  If the project were too big, I might feel overwhelmed more often than I do now, thus stalling out on the layout progress......

 

Guy

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 3:09 PM

For me, train length is very important.   I model HO scale, and whenever I string more than 10 cars behind a single loco (modern era 50 and 60 footers) it looks like it starts to overwhelm the loco.  I know a real loco can handle them, but it just doesn't look right to my eye.

About 15 to 20 cars needs 2 locos, more than 20 needs 3 to look right, and so on.

Also, the idea of the train entering a town while its end is leaving another is a common design concept that I don't like.  The idea of having multiple small town stations seems repetitive on its own, made worse by the notion that the train's caboose is still in the previous town.  One large town and yard, one small town and some industries, spaced far enough apart for a 10 car train, is appealing to me.

And since I will probably never devote more than 300 square feet of my abode for a layout, short trains with a town at each end of the layout is about the only layout I'm interested in building.  I love all kinds, all sizes, but only one kind do I want to own.  With that in mind, larger buildings and broad curves are a requirement even in my relative modest space. 

Overall, I'm willing to give up the amount of distance modeled in order to have less compression.  

- Douglas

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Posted by csxns on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 5:25 PM

I have the bigest layout now than ever but still i don't know how to handle it.

Russell

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Posted by Graham Line on Thursday, July 26, 2018 11:55 AM

When our club layout was rebuilt about 9-10 years ago, there was a big nasty fight about filling every inch of the 30x60 space with spurs, sidings, sawmills yadda yadda. A design vote went 60-40 for leaving some open country between  stations, particularly in two dead-end alcoves.

Turns out that a 500-foot main and a 40-train lineup (over two four-hour sessions) eats up more operators than we usually get, for more time than most of them want to stand up.

Drawing lines on paper, and even throwing down track,  is a lot easier than planning out what a railroad will actually do.

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:11 PM

I have a small layout right now. My interest and budget in building it varies, so its better to be able to do some small projects here and there and make dramatic changes with just small things... rather than have a big empty layout that takes for ever to fill up.

However, I do want to go big someday. When I do that though I want to try a few tricks to keep it easier. Heavy concentrations of tracks really only make sense in large towns and yards. I want a future layout to have lots of empty space between those towns, single tracked mainline with a few sidings here and there en route. Spurs and industries were it only makes sense on the prototype, and even then its spaced out enough that trains will be spending some time between industries just transversing open spaces. I will also try and impose speed limits, to prevent operators from just blasting through it at full throttle, and keep things slowed down. I'll let the backdrop handle most of the scenic duty in this big open areas.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, July 26, 2018 9:28 PM

Interesting replies from all, thank you.

A few more specific topics:

Action, and plenty of it. - one of the other reasons for the double track mainline is action. Here is a prototype example from history.

I live in northeastern Maryland. Just minutes from my new house, both the B&O and PRR, oops, CSX and NS, cross the Susquhanna River. The former PRR, now NS line is the once mostly 4 track electrified mainline commonly known as the Northeast Corridor, also used today by AMTRAK (it narrows onto two tracks to cross the swing bridge over the Susquehanna).

On the north side of the Susquehanna, in a liitle town called Perryville, a wye takes a line northwest up the river valley to Harrisburg, and the once 4 track mainline proceeds northeast to Phily. And there was once an interchange track with the B&O, I think that is inactive now?

The point of all this explaination is this, in the heyday of the PRR, the Perryville wye was a busy spot. A 1947 timetable for the Perryville station/tower shows no less than a train roughly every eight minutes, in one direction or another, nearly 24 hours a day.

That is the kind of action I intend to simulate. Only double track provides that level of action.

My "wye" - My layout will include a wye along the mainline. The branch end of the wye will be single track - until it goes "off stage", where it will feed an additonal staging yard, most likely about 8 tracks.

So much like the Perryville wye/Harrisburg cutoff on the PRR relates to the Northeast Corridor mainline, trains will be able to take the wye and will go "off stage", ending up in staging, or will enter the layout from that staging and proceed east or west. The wye will also be the primary way to turn a complete train.

More later,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, July 27, 2018 1:32 AM

After reading all of the posts in this thread I have to say that I am very happy with the layout that I designed for our club.

The towns and industrial sites are quite a distance from the main yard. If we allow for a train to pass through the scenery twice it can have travelled up to 400 ft. from the main yard to it's final destination. We will be able to run long trains without suffering the problem of having the engine in one town and the caboose in another.

There are several areas of double track which will serve as passing sidings so in fact we will be able to run two or three long trains at the same time. There are also nine 'industrial' areas fed by sidings so there will be ample opportunity to do switching and local runs too.

Dave

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, July 27, 2018 9:57 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
My goal with a large space is not to make the layout more complex, or model more places, or squeeze in more features. My goal is to better capture the immensity of the prototype.

.

Sheldon,

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It sounds like you are planning your last lifetime layout, just like I am. Your era is the same as mine, your choice of control system (DC) is the same, and we are both going after double track mainline action on a big-time-class-1 railroad, and we are both modeling a time from before we were born.
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I am sure you have planned exactly what you want, just as I did.
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I built my last two layouts with the intension that they would be incorporated into a much larger double track mainline layout just like you have talked about. I planned a 2,000 square foot space to build the layout in, and had grand plans for operations.
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Then I took a good long hard look at my plans and came to the following conclusions:
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1) Most of my plan was built around using materials I had already collected/built and not around what I actually enjoyed about model railroading.
2) There was no way, given the way I get along with fellow model railroaders, that I would ever have a reliable group of 10 people to operate the railroad.
3) I really enjoy playing with trains alone while listening to my favorite music over simulating a job performed by paid professionals. Turning my model railroad into a job is less appealing every time I think of it.
4) The level of detail I want to achieve, which is not all that high, would not be attainable in 2,000 square feet.
5) As we transition into retirement, my wife and I are more interested in travel, and this will require time and money taken away from railroad time and money.
6) In HO scale a train powered by an ABA set of F units pulling 60 freight cars is about 35 feet long. To avoid where it is pulling out of one town before it reaches the next town requires a distance of at least 100 feet between towns just to feel like it is going somewhere. In 2,000 square feet I could not make this work.
7) I wanted to incorporate my previous two layout into the new one so no effort/time/money was lost.
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What you are trying to do… replicate the shear massive operations of a double track mainline… I believe is an unattainable goal. The compromises you will be forced to make, no matter what size room you have to work with, might result in disappointment.
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My solution to this problem was to model only a single town, well, actually there are two towns, but only one is on the mainline.
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Trains come and go from staging, and since my town is rather small, most do not even stop as they go through. Surely the name train “Comet Express” does not stop in Willoughby, but the local RDC does as well as the “mail” train. Most freights roll right on through without stopping. Only the locals and way freights stop.
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With the space you have to work with, you could make this illusion even better.
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Your trains actually would have distance to travel before they reach your main town on the layout reinforcing the illusion this is a grand system. Maybe even 200-300 feet of “out in the open” running before they even need to stop. This makes a 35 foot long train look “at home” on the layout, and would surely help the atmosphere of big time railroading.
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This would be great for me as well, but it is something that will not happen. I have abandon the goal of the 2,000 square foot area and decided a repurposed 11 by 22 foot room in the main house will be the layout’s home. My trains will need to enter from tunnels and go directly into the city limits of Willoughby. Not ideal, but it will work.
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Your Complication VS Mass study is interesting. If I had the space of a full ranch basement to work with, I doubt I would make my current plan any more complicated. I will have about 50 turnouts on the layout as planned, and I think that would be about the same. I would add a few yard tracks because I would space the stations in Willoughby away from the yard. That would relieve congestion. So figure 60-65 turnouts on a “dream version” of my layout plans.
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So… going back to my original 6 points:
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1) Once I removed the shackles of thinking that all the stuff I have collected for the dream layout was stuff I had to use I had better freedom to design what I really wanted. It was hard to admit that my purchases were not as well thought out as I once thought. My wife was a bit upset that this was just proof I had wasted money on these things with premature purchases, but it did me a lot of good to lower the ambitions a bit.

2) I need to accept that I do not get along well with the “real” Model Railroad Simulated Operations and Rule Book crowd. The crew that would be needed to operate the railroad would never accept my version of the STRATTON & GILLETTE for being up to their standards in conformity or rivet counting.

3) I love being in the layout room alone. The real world cannot bother me in there. It needs to be my haven, and not a place where a job, chores, or work takes place.

4) Detail and fun scenes are what I enjoy. If I was going to complete a 2,000 square foot monster, there would not be time for all the little things I want. That would be unacceptable.

5) As the girls continue to drift away from home base, and as weekends on beaches mean more to us, I will be away from home more and more with my wife. Again, time to scale back the goals a bit.

6) I can live with an ABA set of EMD F units pulling a 14 car train. That is about as much train as I can see in a single glance anyway, so it works quite well for me.

7) I cut up the layout in the spare bedroom and threw away the switching layout so I could start with a completely clean slate.
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My financial situation and purchasing power has improved to the point that replacing everything was not a devastating solution, and it actually gave me the needed freedom to make plans to reach my dreams.
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So the point of this whole thing is just be sure you not only have a dream/plan of what you want, have the time to build what you want, and can afford what you want… make sure you actually know what you want, have the help to build it as required, will be able to have the crew available to run it, and… most importantly… will you enjoy what you build.
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The equation of Mass vs Compression will not work. No matter how massive your layout is, it will still be a compression. Lorrell Joiner built a truly massive O scale masterpiece layout with truly massive proportions, and incredible run distance, but it was still a compression and compromise in the end. I fear that if you set your sole goal to replicate the mass of the prototype you will only be partially successful with your results.
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That is what makes Model Railroading different than building custom motorcycles. Even with all the money and space in the world, you will still reach a limit and need to compromise on that ultimate dream.
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If you set a realistic goal based around how you have your fun, you will have better chance at success and satisfaction. This goal will be different for everyone, and it is never an “us VS them” situation. Instead, it is about identifying what you enjoy and satisfying yourself. Accept the limitations that each of us have in time, money, friends, ambition, space, motivation, skills, etc… and build something that makes you happy.
.
-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 Friday, July 27, 2018 1:31 PM

Kevin,

Maybe I was not clear enough, or maybe you did not read all of my posts in this thread, but I am actually doing exactly what you suggest, I am only modeling one town (small city actually), and the three or so miles on either side of it.

The layout controls allow good display running, single operator control, or a crew of as many as 20.

I get along fine with other modelers, and around here, I could get 15 guys tomorrow night.

I'm not as well rounded as you, I'm indifferent about the beach, my wife won't get on airplanes, and while some more travel would be ok, it's not a high priority. My kids have been gone for years, thank the Lord.

I only have a few other hobbies, none of which are as big for me as model trains.

35-45 cars will be the typical train length, longer trains will be easily possible. The layout will stage about 30 trains of that size.

I will cover some more specific topics soon.

More later,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, July 28, 2018 2:56 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Action, and plenty of it. - one of the other reasons for the double track mainline is action.

Sheldon,A single track main can and will deliver plenty of action of course while railfaning I've seen plenty of action on both single and double mains and I've seen long lulls on both.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, July 28, 2018 7:00 AM

BRAKIE

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Action, and plenty of it. - one of the other reasons for the double track mainline is action.

 

Sheldon,A single track main can and will deliver plenty of action of course while railfaning I've seen plenty of action on both single and double mains and I've seen long lulls on both.

 

Larry,

You just refuse to get it. Some of us do like "display" operation some of the time.

When I operate alone, I can put four trains on the mainline and forget about them.

While the mainline is just a double track loop with thru staging for "crew" operating sessions, it has a series of cutoffs that turn it into four seperate loops, two west bound, two eastbound. You cannot visually follow the train all the way around, it goes "off stage" then reappears at the other end of the line after making its way thru the staging area......

For visitors, or when operating alone, I can put four trains on and let them run. Then I can still operate the yard and industrial belt line while those trains just run.

You have made it more than clear that you don't have any interest in display running, but some of us do like to simply watch trains.

AND, those trains on the loops, can easily be stopped in the staging yards, and replaced with different trains randomly, so you are not always just watching the same train, or same four trains...... 

There will be capacity for about 30 DIFFERENT trains in the hidden staging.

And again, with single track, I think it is very unrealistic to have only a train length, or two, or even three, between passing sidings that in my case would need to be 30 feet long. AGAIN, you may be happy with unrealisticly short trains, I am not.

As Kevin and I have both pointed out, long trains are l....o....n....g.

You might be happy with a 12 car train, I am not.

My typical freight train is an ABA, or ABBA, or two 2-8-2's, with 35 to 45 cars, and a caboose - about 26 actual feet long.

In many cases, especially with steam power, It actually takes two, or even three locos to pull these trains. The layout does have a series of grades, typically about 2%

Typical passenger trains are two E8's, or PA's, or a 4-8-2, or two 4-6-2's, with 8 to 12 cars - about 15 actual feet long.

Yes, there will be close to 1,000 feet of staging track alone.

Single track provides lots of "mental action" for operators, but little "visual action" for viewers.

Double track, or more importantly double track with SEPARATE single track industrial belt line operations, provides lots of both.

Again, in the 1940's and 50's, trains on the PRR northeast corridor ran with 15 minute headways in both directions. Stand by the tracks for eight minutes, you saw a train - a moving train.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, July 28, 2018 8:58 AM

Sheldon,I get it all to well.. A loop layout with double track can lead to "open 'er up and let it fly" like you  seen at train shows.

A point to point is not a ugly thing and you can run 30 car trains by planing ahead while designing the basement or special building layout.

For visitor running or just train watching have a return loop in both hidden staging yards.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, July 28, 2018 9:52 AM

BRAKIE

Sheldon,I get it all to well.. A loop layout with double track can lead to "open 'er up and let it fly" like you  seen at train shows.

A point to point is not a ugly thing and you can run 30 car trains by planing ahead while designing the basement or special building layout.

For visitor running or just train watching have a return loop in both hidden staging yards.

 

I can't help that you think it is necessary to restrict the track plan to enforce people's behavior. I am not running a club, I am building a personal layout for ME.

I have been in clubs, never again. Clubs are different from having a group of guys come over and operate.

A continious loop with thru staging does exactly the same thing more effectively rather than return loops at the ends.

Example - the empty coal trains always moves west, the loaded one always moves east - without having to be turned or restaged.

For actual operating sessions NO trains run all the way thru the staging - they all TERMINATE in staging - That makes it point to point.

My layout is designed to do three things with equal quality and importance:

Operate with a crew and dispatcher.

Provide simple but high action display operation.

And support interesting and relaxing one man operation for ME.

Just in case you don't understand the mainline scheme here, the mainline comes into view, it runs around the whole room, out onto several peninsulas, and as it gets back around to where it started it again disappears from view, with a view block seperating where the scenery would otherwise meet.

At that point tracks continue in the same direction around the room BEHIND the back drop. That is where the staging yards are. There is not just one giant staging yard, there are multiple ones for east and west as the mainline makes it way all the way around the room behind the back drop, eventually meeting the other end of the visable mainline.

It is a classic twice around track plan with only one loop around in view, the second loop around is the hidden staging.

So unless turned on the wye, east bound trains move east, west bound trains move west. They are only seen once in their two loops around the room, then they stop in a staging track.

Half way thru the visable portion there is a LARGE yard, engine terminal, piggyback yard, passenger terminal, feed to the belt line, etc, where all the "operation" really takes place.

Again, only ONE town is modeled. Features are only modeled once. Trains "enter" the stage, perform their role, and exit to staging.

You act like I have never operated on a point to point layout - I have, some really big and nice ones at that. But in my view there was still too much to do at each end and not enough "distance" in the middle.

Surely not enough distance for 40 car trains..............which I will not give up.

Sheldon

 

 

    

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, July 28, 2018 11:15 AM

Hey Sheldon-

I've probably asked this question before, and I'm pretty sure one of the Daves has asked it recently: do you have a finalized track plan?

I know you're in the process of moving and the new space might not yet be nailed down. Your postings in this thread and in others kinda seem like you're revising and refining your Givens and Druthers and you're fleshing out a design narrative of what you want to accomplish. Has this activity gelled into a Final Plan? My interest in Layout Design (particularly layout design of others (can't help it, I'm nosy)) is how all these ideas and decisions and the compromises they induce come together and the physical layout starts taking shape. For me, the thing that really sets stuff in motion is a Final Track Plan (or something pretty close).

Just curious. Thanks.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, July 28, 2018 12:07 PM

ROBERT PETRICK

Hey Sheldon-

I've probably asked this question before, and I'm pretty sure one of the Daves has asked it recently: do you have a finalized track plan?

I know you're in the process of moving and the new space might not yet be nailed down. Your postings in this thread and in others kinda seem like you're revising and refining your Givens and Druthers and you're fleshing out a design narrative of what you want to accomplish. Has this activity gelled into a Final Plan? My interest in Layout Design (particularly layout design of others (can't help it, I'm nosy)) is how all these ideas and decisions and the compromises they induce come together and the physical layout starts taking shape. For me, the thing that really sets stuff in motion is a Final Track Plan (or something pretty close).

Just curious. Thanks.

Robert

 

There is not a final plan for the new space yet. But understand that it will be made up of a series of layout design elements that will not really change from my previous space.

I never completed the new version of the layout in the previous space, but none of the basic elements will change, only expand some, and be adjusted to the new space.

I'm not really "revising" as much as simply "adjusting" for the new space.

The goals, and the methods for reaching them, are pretty set. 

The new space is not only larger, it is better proportioned for this concept.

I am a draftsman by original training, so I assure you an actual final plan is in the works. I will figure out how to publish it when it is ready enough (it is not being drafted electronically, I can do CADD, I hate CADD....).

Each of the design criteria elements I have posted in various posts in this thread are concepts I have been working on for some time now, have tested in some cases, have used in layouts I have designed for others, etc.

I don't mention it much on here, and I'm not looking for design business, but I have designed a number of layouts for other modelers over the years.

Having been at this for nearly 50 years now, I am very set in my goals, likes, dislikes, etc.

More later,

Sheldon

PS - Just moved much of the train stuff to the new house today!

    

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Posted by kasskaboose on Sunday, July 29, 2018 4:22 PM

Sheldon,

Wow! You touch on a lot of things.  What I found from seeing some layouts is no two are the same.  The differences are endless and who am I to judge one better than another? 

Do what works for you within different constraints and go from there.  Ultimately, it's your layout.  Enjoy what you have.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, August 04, 2018 10:58 PM

Some photos of the new layout space:

 

 

 

 

The big wooden work bench came with the house - it has a date with a saw and a landfill......

The new layout plan is nearly worked out, and goes to the formal drawing board soon.

More later,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, August 05, 2018 4:25 AM

Sheldon,If I had that much space I would build a point to point branch line or a more likely a point to point city industrial lead around the walls.

I look forward is seeing progress photos on your new layout.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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