Author Topic: If you had a large space available...  (Read 1758 times)

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C855B

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If you had a large space available...
« on: April 08, 2012, 03:18:01 AM »
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...what sort of layout would you design, and hopefully build?

It looks like I have the opportunity to get some cheap space in a warehouse, roughly a 40'x50' rectangle. Main "catch" is this is under the auspices of the local history museum and it's been suggested I consider accommodating public viewing.

Design away!...
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

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delamaize

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 05:28:26 AM »
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If it was me, and IF it was in my home town, I would do a 1:1 version of the railroad I am modeling. Norther Pacific, Tacoma Division, 4th Sub. the "Prairie Line." It was about 40 miles long, and terminated at a Major Yard in Tacoma, Wa. their was a handfull of branches, and logging lines along the route also. With it being 40 Miles, By my calculation, you would need about 1500 feet for the main line, witch is doable in a big enough space, and even more realistic if you made it multiple levels.

I guess the point is, I would find a small, Fairly short local Sub, or line and do a 1:1 model of that.
Mike

Northern Pacific, Tacoma Division, 4th subdivision "The Prarie Line" (still in planning stages)

TiVoPrince

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 07:58:09 AM »
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Local 
History Museum means that it must connect with the locale.  Building something that can be educational in a hurry means that you will want a 'crew' to build it. 

Consider HO scale as it offers more commercial products and will offer opportunities to more closely model signifigant local history.  While N may be our personal choice, it may not be realistic for a museum display...
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Brakie

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 11:13:13 AM »
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First I would gather a crew and then sit down and discuss what local railroad or area be modeled and planed from there.

Then I would choose HO since its easier for the public to see from normal public viewing distances and could be highly detailed.
Larry

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C855B

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 01:07:07 PM »
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Oh... apparent misunderstanding here. The museum is not involved in this at all, other than by virtue of the building owner's connection to the museum. He just suggested the possibility of public display as a means of making it an attraction, generally. I will be paying a modest rent for the space, and some of the light bill. It is mine to use as I see fit. This just happens to be inexpensive, available space. I had been seriously looking to buy a lot next to the main junction here and putting up a post-frame building. Ours is a small Midwest town in decline, so land is very cheap. This particular space would get the layout into construction sooner rather than later.

So... it will be N. Besides, I need to leverage 45 years of collecting. Make no mistake, this will be my layout. I had planned to tip my hat to the local area in a scene or two anyway, just for the fun of it.

As far as which RR to model, turning back the clock to the '60s, the immediate region was served by seven RRs - IC, MP*, B&O, L&N, SOU, C&EI* and CB&Q. I have the faintest of interests in but one, CB&Q. I'm a Western road modeler (...booooo, hisssss...) with a weakness for big power. None of the local RRs were known for big power, especially during my target period circa 1970.

I'll work on the "crew" aspect. Living here six years, I've only recently made acquaintance of the handful of local railfans. We have not yet discussed model railroading between the passing trains, so I don't know if any of them would be interested.

=====

I am working on a preliminary benchwork plan in my head, which will need to be adjusted or even replanned once I get into the actual space and see where the access and support columns hit. My thinking at the moment is generally a backbone with peninsulas allowing 6' aisles. Construction would be basic plywood prairie, broken down into mostly 2x4 sections (tho' not "modules") where the track, scenery and wiring could be cut at the joint lines in the instance I have to move it. I've been in entirely too many clubs where we "lost" our space, and the layouts using traditional "permanent" methods could not be moved and had to be destroyed. I'm 58, and this will likely be my last layout, so if I need to find another space suddenly (when, for instance, my 15-year-older benefactor passes away and I have to deal with heirs) I won't lose too much of the value of the work already done.

* - I especially hate the Mop. For starters, it was an incredibly boring RR. Then, you guys may accuse the UP of being "the Borg", but what you may not know is that UP's purchase of MP put the MP management in charge. The post-1982 UP is the Mop in a yellow dress.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 01:17:13 PM by C855B »
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Bluford Craig

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 01:49:51 PM »
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Sounds like the iron triangle of Centralia, Salem, and Mount Vernon.

Craig
www.bluford-shops.com

C855B

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 02:00:12 PM »
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[chuckle]

I figured you would recognize it, Craig. Space I'm talking about is catercorner to the Centralia history museum. OK view of the tracks, too, at least from upstairs.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Ian MacMillan

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2012, 06:27:18 PM »
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If it was with the local history museum in my town I would do a pretty good sized representation of the Boston & Maine's Conway branch, which ran through town.

If they are nudge nudge know what I mean, know what I mean, making comments on it accommodating visitors, I would try and keep with the theme of the local area.
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central.vermont

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 08:18:21 PM »
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How about a floor plan of the area you have. Such as obstacles that will need to be either built around or over such as doorways and windows. Also areas that will need to have access like electrical and water.

Jon

lock4244

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 08:41:39 PM »
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If I were you I'd go with Sherman Hill. UP was awesome in the 1970's and that space would allow you to do it justice. Actually, I'd expand of that to do Cheyenne to Green River (Hanna coal, Atlantic City ore, Green River soda ash). Big power, big trains, big scenery.

If it we're me, I'd consider using half to model my main interest, CN and CP in southern Ontario in the late 1980's, and the other half to model the EL from Meadville to Bingo.  :drool:
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C855B

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 09:54:09 PM »
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To Ian's comments... I don't think there's a quid pro quo in play here. I've worked with the benefactor on civic projects on and off for five years, and that's not the way he works. He was mostly indicating appreciation of the effort to date and a willingness to help if I wanted to make it a local draw.

I won't be able to inspect the space directly until later this week, so no precise floorplan yet. I can estimate the available space based on what I could see from the first floor, including ramps, staircases and mechanicals.

Mike nailed the gist of it. My desired plan is vignettes of the UP main from Omaha west including the LA&SL circa 1970, picking from various points in Nebraska, around Green River, Wasatch, Afton Canyon, and a couple of nostalgic spots in SoCal. Current project name is the Gibbon, Cozad & Western. There is going to be a lot of open space portrayed, with no real continuity like trying to model a specific segment of a specific line. Again, primarily vignettes.

But I do like the idea of dividing the space thematically. Given the design in my mind's eye, I could easily devote a section of the layout to local scenes, and have a loop within a loop for operations representing local roads.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 10:05:25 PM by C855B »
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

ednadolski

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 10:31:03 PM »
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...what sort of layout would you design, and hopefully build?

FWIW, for myself, space is one of several constraining resources. Time is far more scarce, and of course there are always questions of cost, reliability, maintenance, lighting, control system, backdrops, etc.

For public display, you might want to give some thought to some kind of sound system.  I'm always amazed at how sound can bring a model scene to life.

Ed
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 10:37:12 PM by ednadolski »

wm3798

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 11:40:10 PM »
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First thing I'd do is make sure I lock up a 10 year lease, and perhaps an option to buy.  Model railroads don't appear overnight, and it would be a drag to be 5 years into the project and have the relationship with the landlord go sour.

Lee
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C855B

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 11:57:30 PM »
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Good points, Ed. Time and costs within reason are or are about to be mostly taken care of (early retirement). Engineering background should cover most of the reliability and maintenance considerations, though maintenance is part of the "crew" issue I need to solve. Lighting is likely to be multi-color LED spots on tracks, with suspended 4' or 8' tubes for work lighting. Control will be DCC with JMRI.

Backdrops I'm still thinking through. A tall "skyboard" approach is coming to mind. My wife (an artist) has volunteered for cloud duty, not to mention scenery.

Sound? I'm going to have to think about it. Not a fan of model sound, but I see your point from the display aspect, as sound has a "popular" appeal. What are your ideas, and what stood out for you where sound enhanced the perception of a scene?

Lee, what you say is primarily why benchwork is absolutely going to be sectional. The objective is to be able to cut the top layer apart at the joints, move the bits, and resume elsewhere if need be. But you're absolutely right, for another reason - this space is not conditioned. If I buy an HVAC system for it, it will be with the understanding, formal or informal, that we're mutually committed for a good long time.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Rossford Yard

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Re: If you had a large space available...
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 01:00:11 PM »
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The first things I would assure are:

 Aisle space, rather than cramming in all the layout you can. 5 or 6 ft wide aisles in all or most cases.
 Simplicity, at least for the mainline route for reliability, just in case you do public shows.
 High scenery to track ratio.  Use and show off N to its fullest.