Author Topic: Progress on The Shelf  (Read 10539 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2010, 11:48:43 AM »
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... this would also allow you to use a different scale on each layout.[/i]


That thought had crossed my mind. But then I realized that while 15" radius curves are acceptable in N, doing that in HO (even with the small steam I'd want to run in that case) would be murder.

But it's still in the back of my head.

I also contemplated doing something VERY different in this space, like the FEC in the 60s. But I don't want to have to stock up on a lot of new rolling stock (on this go-around). The fun thing about this approach is that, in 2 years or so, if I change my mind, I can remove this one and replace it with something else, possibly even keeping the existing sections around for future future use.

I'm glad you're digging it now. I think you could easily apply the same idea to the RF&P. When I think RF&P, I think mainline trains with non-DB GPs. The only trick is making sure that all your units face the right way (even numbered units point north, right?).

Thanks for the other feedback guys. It's good to hear it doesn't sag at those distances. I'm only around 18" unsupported, so I'm feeling pretty good.

unittrain, I hear your pain man. That's EXACTLY the scenario I was afraid of, and why I did this first. Is it too late for you to simplify?

davefoxx

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2010, 11:58:10 AM »
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I also contemplated doing something VERY different in this space, like the FEC in the 60s. But I don't want to have to stock up on a lot of new rolling stock (on this go-around). The fun thing about this approach is that, in 2 years or so, if I change my mind, I can remove this one and replace it with something else, possibly even keeping the existing sections around for future future use.

True.  By the way, FEC would be cool.

I'm glad you're digging it now. I think you could easily apply the same idea to the RF&P. When I think RF&P, I think mainline trains with non-DB GPs. The only trick is making sure that all your units face the right way (even numbered units point north, right?).

...and generally odd numbers pointed south.  That is, well, until CSX started sending back pooled units from up north pointing in either direction.

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lashedup

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2010, 12:27:25 PM »
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Last night in class, we discussed Ed's approach as part of a broader discussion about postmodernism.  My professor thinks that Ed is attempting to destruct all contemporary layout-construction theories and instead focus on a dissonant experimentalist approach.  For example, if Ed posted a photo of himself cutting a piece of foam in the Home Depot parking lot to fit it into his car, that photo would be consistent with mindset of the ones previously posted.  Another example would be a close up photo of the hatch that Ed is blocking as an example of the rejection of normal design constraints.

In other words, Ed's layout is a reflection of his skepticism of conventional layout design.

This is why Ed lately sports an "ironic" beard.

Ok, now this is funny... :D

sirenwerks

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2010, 03:10:58 PM »
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Last night in class, we discussed Ed's approach as part of a broader discussion about postmodernism.  My professor thinks that Ed is attempting to destruct all contemporary layout-construction theories and instead focus on a dissonant experimentalist approach.  For example, if Ed posted a photo of himself cutting a piece of foam in the Home Depot parking lot to fit it into his car, that photo would be consistent with mindset of the ones previously posted.  Another example would be a close up photo of the hatch that Ed is blocking as an example of the rejection of normal design constraints.

Meh, Ed's the quintessential situationist. BTW, did you mean 'destruct' or 'deconstruct'? They represent such different paradigms. Yet, I kinda like the whole Einst├╝rzende Neubauten ethos.
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Blazeman

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2010, 04:20:46 PM »
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Getting pretty deep here.

For guys in the east today, seeing blue sky in center city Phila. May be only be a respite.

John

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2010, 05:07:00 PM »
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Just put in a helix, then you can go from York to Miami - with a shay :)

wm3798

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2010, 06:10:16 PM »
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Precisely, John. 

I recall Ed rejecting the notion of a two tiered layout, because of his innate phobia of multi-deck layouts, and a total mental block about cutting a hole in his paneling.  So now, instead of a coherent design that not only provides an outlet for his two primary interests, but also a coherent operating plan that allows trains to move from one to the other, he's in effect built a multi deck layout, only with no reason for one to coexist with the other.

Why stop there?  Why not throw a shelf up around the crown molding and put an Aristo Craft Egg Liner flying around the top of the wall?  Or how about a loop of Lionel on the floor?  And let's not forget the house ablaze, and an operating ski slope.

The Kidney proved the value of negative space, to be sure.  The plan for Canton is invigorating as a contrast to that.  But you're discounting the importance of the transportation aspect of a railroad.  I predict that the shelf loop layout will quickly become infinitely dull, because other than running trains in and out of staging, what does it offer?  You'll take a few pictures, we'll stand slack jawed at how cool they look, but when we come over to run trains, where's the play value?

Maybe I'm an entrenched Koester constructionist, but dammit, a model railroad is more interesting if it provides a variety of operation.  If running railfan runs is your bag, that's fine.  You can easily take an ops oriented design and incorporate elements that allow for railfan roundy rounding.  But if you limit your design to that, you are stuck with it.  If you study your autographed copy of my track plan, you can see that in many ways it's a cluster fark.  But by closing a turnout here and there, I can railfan to my heart's content!

So while I appreciate your non-traditional approach, I think it's important to note that things become traditions for a reason... they pretty much work.

So I stand by my critique, particular given your penchant for fun operations, that you're headed in the wrong direction.

Lee

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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2010, 06:29:38 PM »
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Maybe I'm an entrenched Koester constructionist, but dammit, a model railroad is more interesting if it provides a variety of operation. 

Lee

I think that's the most important part of your quote Lee.

A variety of operations.

That's the key.  It's not IMO the size of the layout or the length of the run.

It's the different operating elements the layout offers.

Continuous running - check
Point to point running - check
Yard switching - check
Branch line operations - check
Local switching - check

I tried incorporating all those into my layout and by doing so, I think the operating potentially of the pike increased significantly. 

Chris333

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2010, 07:35:41 PM »
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I guess the only thing I see wrong here is that foam, no matter what is under it is hard to get perfectly flat.  I don't care if he runs a Tyco chrome silver streak in circles on it.

Dave V

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2010, 08:04:48 PM »
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Meh...  The shelf is clearly not meant to operate beyond being an animated diorama; I mentioned this to Ed when he first presented the idea.  He agreed with the assessment.  Were this any noob off of trains.com I'd be with you in the chorus of "you're gonna regret it.". But this is Ed, who is a student of operations, so I'm having trouble believing he hasn't already considered the limitations.  After all, the tagline for the Railwire is "A Forum for Modelers."  Were it a forum for operators, I'd be the first to have to surrender my A$$hat Card.

Let's be clear; what Ed's doing I would not do.  I don't see it as much more operationally interesting than the Lionel loop I run around the Christmas tree.  But scenically it will be a gem.  For the purpose of purely railfanning all the new crap he's bought, built, or painted as it rolls through southern York County, it will do what it was meant to do.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 10:26:11 PM by Dave Vollmer »
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wm3798

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2010, 09:00:09 PM »
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But isn't it nice when you can have your Kate, and Edith, too?

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squirrelhunter

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2010, 11:12:37 PM »
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I screwed up and double posted.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 11:38:18 PM by squirrelhunter »

Dave V

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2010, 11:23:35 PM »
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If it works, then Ed's a genius and we can all learn from him.

If it fails, we can spend the rest of our lives giving him $h!t for it.

Either way, it's all good.
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squirrelhunter

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2010, 11:37:53 PM »
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But Lee, isn't part of the beauty of owning a model railroad just simply watching the trains go by?

I am still waiting for the day where some enterprising person devises a way to use DCC to allow a set "schedule" of trains to be operated in and out of staging with only minimal input from the user, allowing you to stage and then watch an hour's or a day's worth of trains just like they go by a specific point on a main line without you having to run from one end to the other or round up a number of folks each time you want to run more than one train.

This may be more about me than Ed, but I feel his layout addresses concerns I have always had about layouts I have designed, and why they would never leave me satisfied even in the design stage.

Growing up In Texas, I have been drawing plans since middle school to capture the lines (MP, UP, SP, MKT and Texas Mexican- not all on the same layout) I saw on family trips across the state, for the day I owned space to build a layout of my own.  

I remember I once drew a plan for the UP (ex MP) main from Taylor TX down to San Antonio- a 120 mile or so haul. I got all the major features- cement plants, the mian running down the mideel of the MoPac Expressway in Austin, all the interchanges with all the shortlines. But the bottom line problem with it was that the scenes were all one on top of the other. A train would go across the Colorado River in Downtown Austin and would essentially be in San Marcos (25 miles south) immediately. It bothered me, but I didn't know exactly why. And by the way, the plan was a single level design meant for probably a roughly 20X40 space. (I had no idea at the time how much an out building of this size would cost :'()

Later on in college I began to actually go out and sketch track plans at interesting locations or places is usually watched trains when I either read something by Tony Koester or Lance Mindheim that talked about using the prototype track arrangement wherever possible. That was when I realized what my issue was- my older designs didn't allocate near enough space to towns, trains, buildings, everything. I began to sketch out short spurs, branches and industrial leads around the state and realized that even a 15 or 20 mile line, if I wanted to allow trains to fully leave one scene before they entered another I needed a good size room and probably a double deck plan.

The bottom line is this- much of Texas is flat, and my favored locations to model are usually in the coastal plain which is so flat it makes Kansas look positively mountainous- and I cannot abide by a train being in more than one scene at once, or more than one line being in the same scene if it isn't that way in real life. I cannot have a branch line leave town headed upgrade because a visitor would see it and go, "Man, where in Texas is that?" So a lot of my plans have come to look like what Ed is building on the shelf- an effort to get trains that feel like the prototype in a space where they dominate the scene like to prototype.

They have also made me consider having two separate layouts, for two reasons- I can't find a sufficiently small prototype that encompasses all the elements I want, and I can't find a location that includes all the Texas roads that interest me. Building a layout of the Texas Mexican around Corpus or the SP through central Texas above and a switching layout based on the MKT in Houston or San Antonio or one of the Houston Belt and Terminal's many yards below lets me get both without having to engage in too much mental or verbal gymnastics to explain it all.


Sorry for this being kind of long, and a bit rant like. I just feel that prototypes set in the mountains make it easier to hide things and fold the mainline in ways that cannot be done with a flatland railroad without destroying all believability. That isn't a knock on guys that model the WM or C&O or N&W or PRR- they are actually pretty lucky in my book because the real railroad design can help them build very believable layouts in a relatively compact space.

squirrelhunter

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2010, 11:39:18 PM »
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True dat Dave.