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Why do we not model this ?

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Posted by wp8thsub on Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:44 PM

Enzoamps
We build large layouts to look realistic, then stick one guy in another room to play dispatcher, out of sight from the trains.  Gosh, you don;t even need a layout to do that.   maybe someone already markets fake train documentation so a fan can sit at a desk and be a yard master.  

Nothing crazy at all about either of those ideas.  The prototype dispatcher typically works from a location where he can't see the trains.  There's no reason the guy working the CTC machine, computer console, or writing train orders needs a view of the layout to do his job.

I've also operated on more than one layout where the yardmaster managed a yard from a separate office location.  He completed switchlists and issued other instructions more or less as an actual yardmaster would.  It worked, and it was fun.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:11 AM

Enzoamps

I think modelers are a nutty bunch.  We use slow motion switch motors, but run the layout on a fast clock.  We worry that our boxcar is a scale foot too long, but it is OK that Phildelphia is only 8 feet from Baltimore.  We build large layouts to look realistic, then stick one guy in another room to play dispatcher, out of sight from the trains.  Gosh, you don;t even need a layout to do that.   maybe someone already markets fake train documentation so a fan can sit at a desk and be a yard master.  (Marketing opportunity there)

there are always some areas of detail that are overlooked or purposely ignored out of expedience.  I agree more of the magazine content is devoted to things with wheels on them, but I can recall many fine articles about structures, scenery, roadbed, etc.   Right here in Lansing downtown ther is a major power plant, I always look at it with an eye towards modelling it - though I never will.  It has three 500 foot tall stacks.  Imagine that on a layout.  I wonder how tall I'd have to make them to look reasonable and still not poke up into the dining room.

 

Interesting points.

And just like my opening post in this thread - not all of of us do these things.....

I only model one city and the activity coming and going from it.

My dispatcher has a birds eye view of most of the layout, never understood that seperate room thing either.

I long ago stopped obessing about the accuracy of each model, so long as they give a good "impression" of their prototype.

And my "large" layout is very simple and spacious in terms of trackage.......so that the civil engineering is at least believable even though still greatly compressed.

And even though I am a freelance modeler, I have created a set of standards to give the railroad that uniform look of the prototype - and I stick to them.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:10 AM

dknelson
 
BRAKIE
Here's a prime example of the freight cars seen in '67. Note the tiny tank car.

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/149435/

 

 

 
My hunch is that that is a bromine tank car - bromine being a particularly dense fluid element mined by locating ancient brine pools.  It is so dense that the tank cars used to handle it usually handle nothing else but.  There was a fine article in MR for February 2001 about scratchbuilding a bromine tank car.
 
Dave Nelson
 

Ahhh! Thank you Dave! I believe you nailed the mystery.

Larry

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Posted by Enzoamps on Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:27 AM

I think modelers are a nutty bunch.  We use slow motion switch motors, but run the layout on a fast clock.  We worry that our boxcar is a scale foot too long, but it is OK that Phildelphia is only 8 feet from Baltimore.  We build large layouts to look realistic, then stick one guy in another room to play dispatcher, out of sight from the trains.  Gosh, you don;t even need a layout to do that.   maybe someone already markets fake train documentation so a fan can sit at a desk and be a yard master.  (Marketing opportunity there)

there are always some areas of detail that are overlooked or purposely ignored out of expedience.  I agree more of the magazine content is devoted to things with wheels on them, but I can recall many fine articles about structures, scenery, roadbed, etc.   Right here in Lansing downtown ther is a major power plant, I always look at it with an eye towards modelling it - though I never will.  It has three 500 foot tall stacks.  Imagine that on a layout.  I wonder how tall I'd have to make them to look reasonable and still not poke up into the dining room.

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:07 PM

BRAKIE
Here's a prime example of the freight cars seen in '67. Note the tiny tank car.

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/149435/

 

 
My hunch is that that is a bromine tank car - bromine being a particularly dense fluid element mined by locating ancient brine pools.  It is so dense that the tank cars used to handle it usually handle nothing else but.  There was a fine article in MR for February 2001 about scratchbuilding a bromine tank car.
 
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Posted by trainnut1250 on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 5:02 PM

yougottawanta

trainnut - How long did you spend researching before you begain building ?

 

 

Sorry for the long response - It happened in phases. I found myself drawn to various west coast lines and ended up buying and building rolling stock for these lines. Around the same time I fell in with a bunch of narrow gauge modelers who liked to build models of specific locations and equipment, even if they were freelancing. Eventually this led me to a group of prototypes to combine on the layout.

 

I started out by designing the foot print of the layout – a double deck design with a third staging deck below. I divided up the decks into scenes and then started looking at the group of prototypes that I liked for scenes to model. This led to a track plan and an eventual designation of roughly 12 scenes varying from a few feet to 12 feet in length.

 

At that point I went scene by scene to adapt the basic track plan and scenic elements to fit.  It took a year after I had the layout room built to design the track plan. I wanted a Point to point ops based plan with continuous loops on both decks. It took a while to work out all the details.

 

I then built the beast one deck at a time and finished the track work about three years after starting. Since then I have been going around the room scene by scene building models and finishing scenery. I will spend time researching specific models and scenic elements as needed,

 

The layout has been under construction for 11 years. The top deck scenery is nearly complete. I build in quick bursts and randomly jump from project to project. The layout is littered with half completed projects that I eventually circle back to and finish…

 

You can see some of the progress on the website in my link. Send me a private e-mail if you want the latest.

 

Guy

 

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 3:59 PM

yougottawanta
Larry why do you think the tanks were small ? Did it have to do with the techonology that the tank itself could support ? Or maybe teh weight on the rail bed itself ? Or some other consideration such as cost to build or end user needs ?

 

I never seen that type of tank car so,it may have been used to haul wine or whiskey to a off brand name bottler. Then maybe the car carried heavy liquids. What got my attention was the size compared to the Burlington boxcar.Reminded me of a TT scale tankcar coupled to a HO boxcar.

Last year NS removed the last PRR style signals here in Bucyrus and replaced them with the newer PTC  signals.

Larry

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Posted by yougottawanta on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 1:06 PM

First thanks all for the many wondeful comments. I think this has been a great discussion.

Rob Spangler - Bow Thank you for the pictures I love your work. It is wonderful indeed !

Larry - Your earlier comment brings up another how to deal with question. In the event of mergers not every RR had the same specs. Does that mean that the new owner changed all of the other RR specs ? I also know from expierene that stds change and many of the old stds remain ( if it aint broken dont fix it  attitude ) or money flo or crew availability would limit how fast upgrades were made. That would make for interesting modeling and story telling of he RR.

trainnut - How long did you spend researching before you begain building ?

ATSF - Hey guy ! I agree everyone is differnt. I know many RRers that never get past teh plywood because tehy only want the rail in place so they can run locos.

Lion - I knew you had a large RR but I didnt know it would take 20 minutes - that is impressive !

Larry why do you think the tanks were small ? Did it have to do with the techonology that the tank itself could support ? Or maybe teh weight on the rail bed itself ? Or some other consideration such as cost to build or end user needs ?

Doe any one have examples of the civil specs you have installed on your RR ?

YGW

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 11:33 AM

ROBERT PETRICK
BTW, when you fiddle with the mathematics of that not less than 11'-3 1/2" from outer rail of main to inner rail of siding business what you get is 16'-0" from centerline of main to centerline of siding. Still kinda funny, though. Robert

Funnier is some of the largely long gone urban industrial "fiddle" yards you could stretch both arms out and touch the cars on both tracks.

While these industrial yards was only 2-3 tracks they was compact due to being  surrounded by industries or industries on one side and a river or creek on the other. Needless to say these yards was leftover from wooden 30-36' freight car era.

Larry

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 9:33 AM

IRONROOSTER
A 60 foot basement is only 1 HO mile long so you're protoypical 117 car long coal train takes up the length of your basement. Even with a basement layout and double decking you can only get about 8-10 miles of mainline.

LION does not have 60' basement. Him has a 24 x 27' classrom. Him has three levels, him has 4 track mane lions. Him has 14 miles of track, 9 miles of which are the Broadway Local (23 stations). It takes 20 minutes for a train to make the round trip from 242nd Street Station to South Ferry (loop) and back again.

IS subway Layout, Tight Curves are the norm.

ROAR

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:58 AM

dknelson

On the general topic of aiming for greater fidelity and accuracy in modeling elements of railroad engineering, I dug out my copy of 57 Plans Compiled in the Office of the Chief Engineer of Maintenance of Way for the Pennsylvania Railroad, a 1967 era softcover book put out by Boynton & Assoc.  

The very first page is a cross section of first class track -- a four track main line with and without sidings.

From the outer rail of the main to the rail of the siding it says "Not less than 11' 3 1/2"."   Somehow I find that 1/2 inch to be almost funny.  But the standards get even more precise: distance from the top of the tie on the outer rail through the stone ballast to the botton of the 12 inches of cinder subroadbed is exactly 3' 4 1/8".

Clearly no matter how determined you are to "nail" this you are not going to get your subroadbed to the eight of an inch!

Nonetheless the book, from plans dated 1906, is a treasure trove of information much of which can be studied with benefit by modelers.   I see I paid the list price of $3 for mine but copies available online seem to be running in the $14/$15 range.  Well worth it.  

Dave Nelson

 

Hey Dave-

It's good to have a sense of humor.

You know how carpenter's tapes have red marks every 16"? You know, for studs? I have a surveyor's chain. It is 100 feet long and made of a single flat piece of stainless steel. It has a mark at 2'-4 1/4". And not just 2'-4 1/4", but 2'-4 1/4" at 73 degrees of temperature and 40 pounds of tension; exactly half-gauge. Even though civil engineers build stuff out of dirt, we have our critical dimensions and tolerances just like everyone else.

BTW, when you fiddle with the mathematics of that not less than 11'-3 1/2" from outer rail of main to inner rail of siding business what you get is 16'-0" from centerline of main to centerline of siding. Still kinda funny, though.

Robert

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:45 AM

riogrande5761
Heck, thats my gripe in most RR videos and photo's I see - I want to see some of the freight cars but barely get a chance because, once again, engines are the star of the show.

Those are called mindless locomotive run bys.My few videos I took over the years showed the complete train as a run by but,that calls for going the extra step and carrying several fully charged batteries.

IMHO The best freight car research is found in photos of yards if one looks beyond the main subject of the photo.

Here's a prime example of the freight cars seen in '67. Note the tiny tank car.

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/149435/

Larry

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7:19 AM

When was the last time you saw a review of a water tower and how it functioned, did it match the proto type? Is it period accurtate ? Or an article on a mow building matching the proto type ?

Those articles do exist of course, but lets face it, trains are what interest many the most - they are the main stars so they get far and above the most attention.  If you want to get into water towers or bridges, some do, then by all means.  But don't be surprised that engines get all the attention.  Heck, thats my gripe in most RR videos and photo's I see - I want to see some of the freight cars but barely get a chance because, once again, engines are the star of the show.  Hopefully that is a clear enough answer to the "whys".

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 6:44 PM

On the general topic of aiming for greater fidelity and accuracy in modeling elements of railroad engineering, I dug out my copy of 57 Plans Compiled in the Office of the Chief Engineer of Maintenance of Way for the Pennsylvania Railroad, a 1967 era softcover book put out by Boynton & Assoc.  

The very first page is a cross section of first class track -- a four track main line with and without sidings.

From the outer rail of the main to the rail of the siding it says "Not less than 11' 3 1/2"."   Somehow I find that 1/2 inch to be almost funny.  But the standards get even more precise: distance from the top of the tie on the outer rail through the stone ballast to the botton of the 12 inches of cinder subroadbed is exactly 3' 4 1/8".

Clearly no matter how determined you are to "nail" this you are not going to get your subroadbed to the eight of an inch!

Nonetheless the book, from plans dated 1906, is a treasure trove of information much of which can be studied with benefit by modelers.   I see I paid the list price of $3 for mine but copies available online seem to be running in the $14/$15 range.  Well worth it.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:35 PM

Never mind.

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Posted by b60bp on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:33 PM

Guy,

Nice looking scenery base! When you get that finished up it'll look like SP territory for sure. Thanks for the photo.

BP

 

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Posted by yougottawanta on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 11:48 AM

Larry - THANKS ! Well said.

Cuyama wrote - " If the Original Poster wishes to model in this way, that’s terrific. Incorporate these features in a section of your layout or on a diorama and post some photos. That would be informative and interesting (more so than yet another thread asking “Why don’t other people model the way I think they should?”) -- Cuyama that is not the intention of the post. I absolutely do not believe we all have to model thgis way. How boring it wouyld be ! I believe I stated that multiple times that "I understand" that others may not model this this way. I was speaking more to the subject as a hobby in general, not specific. There are way more reviews of locos, engines, than there ever is of equipment being proto typical. When was the last time you saw a review of a water tower and how it functioned, did it match the proto type? Is it period accurtate ? Or an article on a mow building matching the proto type ?

Dave H - There are many modelers that belong to this forum that are from other countries. I know some that are from Germany, Great Britain, Australia, Canada ...Thus that example. Happily train nuts are ever where !

BP - Thanks I am glad you are enjoying this thread.

YGW

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 11:06 AM

Every modeler is different,

Some prefer the past, some the present, and some do a little bit of both.

Some guys have trains from 2 or 3 roads, while others just foucus on one road only.

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:52 AM

b60bp

 

As an aside, one thing that's always caught my eye is the huge tunnel portal clearence layouts usually have. Even 19th Century settings seem to have double stack capable tunnels. Granted, some tunnels were built with generous dimensions, most were not. .........I'm intentional skimping on my tunnel portals to reflect a 1950's secondary mainline and face some of the same equipment restrictions. Just adds to the fun.

B.P.

We think the same way. I scratchbuilt my portals from prototype drawings. Watch out on curves, you won't get the necessary clearance due to our sharp model curves and big overhangs. I had to re-do a couple a little wider.

 

Tunnel portal scratchbuilt -

 

 

BRAKIE
 Guy,The photo of the 9 spot fooled me..I had to look closely to ensure it was a model and not a period photo. Bow
 

Larry,

thanks for the kind words

 

Guy

 

 

 

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by b60bp on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:31 AM

I really enjoy this subject, and it brings to mind a really excellent magazine dealing with it. It was one of the MR annual mags and was all about roadbed and right of way modeling and was published a few years ago. Really good information for anyone interested in the topic.

As an aside, one thing that's always caught my eye is the huge tunnel portal clearence layouts usually have. Even 19th Century settings seem to have double stack capable tunnels. Granted, some tunnels were built with generous dimensions, most were not. Same with bridges. In reality there was a great fuss when Pennsy introduced it's round roof box cars with ten foot interiors as so many routes couldn't handle them. Even wealthy lines like NYC and C&O had tight tunnels, barely 16 feet in some cases. Dome cars were rare in the East because of this, and the B&O's had special low-profile dimensions. I'm intentional skimping on my tunnel portals to reflect a 1950's secondary mainline and face some of the same equipment restrictions. Just adds to the fun.

B.P.

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:29 AM

yougottawanta

 

The major reason I wouldn't model this is its not North American prototype.  It is British or European designs.  We don't use sleepers, chairs and wedges on our track and the rail is a completely different shape.

I try to model US engineering as my space will allow.  Track on a ballast section, ditches along side the track, prototypical switch tie spacing, etc.

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

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Posted by carl425 on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:14 AM

yougottawanta
Why do we neglect the civil side ?

What do you mean "we"?

I don't mean this to be an insult, but you sound like a kid who just discovered cookies and is running around telling all the adults that they just have to try them - without realizing that they had all decided years ago what their position was on eating cookies or not.

Why do you think this document that you just "discovered" was available to you in the first place?  It was because modelers and railfans are interested in this type of information.

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 cuyama on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:11 AM

yougottawanta
We do a great job of modeling the stuff that rolls on the RR but we hardly give the civil part of the RR itself a second look or we neglect to really research it and make it as proto typical as the stuff that rolls on it.

As others have pointed out, this statement is not correct. Some modelers are spending time and money on exactly this. Not many post here -- they are busy modeling!

There are also other forums where this might be discussed mroe often -- Internet railroad forums have been around long enough that they have become specialized. Just because it does not appear here doesn't mean that it's not happening.

yougottawanta
How many articles do you see in RR Magazines on that subject ?

Depends on the magazine. This sort of topic is covered quite a bit in the magazines of the various historical societies -- and some have published or reprinted prototype standards books. Historical societies are an important resource for prototype modelers. Even for freelancers, a membership in the historical society of the railroad with which your imagined line connects or which travels through the same sort of territory can be a good investment.

This topic has also been the subject of articles in the Layout Design Journal (although less recently as so much information on this topic has become available on the Internet and from historical societies). And it has been featured in some magazines that have gone out of publication such as Mainline Modeler.

This sort of detailing seems to be a bit less popular than accurate rolling stock and structures. It’s probably a bit less noticeable, for one thing. But like any other superdetailing, folks incorporate it to an individual degree based on their preferences. 

If the Original Poster wishes to model in this way, that’s terrific. Incorporate these features in a section of your layout or on a diorama and post some photos. That would be informative and interesting (more so than yet another thread asking “Why don’t other people model the way I think they should?”)

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 9:02 AM

riogrande5761

So the assumpsion in the original post that we do not model these engineering features isn't entirely true, at least for the many modelers who try to seriously represent real railroads.  My guess would be that as modelers develope from beginner to more serious, those elements are included more and more.

 

Exactly..We can model the correct type of buildings and stations they railroad used and can paint them in the correct color.We can model the correct style of signals the road used.We can even model the type of ballast used.

Picture a Rio Grande passenger train stopped in front of a  Rio Grande style station..Beautiful and it shows advance top notch modeling.

Now let's take that same passenger train and stop it in front of a generic style station..Nice looking train but,it fails to gain the "Wow!" factor.

The only difference between a average layout and a advance layout is nothing more then attention to detail and by taking that extra step to gain that "Wow!" factor by modeling the correct infrastructure like stations,mow buildings interlocking towers etc.

The same applies to a ISL but,more attention to industrial details is needed to gain the "Wow!" factor.

And guys,leaving freight spread all over the dock is not part of gaining that "Wow!" factor..

But,I freelance and none of that applies..

Ahh, but,it does more so then one may think.If one wants a Wow factor freelance railroad like the Utah Belt,The Maumee Route,the former AM and V&O then your signals and buildings will have a family resemblance.

Even if you freelance a modern short line then some of the former owner's identification should be seen even if its no more then (say) a Conrail logo on a bridge over a highway.

Larry

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Posted by yougottawanta on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 8:18 AM

I think many are missing the point of the question and getting lost on the subject. We as modelers spend a great deal of effort in modeling accurate, the correct period, etc....on engines and rolling stock. The railroad and landscape itself plays a HUGE part in railtroads. I would say that is as much as Half of the real railroads. The cost or land, the cost to construct...To maintain consistancy the RR standardized equipment, buildings, RR beds, signals, turnouts etc.. We do a great job of modeling the stuff that rolls on the RR but we hardly give the civil part of the RR itself a second look or we neglect to really research it and make it as proto typical as the stuff that rolls on it. How many articles do you see in RR Magazines on that subject ? Is it boring? Not that many modelers interested ? Not much money to be made on the products ? Is it not promoted and they are not aware of the civil side ?

Yes I understand we make decisons on space, money, our interest etc... BUT I put it to you for anyone who wants their RR to be pototypical shouldnt we start first with the correct RR specs ? Build drainage pipe, culverts, tunnels with the correct arche, Mainlines with drainage ditches, actually scale how far the passenger building is to the center of the track ....? Why do we neglect the civil side ? To me the civil side is as much a part of the RR as rolling stock and engines.

Modeling should be fun and I agree this may not be for everyone. And yes I would run a 2000 diesel down my N&W transition period RR. Just because it is fun. BUT my RR will be built to transition period specs.

YGW

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 7:59 AM

So the assumption in the original post that we do not model these engineering features isn't entirely true, at least for the many modelers who try to seriously represent real railroads.  My guess would be that as modelers develope from beginner to more serious, those elements are included more and more.

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Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 6:16 AM

Truth be told is that we can only model very small parts of any railroad no matter how much space you have. I think we try our best to model what we like and know. But in the end we model to the size of our space. 

The whole point of model railroading is to have fun no matter how you do it. 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 6:15 AM

SouthPenn
With some items, like super elevation, would you even notice it on an HO layout if you scaled it down from the specs?

When building a new HO layout at the club, I was quite interested in using super elevation on the main line curves but the others were concerned over the possibilities of uncoupling, “string lining” or rolling stock just “falling” over, so it was not viewed as a good idea.
 
However as I ended up doing most of the track work (and the prior bench work), I decided to super elevate a 26” curve that then transitioned into 40” “S”, using .020” cereal box card as shims, I ended up with .060” super elevation at the apexes.
 
Unless you looked really hard and knew what you were looking at, you couldn’t see the super elevation in the track work but as Sheldon has mentioned you could see it in the tilt of the rolling stock, and in the S, a longish train looked really good, the members who worked out what I had done thought it was well worth it.  Sadly though a lot of the other club members never cottoned on that it had been super elevated. BTW it never gave any trouble and at the time there was a lot of “ropey” rolling stock that was used on that layout.
 
Personally I think its well worth the effort and fully intend to incorporate it into my own layout where appropriate.
 
My 2 CentsCheers, the Bear.Smile

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:18 AM

rrebell

The real problem is what was standard and what was done. What was done was anything to get the job done. 

 

Not really.There were guide lines and rules that had to be followed by the engineering department from the same type of buildings to the type of rail used to the type of locomotives used.Mother Nature had to be part of that planning.Signals types was standardized for safety.Switches and curves was standardized based on several things including locomotive and track speed.As locomotives became bigger and freight cars heavier rail replaced the lighter rail and bridges rebuilt. Even tunnels was rebored by lowering the floor with improved drainage.

Truth be known only we modelers do things that the railroads would never do.

 

Larry

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