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70th Birthday, everyone wants me to build a layout.!!!. - Members Ideas For Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 07:10 pm
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Matador
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Brief History , came to the US in 83 Been in the Model Building and Custom Painting business ever since, semi retired got bored easily everybody said why don't you build a layout?.
Although not over enthusiastic (due to doing this 5 days a week for the past 33 years) I decided to get enthusiastic having been away from British Railway Modelling apart from a few repaints and DCC installs for Brits here in the US, my reasoning try and replicate a little of what I remember from my youth back in the UK.
Built a 12' x 20" Baseboard down one wall of a spare bedroom with a 6' dog leg for a fiddle Yard in a closet,, brought up on LMS but always liked the GWR so a little of both, very enthusiastically started to move ahead all I wanted was a simple Branchline something to do to stop being bored.Well when I started looking at track plans and layouts I got real enthusiastic but here I am about 12 weeks later still no layout started a myriad of really great track plans to choose from but I have hit a brick wall.Time period late Steam early Diesel
Has anyone else been through this and if so what did you do to rectify it ?.
DavidFrustrated and thinking about taking up Skydiving LOL.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 09:43 pm
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BCDR
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Hi David,

You're facing the "tyranny of choice". My suggestion - put the plans away for the moment, and make a list of what you want to do. Being in the US has it's problems re stock availability. Three Cheers for Hattons I say but there are good suppliers closer to home just across the border, as well as eebygum here in the US, amazing the amount of UK stock up for sale, plus the BRMNA in Ottawa often has some gems for sale by members.

1. Scale. N or OO (or even HO)? Narrow gauge/standard gauge interchange?
2. Gauge. OO or something more prototypical such as EM or P4. EM can be got RTR, P4 I haven't a clue.
3. Twelve feet shelf so it's probably a narrow passenger branch line or an industrial one (Slough Industrial Estate for example, or a pulp and paper complex - fire-less loco's! How about an ironstone works interchange? The old steel works at Brymbo with a jumble of GWR, LMS and LNER lines and halts between slag hills?). One foot wide - probably a maximum of 4 lines unless you want them right at the edge.
4. If a passenger branch, push-pull, runaround or small turntable?
5. Twelve feet is only 960 feet in the 4mm scale world, so compression is almost inevitable (and where real-life plans get thrown in the trash can, my favorite branch line terminus which I spent 4 years researching requires 34 feet plus a decent sized fiddle yard, and I've got 5 feet).
6. What's at the end of the line? See point 3. Gasworks, cement works, quarry, maltings, light industry, creamery, etc. will influence the stock and operations (shunting/switching, freight in/freight out). Gasworks are fun, coal in, coke and coal tar out (coal wagons in, coke wagons and crude tar tankers out, often with the siding next to the passenger station).
7. What's the operational interest? Watching trains operate or detailed movements to a timetable?
8. Real location, adapted or plain fictitious?
9. RTR or kit/scratch build? As I get closer to 70 I seem to be doing more of the latter, perhaps more of the former would be appropriate. Less fun though, and I don't care whether it ever gets finished.
10. DC or DCC?

Get some of the above decided and the plans quickly fall into "no way, maybe, yes" categories.  Or based on what you want, just start laying track and let it evolve. I'm always fascinated by the evolution/devolution of real track plans from the late 1890's through to the 1970's (and even later, some lines that were singled in the 1960's are now being doubled). No reason why a model railway should be any different.

When I need a bit of inspiration I always have a look at the MSWJR (http://www.swindonsotherrailway.co.uk). Great track plans from the 1920's that can be adapted to make some interesting layouts (how about a 100' long milk platform cameo?).

My wish list, well, eclectic to say the least as it would involve opencast ironstone works, a lonely halt with a goods loop and a water-powered mill, a viaduct, and quarry inclines, all taken from across much of the Midlands. But it would be my railway. In Z-scale of course.

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 10:28 pm
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Brossard
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I tend to agree with most if not all that Nigel says :cool wink.  Yes, take a step back and think about what's important to you.  You've done what I did and built the boards before having a firm idea of the layout.

BRMNA ( http://www.brmna.org/index.html)  is probably worth the $4 dues and the newsletter is a nice read.  It is very dependent on member contributions.  I've looked at the second hand offerings in the sales section and even bought a thing or two.  It's usually a generation behind the current rolling stock designs.  Be VERY careful buying locos (anything really) second hand.

I had a flutter with EM but got bogged down converting RTR locos.  I did actually build a Jinty chassis.  However, I came to the realisation that life is too short for the sake of a couple of mm and returned to 00.

A branchline terminus is the obvious plan for your baseboards and GWR had these in profusion - LMS less so.

As for buying stuff, Hatton's ( http://www.hattons.co.uk/?utm_source=ehattons.com&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=ehattonsredirect )  is one of the best IMO and where I do most of my RTR business.  They are efficient, fast and postage is usually quite reasonable.  In fact, I'll buy American products (like DCC stuff) from the UK because USPS rates are extortionate to Canada.  You can take off 20% from the posted price which is VAT and not charged to overseas customers.  Whether the customs folk at this end decide to charge you duty etc. I can't say.  My experience is that most of the time the parcel comes direct to me with no additional charges.

John



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 Posted: Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 10:43 pm
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Matador
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BCDR wrote: Hi David,

You're facing the "tyranny of choice". My suggestion - put the plans away for the moment, and make a list of what you want to do. Being in the US has it's problems re stock availability. Three Cheers for Hattons I say but there are good suppliers closer to home just across the border, as well as eebygum here in the US, amazing the amount of UK stock up for sale, plus the BRMNA in Ottawa often has some gems for sale by members.

1. Scale. N or OO (or even HO)? Narrow gauge/standard gauge interchange?
2. Gauge. OO or something more prototypical such as EM or P4. EM can be got RTR, P4 I haven't a clue.
3. Twelve feet shelf so it's probably a narrow passenger branch line or an industrial one (Slough Industrial Estate for example, or a pulp and paper complex - fire-less loco's! How about an ironstone works interchange? The old steel works at Brymbo with a jumble of GWR, LMS and LNER lines and halts between slag hills?). One foot wide - probably a maximum of 4 lines unless you want them right at the edge.
4. If a passenger branch, push-pull, runaround or small turntable?
5. Twelve feet is only 960 feet in the 4mm scale world, so compression is almost inevitable (and where real-life plans get thrown in the trash can, my favorite branch line terminus which I spent 4 years researching requires 34 feet plus a decent sized fiddle yard, and I've got 5 feet).
6. What's at the end of the line? See point 3. Gasworks, cement works, quarry, maltings, light industry, creamery, etc. will influence the stock and operations (shunting/switching, freight in/freight out). Gasworks are fun, coal in, coke and coal tar out (coal wagons in, coke wagons and crude tar tankers out, often with the siding next to the passenger station).
7. What's the operational interest? Watching trains operate or detailed movements to a timetable?
8. Real location, adapted or plain fictitious?
9. RTR or kit/scratch build? As I get closer to 70 I seem to be doing more of the latter, perhaps more of the former would be appropriate. Less fun though, and I don't care whether it ever gets finished.
10. DC or DCC?

Get some of the above decided and the plans quickly fall into "no way, maybe, yes" categories.  Or based on what you want, just start laying track and let it evolve. I'm always fascinated by the evolution/devolution of real track plans from the late 1890's through to the 1970's (and even later, some lines that were singled in the 1960's are now being doubled). No reason why a model railway should be any different.

When I need a bit of inspiration I always have a look at the MSWJR (http://www.swindonsotherrailway.co.uk). Great track plans from the 1920's that can be adapted to make some interesting layouts (how about a 100' long milk platform cameo?).

My wish list, well, eclectic to say the least as it would involve opencast ironstone works, a lonely halt with a goods loop and a water-powered mill, a viaduct, and quarry inclines, all taken from across much of the Midlands. But it would be my railway. In Z-scale of course.

Nigel
Thanks for the reply, A lot of what you say makes sense, I was 70 last week so I want something light and easy a GWR Branch is what I am looking at, PECO Code 75 is close enough for me RTR stock and a timetable are my only criteria.A lot to take in but I have time for that.
David.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 10:49 pm
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Matador
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Brossard wrote: I tend to agree with most if not all that Nigel says :cool wink.  Yes, take a step back and think about what's important to you.  You've done what I did and built the boards before having a firm idea of the layout.

BRMNA ( http://www.brmna.org/index.html)  is probably worth the $4 dues and the newsletter is a nice read.  It is very dependent on member contributions.  I've looked at the second hand offerings in the sales section and even bought a thing or two.  It's usually a generation behind the current rolling stock designs.  Be VERY careful buying locos (anything really) second hand.

I had a flutter with EM but got bogged down converting RTR locos.  I did actually build a Jinty chassis.  However, I came to the realisation that life is too short for the sake of a couple of mm and returned to 00.

A branchline terminus is the obvious plan for your baseboards and GWR had these in profusion - LMS less so.

As for buying stuff, Hatton's ( http://www.hattons.co.uk/?utm_source=ehattons.com&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=ehattonsredirect )  is one of the best IMO and where I do most of my RTR business.  They are efficient, fast and postage is usually quite reasonable.  In fact, I'll buy American products (like DCC stuff) from the UK because USPS rates are extortionate to Canada.  You can take off 20% from the posted price which is VAT and not charged to overseas customers.  Whether the customs folk at this end decide to charge you duty etc. I can't say.  My experience is that most of the time the parcel comes direct to me with no additional charges.

John
I had a OO Flutter about 5 years ago so HATTONS is my choice , with regards Baseboards they are left over from my Son and I venture into US HO.I guess my problem is I want a simple track plan and then start seeing some of the track plans and its another siding here and another siding there and suddenly I am miles away from what I want, I guess I don't want it to be too simple so I get bored and it becomes nothing more than a dust gatherer.I tried to buy some goods from a good Canadian hobby shop last week but Hattons blew them away so I guess I,ll help Brexit LOL.
David.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 02:24 am
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BCDR
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Hi David,

Hattons postage rates are very goods, as are their prices. If you are tempted by second-hand locomotives, beware of Mainline and early Bachmann - split chassis, split axles and no spares. I went through 3 Bachmann Manors before getting one that worked.

If you want a simple track plan as a starter, have a look at Abingdon or Woodstock (for Blenheim). Just decrease the number of sidings. Basically a runaround, goods shed siding and head shunt with a spur for the engine shed.

Nigel



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 Posted: Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 03:12 am
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Matador
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I only want 2-3 locos and they will be new in my business too many heartaches caused by second hand or older items.
David.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 03:52 am
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Chiefnerd
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Hi David
If it is just the modelling / building aspect that you enjoy why not just throw out the track plans. Get rid of the route march.
Buy two lengths of track and stick them together. Then when ready buy another length and add that to the first two. Just make it up as you go along and if you feel it is not right lift it up and start again.
I enjoy the fiddling aspect of the hobby and sometimes too many plans removes that enjoyment. You will not match the speed that some can build a layout but in my opinion you will have as much fun.
Andrew

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 Posted: Wed Aug 24th, 2016 02:58 am
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BCDR
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Coffee grinders!Matador wrote: I only want 2-3 locos and they will be new in my business too many heartaches caused by second hand or older items.
David.
Hi David,

Oh do I know about brass coffee grinders, 2 on the getaroundtoit shelf at the moment. And seller statements along the lines of "good smooth runner" which roughly translates as "jerks along at 17V accompanied by smoke and sparks". But you never said it burned coal says I.....That and people selling Proto2000 diesels which are guaranteed to have split axles, and who vehemently deny any running problems. Clickity-click, and no rail gaps. That said, buying new is no guarantee of good running characteristics. Which can be a problem with UK bought engines if you have to send them back.

Nigel



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