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Please Help — An unthinkably large Ho Scale system.

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Please Help — An unthinkably large Ho Scale system.
Posted by Jared the Artist on Saturday, April 10, 2021 6:14 PM

Greetings,

I've spent a significant portion of time designing what will be the largest Ho Scale system in the world (yes, it will dwarf the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg).  I have several hundred sketches that I planned on scanning and importing into a program to connect them together something like a puzzle.  However, I'm having an incredibly difficult time finding a program suitable for the task. 

The sketches are drawn from real life locations throughout North America using google maps, so the entire system, cities, railyards, bridges, industries, scenic points, etc. will be replicated and built to scale — hence why the design will be so large.  I have all the areas I want to build, I just need to figure out how to put them all into an easily viewable digital map.  

Any ideas?  

Thanks in advance for the help :)

-Jared

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:35 PM

Welcome to the forum. 

As a first post, I don't find it a credible proposition.  Best of luck

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by York1 on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:53 PM

Welcome to the forum.  Your first few posts are moderated, so they may not appear immediately.  This will clear up after you post a few times.

I don't have an answer for your question, but I hope that if you figure anything out, you will let us know.

York1 John       

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, April 12, 2021 7:03 PM

Welcome

Farm it out to a pro, wouldn’t add much to the cost of such a large layout.
 

Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, April 12, 2021 7:12 PM

How about posting just one of your sketches for us to see. 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by snjroy on Monday, April 12, 2021 7:51 PM

I think you will need to break it up. Perhaps do an overall plan, and severable small plans of sections or squares.

Simon

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 12, 2021 11:24 PM

Your post just leaves me with hundreds of questions.

The most obvious one is just WHY?

-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 hon30critter on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:15 AM

SeeYou190
Your post just leaves me with hundreds of questions. The most obvious one is just WHY?

Ditto!

Jared: Please explain your purpose in trying to design such a beast. If you are just doing it for fun, then say so. If you have plans to actually build something that large, and you have the financial resources to do so, please make that clear.

Quite frankly you strike me as being a troll. I hope I'm wrong. I really hope that you aren't wasting our time.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by NVSRR on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 6:06 AM

A good cad program. 

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

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

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 7:09 AM

Maybe it's a wind-up.  Or the guy has more money than we can imagine.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 8:17 AM

A topic very similar to this came up in December 2020. It was called something like . . . "how much do I have to know to design something".

Impossibly large, extremely complex layout. New, first-time poster. Different username, but very similar to this. Stuck around for a few days and a few posts.

Might be a coincidence. Might not. Might just be my ridiculous memory.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 9:25 AM

Is the OP's plan feasible without any consideration of space?  Not to rain on anyone's parade, here.  Warning bells are ringing loudly that we need a ton more information.  

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 10:47 AM

There are thise out there that have mone money that the coukd use, this is not me, if it was I would buy this company.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:02 AM

I hope Jared comes back with more details.

-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 RR_Mel on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:44 AM

Unless he is a multi millionaire with nothing else to do it ain’t going to happen.

  


Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by oldline1 on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:57 AM

Guys, maybe THIS is the real MR April Fool joke?

oldline1

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:16 PM

SeeYou190
I hope Jared comes back with more details.

Do we really need them?

All he needs is a combination of some kind of elementary CAD program and the kind of map-generation software that was in old versions of Streets and Trips as a 'convenience' that could produce the equivalent of AAA Triptiks for drivers needing cheap paper maps.  

He makes his <insert ridiculous adjective> number of sketches and then sticks them on a map grid to keep track of where they go relative to each other.  He has a utility like autoclose that tinkers with the lines for the track so they smoothly join between sketches.  In a sense this is like layering with tiles instead of overlays.

Not the least thing of importance that the program would do is provide the <insert ridiculous adjective> number of walkways and duckunders to allow people to actually view the masterpiece's details without needing to remember their large ball of (distinctively-colored) string to ensure they get home afterward.  I am still bitter about forgetting my glasses going to the World's Fair in 1964, where Marklin had their enormous mountain of trains everywhere... the only one of which I could see was some poky little switcher going forward and back near the edge as an afterthought.  Never again!!!

Then he expresses some cut of this virtual map into something like 3D Plan-It that can print off one of his <insert another ridiculous adjective, different to avoid monotony> number of templates for tracklaying.

The rest is just a bunch of benchwork and busywork, and he could always pay build teams to work in parallel or even use one of the modular conventions.

shouldn't a straight question deserve a straight, technical answer?

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:21 PM

I wonder how much Wunderland cost to build and maintain? Maybe if every model railroader in the world throws in a buck he can get started.Laugh The first thing he should do is hire engineering professionals to tell him how much $$$$ he will need.Laugh

How many sq ft of layout can one full-time employee maintain?

Long as he is having fun.  

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:57 PM

Even my 24x48 basement layout has proved to be an overreach. I thought being retired I would be able to complete the railroad in five years. Here it is twenty years later and I am just now getting into sight of the finish line and when I get there, there are a couple sections I plan a redo. 

Even if one has the time and money to build a large layout, there are other obstacles. Model railroading can be mentally fatiguing which should be taken into account when planning a large layout. Maybe there are some who can spend a full eight hour day in the train room but I am not one of them. Four hours is a lot for me to spend working on the layout. Then there are always going to be the unexpected problems. A turnout or a curve or a structure that doesn't quite fit where the plan called for it. Sometimes this can cause a major reworking. There can be delays when a needed item is out of production. There are always going to be problems that crop up that delay progress.

Another question is where is this layout going to be built? It would require a very large dedicated space and it better not be a rental because you never know when the landlord might decide not to renew a lease.  

It the poster plans on actually building the layout he describes, I have no qualms about saying it is undoable unless he has a small army to help him build it. The layout he describes would require a lone wolf to spend several lifetimes building it.  

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 1:05 PM

Eight figure budget, 25 to 30 well paid top notch modeler/craftsman, a support staff of 6-10, you might get it done in 3-5 years.

Where are we doing this? I would possibly be willing to project manage such a project.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 1:15 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Eight figure budget, 25 to 30 well paid top notch modeler/craftsman, a support staff of 6-10, you might get it done in 3-5 years.

Where are we doing this? I would possibly be willing to project manage such a project.

Sheldon

And I'd be happy to provide design and CAD support. I use AutoCAD Civil 3D 2020, which has the capacity to design an entire 1:1 city down to every last nut, bolt, and kitchen sink.

When do we start?

Robert 

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 1:18 PM

A model railroad of Make Believe is achievable as it has been done before.

One just has to start out small and branch out from there in the world of Make-BelieveWhistling

 

Pretty cool project

 

 

 

TF

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 1:32 PM

John-NYBW
Even my 24x48 basement layout has proved to be an overreach. I thought being retired I would be able to complete the railroad in five years.

...

Even if one has the time and money to build a large layout, there are other obstacles. Model railroading can be mentally fatiguing which should be taken into account when planning a large layout. Maybe there are some who can spend a full eight hour day in the train room but I am not one of them. Four hours is a lot for me to spend working on the layout.

Then there are always going to be the unexpected problems. A turnout or a curve or a structure that doesn't quite fit where the plan called for it. Sometimes this can cause a major reworking. There can be delays when a needed item is out of production. There are always going to be problems that crop up that delay progress.

I hear you on some of those things.  I've been in my current house since Nov 2017, but didn't start layout construction until end of 2019.  I can manage to work on it for more than 4 hours if I can cobble together that much time on a weekend.  My problem has been getting hobby time and still work with my wife on never ending house projects. 

Lately our HOA woke from the dead and appear to now be made up of a new self proclaimed rogue board and crappy managment company who want to make our neighborhood a better place but the new president breaks every rule in the book - and is a terrible person to be in that position.

Add to that my daughter is getting married so.  Hobby time is hard to come by.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 1:39 PM

We owned one rental property in a neighborhood with an HOA, very happy the day I sold that place.

Never lived anywhere with house police, I'm not cut out for that environment........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by NorthBrit on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 1:59 PM

Jared the Artist

Greetings,

I've spent a significant portion of time designing what will be the largest Ho Scale system in the world (yes, it will dwarf the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg).  I have several hundred sketches that I planned on scanning and importing into a program to connect them together something like a puzzle.  However, I'm having an incredibly difficult time finding a program suitable for the task. 

 

-Jared

 

 
 
"It will dwarf the Minatur Wunderland in Hamburg"  You intend building a layout bigger than 200 square meters?   Interesting.
 
 Why do I have huge doubts of this scheme being genuine?
 
I wish you success and look forward to see the final layout  .
 
 
David
 
 

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 3:46 PM

John-NYBW
Even my 24x48 basement layout has proved to be an overreach.

That is larger than my dream house layout was, and I could barely keep up with maintenance and do new construction.

Hopefully 11 by 22 will be a task I am up to.

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Where are we doing this? I would possibly be willing to project manage such a project.

If Jared is paying, this project might get me out of retirement. I could sink my teeth into this if there is meat on the bones.

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
We owned one rental property in a neighborhood with an HOA, very happy the day I sold that place.

Nearly all new neighborhoods down here need to have HOAs. The neighborhoods are responsible for maintaining the retention ponds and storm sewers. Most HOAs remain just in this maintenance role, but many get out of hand.

-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, April 13, 2021 10:59 PM

In most cases here, after a developement is built, all the infrastructure is signed over to the county, roads, retention ponds, storm sewers all become county property and are maintained with tax dollars.

Often developers are required to not only build the roads and turn them over to the county, they must make improvements to feeder roads and intersections at their expense.

Do you know how much a traffic light costs? A simple intersection upgrade can cost $250,000 to $500,000. A complex intersection can be millions.

There are lots of "benign" HOA's here as well, but some are just crazy.

In my whole life, I have never lived in a modern planned subdivison with an HOA.

Even as suburbia continues to grow around here, much of the housing is older and was developed on a smaller scale with less planning many years ago.

Where we live now, a farm was developed into a neighborhood in 1964 when the Interstate was built. But our house and many of the houses were built by people who just bought a lot and hired their own builder to build what they wanted. 

And some of the houses were already here, part of a 130 year old farming village.

House size, age and style varies a lot as you drive down the street, we have brick rancher on two acres, both our neighbors homes are over 100 years old, other homes are little Capes on 3/4 acre lots, etc.

In fact, the 1880's Victorian farmhouse on the farm that became the neighborhood still stands, surounded by little 1960's Cape Cods, bungalows and ranchers.

The streets have no sidewalks, and we all have on site wells and septic - but we do have natural gas - and our small "lake" (very large pond) with a picnic area, playground, and "beach".

And yes it belongs to the "community" but there are no dues, no meetings except the spring cleanup at the park, no property rules, no house or yard police. Those who have the time, resources and the energy communicate via facebook and mailbox flyers and do whatever the park needs on a volunteer basis. I help when I can.

Life is great in rural fly over country, minutes from the nearby little historic town of Havre de Grace.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by Jared the Artist on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:06 PM
Wow, I really appreciate all of the responses. So thank you very much for that ( at least the constructive comments lol). I was afraid to write an entire novel about my project but given all the questions and skepticism I'll do my best to answer them. First off, no I'm not some troll from the past — I am brand new here. I had a die hard addiction to model trains growing up and now that covid shut down everything I do I've literally spent the last year developing this passion project. I started designing it a year ago February and it grew and grew until what it is now. Yes, it is THAT BIG. It scares me how big it is but as an artist I learned long ago that limitations are the death of creativity. Once I removed those limitations such as "it must fit in a _____" and "it must cost less than ___" I was able to let my creativity run wild and I truly believe I've got a multi million dollar design if I could just piece it together. I did an inventory because I needed to document the size, location and trackage length of each area and so yes I have close to 850 sketches. I rented out an exhibit hall at a fairgrounds facility to layout my sketches on the floor and I couldn't even fit half of them in a 60' x 95' room. My theme is " A Tour of North America in Ho Scale". So basically every scenic photo you've seen on instagram/facebook/pinterest/etc I have covered in my design. I plan on turning this into a Theme Park and believe me when I say I have thought about this from EVERY possible angle including building acreage (yes, acreage), location, budget (yes, it's bloody expensive but I've found many ways in dealing with that), technology, manpower, marketing, development, operations and testing, special features and so on. I have a large list of investors and business owners I plan on pitching it to but before I can even get in room with them I know the first thing they will ask is "Well, what does it look like? Show me the layout/design", which goes back to my initial post: How can I scale down this massive design into a map that can fit on a 3' x 4' blueprint or into a digital file that can be projected onto a larger wall mounted white board or any of the other ways I could present my design? Again, I have around 850 hand drawn sketches that I've traced using google maps with colored ink to designate rail lines, roads, waterways, structures, mountain ridges/peaks and so on. They can be scanned into PDF's or JPEG's. Or I can use the sketches as references and crop out sections on google maps or another railway specific map of the locations I'm using and import them into a program and build my design from there. Would CAD even work for such task? This is where I'm stuck. Thanks again for the input, advice, tips :) -Jared
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Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 9:37 AM

NorthBrit
 
Your home in Tennessee  only has room for 31ft X 30 ft  (according to your tag)
 

 

How did you figure that out?

Rick

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 9:40 AM

hbgatsf

 

 
NorthBrit
 
Your home in Tennessee  only has room for 31ft X 30 ft  (according to your tag)
 

 

 

 

How did you figure that out?

Rick

 

I think David clicked on some of the tags in the OP's post. The results from clicking these tags is for other people's information.

I don't think the OP actually shared his location or layout room size.

-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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