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

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 6:14 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
a few 10 wheelers for that commuter when needed.

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Were 4-6-0 locomotives still being used on low priority passenger/mail/express trains in the mid 1950's?

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If so, I need to add one of these to my "must buy" list. There is a NYC prototype that has a hint of a USRA look to it that would look great with the rest of my roster.

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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 ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 4:15 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
a few 10 wheelers for that commuter when needed.

 

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Were 4-6-0 locomotives still being used on low priority passenger/mail/express trains in the mid 1950's?

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If so, I need to add one of these to my "must buy" list. There is a NYC prototype that has a hint of a USRA look to it that would look great with the rest of my roster.

.

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-Kevin

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On some roads yes. Ironicly, many 2-8-0's, 4-6-0's and 2-8-2's outlasted big modern steam.

And I agree, that is a good looking loco.

My track plan is coming along nicely, over the holiday I worked out few possible problems with excellent results. staging should now easily reach the 30 train mark and have easy access and easy construction.

More later,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 4:48 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Ironicly, many 2-8-0's, 4-6-0's and 2-8-2's outlasted big modern steam.

In my country, steam engines were built and put in service as late as 1959. However, one of the last ones to be taken out of service when steam traction ended were pre-WW I built 4-6-0 of a 1906 design and not the sleek-looking, much more efficient 2-6-2 which were supposed to replace them.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 7:26 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
On some roads yes. Ironicly, many 2-8-0's, 4-6-0's and 2-8-2's outlasted big modern steam.

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Tinplate Toddler
In my country, steam engines were built and put in service as late as 1959. However, one of the last ones to be taken out of service when steam traction ended were pre-WW I built 4-6-0 of a 1906 design

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I have put that thought into my locomotive roster. I am aware that some of the first steam locomotives to be retired were modern designs for several reasons.

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1) The high profile trains they were assigned to were among the first to be dieselized.

2) They were not suitable for low priority or local service.

3) The maintenance costs were much higher.

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The STRATTON & GILLETTE roster is mostly USRA desings, except for the articulateds. I do not like the look of the USRA 2-6-6-2, and not a huge fan of the 2-8-8-2.

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I was not aware that some 4-6-0 designs lasted that long. That is exciting for me because I have always loved the look of that NYC F12 4-6-0.

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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 7j43k on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 11:26 AM

Depends on the railroad.

The last working steam on the SP&S was 4-8-4's and 4-6-6-4's.  Around '55 and '56.

There's some shots of their last and biggest Challenger doing some interchange switching towards the end.

The SP&S got diesels to save money.  And the biggest money saving, for them, was in switching.  So they got switchers.  Then a few passenger diesels, probably because the GN told them to.  Then road switchers, because they could switch, and "road".

 

Ed

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 4:11 PM

Kevin,

As it turns out, at least of few of those NYC F12's made it into the early/mid 50's.

B&O B-18's lasted until 1953.

PRR G-5's ran into the mid 50's

ACL - two of their K-15s 10 wheelers ran until 1955

Both 10 wheelers on the Ma & Pa ran until 1955

Just to name few.

What don't you like about the looks of these:

They are one of my favorite locos. The ATLANTIC CENTRAL has three, and I have two C&O versions as well.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Medina1128 on Thursday, January 3, 2019 9:12 AM

I feel lucky in that we live in a rarity; a duplex apartment with both a garage and a basement; with over 1100 sq. feet of space. Luckily, the furnace and hot water heater are situated under the stairs. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, February 9, 2019 10:32 AM

Medina1128

I feel lucky in that we live in a rarity; a duplex apartment with both a garage and a basement; with over 1100 sq. feet of space. Luckily, the furnace and hot water heater are situated under the stairs. 

 

I took a look at your photos, nice work. 

When you say duplex apartment I assume you mean two houses that share a common wall? They were once very common here, but the 1980's was about the last time they were popular as new construction.

1100 sq ft is a nice sized space, my new layout will be just over that in terms of actual space used by the layout.

The track plan is progressing well, but final drawings have been slowed by a very busy work schedule. 

The original list of goals for the layout have been achieved to about 90%, with only a few small compromises.

I am looking forward to sharing the track plan and getting everyones thoughts.

I have found a very interesting source for signal heads for the signal system, more on that later.

Staging capacity has exceeded expectations in number of trains.

I was not able to increase the minimum 36" radius in some places, but many curves are in the 42" to 46" range.

The visible main line run of double track is right at 200', the hidden staging loop run is about 140'.

There will be 30 hidden staging tracks that range from about 10' to 22' in length. Shorter staging tracks will generally be reserved for passenger trains.

There will be visible sidings that will plausibly stage two additional passenger trains and 3-5 more freight or passenger trains depending on the nature of the specific operational scheme in effect.

There will be two lift out/duck under sections. One to enter the layout, another to get from the layout area to my workshop area.

I am considering some sort of motorized lift for the main layout entrance, more on that later.

Overall, complexity of construction has been avoided, benchwork will mostly be simple table top, open grid with track elevations between 40" and 46" above the floor.

More to come,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, February 9, 2019 10:46 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
slowed by a very busy work schedule.

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I can sing that same song along with 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 ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, June 17, 2019 6:33 AM

So I just thought I would take a minute and update this thread.

A series of unexpected personal and work issues have slowed progress on the final version of the track plan and will no doubt delay the start of layout construction until fall.

More later,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 17, 2019 6:43 AM

Once again... I sure feel your pain.

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Travelling for work so much this year has completely stopped my home remodel, and there is not any way the contruction of the STRATTON AND GILLETTE railroad will begin in January 2020 as planned.

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It looks like a 12 month delay.

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So sad.

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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 carl425 on Monday, June 17, 2019 8:34 AM

At least you have a legitimate excuse.  I've had a "final" plan for almost 2 years and I'm about 75% finished with the basic benchwork.  I have nothing on which to blame my lack of progress except for procrastination.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, June 17, 2019 4:23 PM

Living overseas I am unable to build a layout for many reasons. When I visit the US I have all the right conditions to build a layout except enough time. Overseas, I lack the reasources (mainly a hobby shop) and know I will someday have to leave the layout behind, so I lack modivation and nothing happens, even with stuff I can do. And cost is always a concern...

Regards, Isaac

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

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 17, 2019 5:51 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Kevin, As it turns out, at least of few of those NYC F12's made it into the early/mid 50's. What don't you like about the looks of these:

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Sheldon, The USRA 2-6-6-2 has the air pumps on the front of the boiler, which always looked wrong to me. Since I already have a B&O 2-8-8-4 as my only articulated, I have decided to use similar designs from Eastern lines for the remaining articulated locmotives.

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I think the N&W Class A, N&W Class Y6b, and B&O Class EM-1 all look very good next to one another. Also, they are all available undecoracted, have reputations as good runners, and can be found reasonably priced.

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SPSOT fan
Living overseas I am unable to build a layout for many reasons. When I visit the US I have all the right conditions to build a layout except enough time.

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Isaac, While I have been without a layout, I have been very happily occupied taking staged pictures on a 30" by 30" board for the "show me something" thread.

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This has almost become a hobby all in its own, and does not require much in space or resources.

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It keeps me active in the hobby and is a lot of fun.

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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 ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, June 17, 2019 11:09 PM

Kevin, agreed, those locos have a good family look despite some differences.

I have most them in one form or another as well.

As a B&O modeler, I have EM-1's and have considered them for the ATLANTIC CENTRAL (ACR) as well.

The ACR has its version of the N&W Class A, with different tenders.

As well as Proto Y3 2-8-8-2's that have been convered to 2-8-8-0's in B&O tradition.

And as a C&O modeler, we have the Allegheny.....

The front air pumps are very much a C&O thing, other roads did it, but not to the degree of the C&O. If you don't like it, you don't like it, that's fine.

The B&O and C&O had lots of tunnel clearance problems. As boilers got bigger and locos longer, stuff hanging on the sides was a problem.

The B&O mounted a lot of air pumps on the pilot deck, and a few on the smokebox front, but the C&O liked the smokebox front. It has also been said that front mounted air pumps, smokebox or pilot deck, were used to balance weight and reduce slipping.

But the C&O loved those 2-6-6-2's for lots of reasons, so much so they bought the last 10 in 1949, the last mainline steam built by Baldwin.......one of which will be returning to steam soon.

And I love my little "baby" Mallets, both C&O and ACR.

Sheldon

 

  

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, March 2, 2020 11:12 PM

Well, family and work have slowed progress on the track plan final drawings, but I am working on them as time allows.

I am bumping this thread as it may be interesting to some new people working on track plans.

Hope to post my plan here in a few weeks - we will see.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, March 2, 2020 11:23 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Hope to post my plan here in a few weeks - we will see.

Looking forward to seeing it.

My plan is 90% an idea and 10% a real plan.

-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 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 5:23 PM

Well, a few weeks have come and gone, and the virus has turned my world upside down, but I am still plugging a long at the track plan when I can.........

Hopefully bumping this will answer some questions, or prompt new questions from those reading Kevin's latest thread......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 12:08 AM

I have done something a lot like you have with purposeful purchases to get prepared for a big layout project.

After building the 1:1 cardboard model of the future/final STRATTON AND GILLETTE railroad, I know exactly how much material I will need to build the layout.

With the arrival of my order from MB Klein last week, I think I have carefully collected nearly everything I need that could be predicted.

I have:

All the track and turnouts I need. 50+ Shinohara/Walthers solid frog (DC) code 83 turnouts, 6 Shinohara code 70 turnouts, 40 pieces of Atlas code 83 flex. 4 pieces of Shinohara code 83 flex, 3 pieces of Precision Scale code 70 flex, 5 pieces of Micro Engineering code 55 flex, and a 27 gallon tote full of Kato Unitrack for the hidden trackage. I also have 8 packs each of Atlas 9" code 83 straight and Atlas 24 inch radius code 83 track.

48 Tortoise switch machines.

Over 300 toggle switches and over 200 assorted junction blocks, barrier bars, & bus strips.

300' 10ga, 1,200' 14ga, 500' 22ga copper stranded wire in suitable colors. 60' heat shrink tubing. 3 pounds of solder. Well over 3,000 wire terminal ends. Too many miscellaneous electrical devices to list.

12 Troller Transpak 2.5 and 3 Troller Trackers. 4 Tech II 1500s. 1 Kato power pack.

14 Edsal Industrial steel legs.

8 Branchline Laserkits.

18 stall Walthers roundhouse and machine shop.

All the DPM and similar buildings I need for downtown.

About a half-dozen craftsman kits salvaged from local layouts.

Two Bowser turntables.

8 bridges (2 are brass).

About 50 automobiles and 10 trucks.

6 sheets of homasote. 6 sheets of 2" foam. 2 sheets of 3/8" hollow core paper board. 6 pieces of 14ga steel sheet.

Two 27 gallon totes full of scenic supplies. 4 gallons of white glue. 2 bottles of Kodak Photo-Flo.

Tunnel portals, cork roadbed, backdrops, bridge abutments, trees, figures, paint, and plenty of other supplies. 

All I need to buy is plaster cloth, plywood, lumber, hydrocal, hardware, and some electrical components.

The point of all this careful purchasing was so that when construction begins, nothing can stop me.

I am very proud of how well this layout build has been planned out and prepared for.

9 months from now, and one year late: 01/JAN/2021, construction should be rolling right along.

-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 Marc_Magnus on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 4:48 AM

BIG PROJECT

 

Basicaly this thread speak about big or not big layout project.

I don't ask to debate about big or small project and all this involve about chance to have place to do it, time, ressources and all the all times debated things about it, with pros and cons and finaly  with never really argumented answers.

 

A few of us know I have moved from Europe to Quebec.

 

Here I have the chance to have a very big room to place a N scale layout; this old wood workshop which is in a parallelogram form, is  around 27' by 46' something huge is'nt it; there are severals adjacent rooms around this workshop; some will be used for the train purpose.

Well even I'm sixty I will build and extend my N scale layout to load the whole workshop.

Emphasis plan is around 650' of mainline as a minimum in N scale.

This is in fact a old live project; unfortunately I have wait a long time to make my dream true, you know live is not a quiet river.

But I have never lost the hope this could happen one day.

So during all this time I have buy and acquired numerous models, cars, locomotives, structures, enough to be active during the next  coming 100 years !

Course this is a joke ( not really....Angel)

Because now my time is counted somewhere I hope to have a nearly finished layout in the 15 years coming.

Many will say, that's a quick time for such a project; I'm may be presumptuous, but because of a professional background I have planified a lot of things, my track plan and the surrounding scenery is studied in a way to take not too much time to be build.

Because of this professional background, I prepare a lot of work in advance, many jig to build the grid benchwork structure, a metallic structure to support the layout, a planified electrical layout for the layout itself but also for the power of the room and all other things are already planified, remember I wait for this time since 40 years !

I have an old booklet full of remarks, sketches, mensurations and study about construction, a thinking book full of 45 years of patience.

I will use vertical scenery for the most, very impressive way to go, and quick to be build and  usuable since I model a fictitious line in Virginia, many coal fields along the line; this kind of scenery is featured in MR with the Howard Zane layout.

I will also follow his use of Red Rosin paper, fast, easy, cheap ....and no dust.

Backdrop will ask no big construction since I will use suspended vynil backdrop, not often used in USA but with a good background in Europe, no joint, no filling, just hang it and paint it. ( not so simple of course but quick in the building) 

No scene deeper than 2', so I limit the volume of scenery; most of the line is double track.

And yes big curves minimum is 16" in industrial spur but main is 18" as minimum some over 24" and this is N scale.

All the track is draw in place with the yardstick method to have very flowing track arrangement.

Industrial and yard will use #6 and #8 turnouts and the main exclusively #8 with some bigger one.

Track is ME wea code 55, Turnouts are Fastrack ( already an hundred build in stock)crossing Atlas and Peco;  some Peco special turnouts like double slip will used in conjonction with the rest; switch machine are Hankscraft display motor and some Tortoise already put under my Port Allen.

This layout will include my Port Allen existing layout and the structure of Corinnesburgh the principal tow on the line,  but with a new track plan and the replacement of the Peco code 55 track I used there.

Since I have acquired a lot of cars and locomotives during all these years; my fleet is already big but some models are missing for my emphasis of my  Maclau Line.

I will use big steam power, I have a huge collection of Proto 2000 Y3 class in N scale, first and second run; I still wait for the arriving one day of a Y6 ( a better one than the old Rivarossi) and a class A, the well know Mercedes of steam locomotives; none of them are offered until now in N scale,  I also have some Bachmann H6 locomotives; some of them are still in their boxes,  never touched a rail; there is  also a lot of smalller steam power but all are from the new generation which appeared after 2005 in N scale and replaced the old fashionned fleet of Rivarossi - Atlas steam power.

I'm missing some Proto 2000 0-8-0 switcher; I hope Atlas which has acquired the Walthers Life Like line, will propose a run in the next future.

I just acquired three BLI N scale mikado; they run  as great as the old Kato Mikado, but they are better detailed.

Most of the cars are MT, Atlas, Intermountain and a few others, all are already body mount MT couplers, 33" metallic wheels; MT is  the only coupler allowed on my layout; cars are  all 33' and 40' cars, no bigger one; they are models of period I model.

Since I model during the 1930 - 1943 period a very few first generation diesel power exist on the layout, like S2 power, but none big diesel power of that time will come on the layout.

Yes a huge project but feasable and a power booster for my ongoing life today.

 

TOMORROW REPORT ( work started the 13 march 2020).

- Room is already cleaned ( tons of wood dust) and the suspended ceiling is alredy dissasembled for cleaning.

- New light of the room is planned and a new electrical layout for the room, with separate power for room lighting, layout lighting and layout power with a general protection is on the way

- Paint for the walls and ceiling is already on hand; I will use a low pressure airbrush to paint quickly all the room; I will paint the concrete floor too.

- Some works need a contractor and because of this very sad passing phase, works will be delayed probably and done later in the year.

- A first jig for the metallic frame which will support the layout and backdrop is under ongoing construction.

- My model workshop is on the way too, the walls are painted and lighting and power sockets are on the way

- I now use a second room to my general workshop, but I need really to rearrange it since a lot of the structural work for the benchwork will be done here to avoid dust work in the layout room, but now is a real  trash room and I really want to have a better workshop.

 

A lot of work of course, but the sad time we all live now allows me to have a lot of free time which somewhere shortened the time needed to finish all of these before construction works; I'm further than I envisionned at this date.

Anyway, layout construction like benchwork, placement of Port allen which is still in his box, are scheduled late in this year, may be not before 2021 because a lot need to be done  before and the time we all live now has somewhere an influence of my presumed timing; the contractor work is one of them.

 

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Posted by John Busby on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 6:40 AM

Hi all

Here are my thoughts it doesn't matter if you only have 4'6" square to play with or are able to build a scale 15 mile long main line empire.

But the larger the layout the more bechwork you have to build and the longer it takes to get trains running.

I personally see geting trains running is important.

The larger the layout gets the more simplicity has to come into the design.

Do I really need all those point motors does the whole layout need full signaling can I use train order or staff and ticket operations instead or for part of the layout

Do I need all those blocks.

Can simpler stations be used Railroad definition of station not model definition.

Is all that complex track work really nessasary can it be done with simpler track formations.

These descisions need to be made for cost and maintainance reasons along with seriouse how much time do I have avalable for this cost benefit is a bigger factor than you would think.

The benefit side being the level of enjoyment the hobby gives you and train running time.

I for one don't want to be spending massive time on maintainance and little time playing trains, its suposed to be the other way round.

Size doesn't matter unless you have built something so big or so small it ceases to be fun for the owner.

Before anyone says no one has a layout as small as 4'6' square mine is and for me creating a Light Railway the closest thing in the US is I belive a short line.

This can be done in a small space and is quite chalenging and enjoyable and scenic thats the hard bitBig Smile

regards John

 

 

 

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Posted by Marc_Magnus on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 8:16 AM

John Busby

Hi all

Here are my thoughts it doesn't matter if you only have 4'6" square to play with or are able to build a scale 15 mile long main line empire.

But the larger the layout the more bechwork you have to build and the longer it takes to get trains running.

I personally see geting trains running is important.

The larger the layout gets the more simplicity has to come into the design.

Do I really need all those point motors does the whole layout need full signaling can I use train order or staff and ticket operations instead or for part of the layout

Do I need all those blocks.

Can simpler stations be used Railroad definition of station not model definition.

Is all that complex track work really nessasary can it be done with simpler track formations.

These descisions need to be made for cost and maintainance reasons along with seriouse how much time do I have avalable for this cost benefit is a bigger factor than you would think.

The benefit side being the level of enjoyment the hobby gives you and train running time.

I for one don't want to be spending massive time on maintainance and little time playing trains, its suposed to be the other way round.

Size doesn't matter unless you have built something so big or so small it ceases to be fun for the owner.

Before anyone says no has a layout as small as 4'6' square mine is and for me creating a Light Railway the closest thing in the US is I belive a short line.

This can be done in a small space and is quite chalenging and enjoyable and scenic thats the hard bitBig Smile

regards John

 

 

 

 

 

Hi john

 

I completely agree with you, anyone make a choice, they are pros and cons about each approach.

Yours is small mine is huge, this has no matter.

 

Course I agree a big layout need some different approach and must be well envisioned including all the requirements he includes.

For me building this empire is really a challenge, this is a dream which comes true after 45 years; I never had done a small plan but only big ones; it's necessary to express me.

You don't need to have a complex trackwork because you build a big layout; for the most my design is a simple double track main line going along the wall ( walk around design) which go trough small villages with just a depot and one or two local spurs or just a siding; just a few industry along the line like mines.

Yes I have a few more complex trackwork in yards, three are designed a big one and two small one.

Yes I hope to run train quickly, so the first goal is to completely finish my main line, even some local turnouts will not be placed, I will come later to put them  in place and these local tracks, but this way train could run.

Because of a long time design reflection, I hope to have planified for the most the construction of the layout, this include electrical stuff like block design and signaling.

But my approach about this is the KIS method, I will use only techniques which where hard tested from a while; not a lot of electronics in any case.

About maintenance, yes I'm extremely concerned about track maintenance and dust, somewhere they are brothers in one enemy.

About dust I will not cut any piece of wood in the train room, each piece of wood will be painted before or blowed as a minimum, no plaster use for scenery and no any dust work in the train room; vacuum used everytime and with good filters.

Track will receive after painting and ballasting a "No OX" treatment, I use it for years and the last time I refurbished the treatment it was in 2017; it's probably the more durable treatment we can use; he go over 18 months easily.

Anyway, not in use and even during construction the layout will be covered to protect him.

And in fact even if you are ready to build a small 4x8 all these rules could be applied for a better future of your layout.

Main line construction is probably using a two years period, including powering the track but I speak around 600 feet of track.

 

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 9:08 AM

Hey Marc-

Have you started a layout build thread and/or posted a track plan?

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Marc_Magnus on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 9:45 AM

ROBERT PETRICK

Hey Marc-

Have you started a layout build thread and/or posted a track plan?

Robert

 

 

Not yet, this is also one thing I need to do.

One of these days a blog will be open about this layout construction and I will share most of the stuff.

About he plan since the plan is hand drawn for now and I use a 1/1 scale do  on a roll of paper;

I will try to take pictures of it and share them.

 

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 9,186 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:33 PM

John Busby

Hi all

Here are my thoughts it doesn't matter if you only have 4'6" square to play with or are able to build a scale 15 mile long main line empire.

But the larger the layout the more bechwork you have to build and the longer it takes to get trains running.

I personally see geting trains running is important.

The larger the layout gets the more simplicity has to come into the design.

Do I really need all those point motors does the whole layout need full signaling can I use train order or staff and ticket operations instead or for part of the layout

Do I need all those blocks.

Can simpler stations be used Railroad definition of station not model definition.

Is all that complex track work really nessasary can it be done with simpler track formations.

These descisions need to be made for cost and maintainance reasons along with seriouse how much time do I have avalable for this cost benefit is a bigger factor than you would think.

The benefit side being the level of enjoyment the hobby gives you and train running time.

I for one don't want to be spending massive time on maintainance and little time playing trains, its suposed to be the other way round.

Size doesn't matter unless you have built something so big or so small it ceases to be fun for the owner.

Before anyone says no one has a layout as small as 4'6' square mine is and for me creating a Light Railway the closest thing in the US is I belive a short line.

This can be done in a small space and is quite chalenging and enjoyable and scenic thats the hard bitBig Smile

regards John

 

 

 

 

John,

I started this thread over a year ago fully acknowledging that size is not the measure of quality and that large layouts are not for everybody.

Large layouts can, and likely should be, built in phases, so trains can be running as soon as practical.

You used the terms "need" and "necessary".......nothing about a model train is "necessary".

But, if it does not fulfill the builders dreams and goals to at least some degree, what is the point? I have no interest in a short line or switching layout, at least not as my only operational option. 

I am 62, I have been at this since age 10. By age 14 I was working in a hobby shop and a member of a well known club. By age 19 I was managing a train department in a hobby shop.

I have built a few layouts, last one filled 1000 sq ft room. I have helped others build some big layouts, some of which I designed for them.

I have a set of goals, if I cannot at least get close to those goals, I should stop now and sell it all.

I have said hundreds of times on this forum, everyone should enjoy this hobby however it suits them best. I take no issue with those who choose differently from me.

You also mentioned maintenance. In my 50 year experiance, including at the club, who's layout is now over 60 years old, well built layouts do not require tons of maintenance,  no matter their size.

My layout will have about 70 Tortoise machines controling about 120 mainline and staging yard turnouts/crossovers. The remaining 40 or so turnouts in yards and industrial areas will be manual ground throws near enough to the layout edge. For two reasons - reducing cost and complexity, and because those turnouts would be manually thrown in real life.

Complex trackage - well yes, my layout will be a double track mainline representing a successful Class I line in the mid 1950's. There will be some slip switches, crossovers, double track diverging routes......... 

BUT, I am only modeling one yard, one engine terminal, one medium sized passenger terminal (and a few small stations), etc. I am not trying to model both ends of some large system. 

I would rather do it once and do it convincingly, and then just model a few scale miles either side of that small city.

My goals are long trains, large realistic curves, deep believable scenery that include more than just railroad related elements, and lots of big time railroad action.

My layout plan will allow good display running, single operator operation, or enjoyment for a crew of 10 or 12. This high level of operational options and flexiblity was also a design requirement.

Signals - again, this will be a model of big time railroading, it would be incomplete without signals.

I have the modeling knowledge, experiance, space and resources to accomplish this. And as I ease into retirement I expect to have the time.

Sheldon

 

    

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 19,242 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:37 PM

Great thread, Sheldon!

A classic, for sure.   Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 9,186 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:41 PM

richhotrain

Great thread, Sheldon!

A classic, for sure.   Yes

Rich

 

Thanks, now if I can just sell the excess real estate, and get past the global disaster, I will go hide in the basement and build the layout.

Remember, I'm a carpenter, benchwork is a breeze.........

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 19,242 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:43 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain

Great thread, Sheldon!

A classic, for sure.   Yes

Rich 

Thanks, now if I can just sell the excess real estate, and get past the global disaster, I will go hide in the basement and build the layout.

Remember, I'm a carpenter, benchwork is a breeze.........

Sheldon  

If I lived closer, and owned an N95 mask, I would drive over and help you with the benchwork.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 9,186 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:59 PM

richhotrain

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain

Great thread, Sheldon!

A classic, for sure.   Yes

Rich 

Thanks, now if I can just sell the excess real estate, and get past the global disaster, I will go hide in the basement and build the layout.

Remember, I'm a carpenter, benchwork is a breeze.........

Sheldon  

 

 

If I lived closer, and owned an N95 mask, I would drive over and help you with the benchwork.

 

Rich

 

I can supply the mask...... 

As of this morning we only have 34 confirmed cases in the whole county, but, to be fair, there are only three small towns and not a building over four stories in the whole county either.....

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: West Australia
  • 2,209 posts
Posted by John Busby on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 10:24 PM

Hi Atlantic Central

Yes I use the terms need and necessary this is purely in the context of a model railroad or planning one that has some sembelance of being a model railroad these do depend completely on what you are building.

IMHO There are certain things you need for it to be a model railroad instead of a train set thats a debate for another day.

I also tend to think like a railway employee when designing a layout after over thirty years as a railway employee now retired so no great surprise there.

You would be very suprised at the numbers of railway and ex railway people who are in the hobby.

While a model railroad may not be necassary a hobby of some sort is.

The anecdotal evidence is that those with a hobby are generally better off from a physical health and mental health point of view and tend to live a better quality of life and recover from lifes curved balls better than those that don't have a hobby.

I don't subscribe to the Empire vs Small argument I am trying to point out the conciderations for both are exactly the same only the size changes.

Mine is tiny it keeps me having fun and if I had wanted to I could have built something a lot bigger would it be better probably not I don't need room for large trains two or three cars and a caboose or combine is pretty representaive of the line , I do have the space even a plan for a short extension that reflects exactly the kind of railroad I am trying to portray this last point is the one that makes all model railroaders equal regardless of layout size

One day I might even build a layout that has a one scale mile of railroad all that would mean is a load more scenery to build as station and siding size would not need to change for anything other than asthetic reasons train size would not change.

I would just have to buy an extra box or two of flex track and more wood to cover the distance.

I like The very rural quaint offbeat feel many Shortlines and UK Light Railways had

regards John

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