Author Topic: Point to point?  (Read 1910 times)

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bryan9

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Point to point?
« on: August 02, 2014, 05:20:53 PM »
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I'd like to hear from N scalers who have opted for point-to-point layout designs -- with no helix or return trackage.  Are you happy with your decision?

The plusses are:

*  Prototypical consists -- westbounds differ from eastbounds.
*  Planned operating session.  On my layout, 6 trains will need to get up the hill (Soldier Summit), and 8 more will need to get down -- plus helper units returning.
*  Game-like operation.  Dispatcher is challenged to get 8 trains down the hill while 6 are trying to get up. (A lot more fun than trains going around in a circle.)

The minuses are:

*  You run all the trains, and the session is over.
*  You can't run another session until you run all the trains (in reverse) back to their starting position.
*  You don't have continuous operation to impress visitors, etc.

-- Bryan, Charlotetsville, VA, modeling D&RGW Soldier Summit (Helper-Summit), ca. 1965.

Kisatchie

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 05:26:30 PM »
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I don't have a layout yet, but I'm planning an IMMENSE point to point in N scale.

No reversing loops or wyes for me - I'm paranoid and don't want a short somewhere to burn the layout down. :D  Instead, I'll use turntables to turn equipment that needs it.


Hmm... I'd just use my
hands...


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The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
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C855B

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2014, 07:17:21 PM »
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Point-to-point = operations only. For those occasions where you are by yourself and simply want to relax and watch trains railfan-style, you get to run only your one train, maybe two if you're super-coordinated. There's no sitting back and enjoying the passing scenery. And you mentioned the "visitors" issue.

The trick is to have the appearance of point-to-point, but plan your layout so there are hidden loopbacks. I saw one large HO layout a couple of days ago that did exactly that, and the return tracks were very cleverly hidden behind things like grain elevators and cityscapes. It appeared very much to be a point-to-point, but one track would tunnel through the skyboard to the scene on the reverse side. The trains would then magically appear on the flipside.
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2014, 07:50:38 PM »
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The trick is to have the appearance of point-to-point, but plan your layout so there are hidden loopbacks. I saw one large HO layout a couple of days ago that did exactly that, and the return tracks were very cleverly hidden behind things like grain elevators and cityscapes. It appeared very much to be a point-to-point, but one track would tunnel through the skyboard to the scene on the reverse side. The trains would then magically appear on the flipside.

That's how I've done it. 

It's easy enough to disguise a return-loop that simply follows the back wall, which keeps it out of the way visually.

jpwisc

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 08:37:42 PM »
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I've got a straight up point to point. My trains actually start in the middle of the layout. It is based off of a prototype. The return loops would not work for me. I know the direction every one of the 5 engines sits on the railroad and it would look wrong to me to have one facing north instead south.

The trains start in the middle, one goes north to an interchange point, the other goes south to switch industries. By the end of the day, they should all be back to the middle. The tracks terminate on the south end of the layout, there is no "beyond". That's how it is in real life. That's how I like in on the layout.

The thing I'm glad I did was build mine as a series of FreemoN modules. The interchange point becomes "the rest of the world" when we have freemo get togethers, the rest of the world becomes a lot bigger place, with trains passing and stopping as necessary.
Karl
CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline.

Ron McF

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 04:10:37 AM »
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The minuses are:

*  You run all the trains, and the session is over.
*  You can't run another session until you run all the trains (in reverse) back to their starting position.
*  You don't have continuous operation to impress visitors, etc.

-- Bryan, Charlotetsville, VA, modeling D&RGW Soldier Summit (Helper-Summit), ca. 1965.

Point to point doesn't have to mean any of these.  On both my previous and current layouts the staging yards at each end have 'balloon' loops that allow complete trains to be turned.  Some of my trains get turned during the session so they can return as a different train.  So, for example, southbound Train 15 later returns as northbound Train 16.

My current layout also has a hidden track that runs along the back wall and allows trains to be run continuously if I want to.  It would also allow me to run loaded trains (eg coal trains) in one direction, and unloaded trains in the other, if I ever wanted to.

During my normal ops sessions with friends we run the layout point to point.  If I want to switch cars on my own, I bring a through train from staging and run it continuously while I switch with the local.

Regards,
Ron McF
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 04:26:21 AM by Ron McF »
Ron McF
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mmagliaro

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 05:29:47 AM »
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There's a "plus" of a point-to-point that was overlooked in the original post.

No radius limitations. 
You don't have return loops or turn-arounds, so there will probably be no reason to have anything less than
prototype looking curves, and that's really cool.

But having no continuous-run capability, I think, will get old.
Are you sure you aren't going to want to just run trains and watch 'em sometimes?  Or just run them
for visitors sometimes?

 It really is up to you since it's your layout.  But I think that's the biggest drawback.

DKS

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2014, 08:17:02 AM »
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The most significant factor is this: Are you totally fine with never having a continuous run? Because the advantage of a loop is that it can be run like a point-to-point as well as roundy-round, whereas a point-to-point can only ever be a point-to-point.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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eric220

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2014, 09:33:32 AM »
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I'm building a point-to-point layout with a continuous running capability. The mainline is a gigantic dogbone, but it is designed such that the loops that form the ends are "out of play" for ops.
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
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DKS

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2014, 09:57:00 AM »
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I'm building a point-to-point layout with a continuous running capability. The mainline is a gigantic dogbone, but it is designed such that the loops that form the ends are "out of play" for ops.

I'd always thought a fun design would be a long dogbone where the parallel lines represent competing railroads that run cheek-by-jowl--the CNJ and LV in north-central NJ come to mind. They also shared each other's mainlines when there were problems that blocked traffic on one of the lines, so roundy-rounds wouldn't look awkward.
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MVW

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2014, 02:52:51 PM »
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I'm building a point-to-point layout with a continuous running capability. The mainline is a gigantic dogbone, but it is designed such that the loops that form the ends are "out of play" for ops.

Exactly what I did on my current (soon to be former) layout. Best of both worlds.

To each his own, but I would have little interest in a design that doesn't have a continuous-run option. Sometimes it's just fun to turn a train or two loose and let 'em run.

Jim

Kev1340

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2014, 03:32:08 PM »
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As always it's 'horses for courses'. I built my point to point layout exactly because seeing the same train going round and round got old real quick for me!

Having trains actually go from somewhere to somewhere is far more important for me, as I'm more into the operations and switching aspects. Plus I fully utilise the space return loops of half decent radius would take up.

The only people who might like to see continuous running are non-train fan friends, but then they've had enough before the first train has traversed the length of the layout, so it really doesn't matter  :D

Cheers,

Kev

randgust

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2014, 03:52:41 PM »
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I've never been able to bring myself to doing a pure point-to-point.     I started with pure roundy-roundy's, evolved to a roundy-roundy with a hidden yard, and evolved that into a roundy-roundy that can be operated as a white-as-the-driven-snow point to point where a train starts from hidden staging, only shows itself once, in one direction, over the layout, and returns to staging.

But like the man says, there's times when I just want to see them roll.    The 'out of bounds' concept probably best describes my method for formal operating sessions, of which there are way too few. 

I'm old enough that I was branded with the Frank Ellison concept that the layout is just a stage for the trains, and they should enter and exit like characters on a stage.   To me that's one of the big fallacies of pure point-to-point, most trains should go 'somewhere'.  Out of sight, out of mind, or into the imagination.   Two big honking yards at either end and running trains between them with no 'external forces applied' seems very contrived to me.    I have one decent-sized yard, but its function is to receive blocks out of trains, break them up for the locals, dispatch and receive the locals, and send the assembled blocks back out.   Some trains pass through without switching at all.   When you walk into the layout room there's about 20% of the yard full and no visible trains anywhere, some yard and local power visible, but nothing else.    Every time a headlight comes into view, it's a complete surprise for the viewer.

I had a friend with an ENORMOUS basement layout that was essentially loop-to-loop, operated point-to-point, and the biggest drawback was that the one main yard at one end always turned into a parking lot so full it couldn't be switched and there were no loops for storage - only one hidden return loop on the 'out of bounds'.    All main line operations had to be stopped until somebody....anybody....was willing to break up a 50-car train and get it out of the way.   Sort of like UP.

mionerr

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2014, 04:07:34 PM »
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My fairly large layout is essentially point to point with return loops at each end. The return loops have 6 parallel tracks which is staging for up to twelve trains at each end.
I also have branch lines that parallel the main line. These are tied into the outside return loops to that I have, in effect a really big loop for roundy roundy.
Roger Otto
Pueblo, CO

highway70

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Re: Point to point?
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2014, 01:01:55 AM »
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I'd like to hear from N scalers who have opted for point-to-point layout designs -- with no helix or return trackage.  Are you happy with your decision?

The plusses are:

*  Prototypical consists -- westbounds differ from eastbounds.
*  Planned operating session.  On my layout, 6 trains will need to get up the hill (Soldier Summit), and 8 more will need to get down -- plus helper units returning.
*  Game-like operation.  Dispatcher is challenged to get 8 trains down the hill while 6 are trying to get up. (A lot more fun than trains going around in a circle.)

The minuses are:

*  You run all the trains, and the session is over.
*  You can't run another session until you run all the trains (in reverse) back to their starting position.
*  You don't have continuous operation to impress visitors, etc.

-- Bryan, Charlotetsville, VA, modeling D&RGW Soldier Summit (Helper-Summit), ca. 1965.

Are you planning to keep running the same trains over ad over?  If so sounds like it would kind of boring eventually