Author Topic: Is BendTrack alive and well?  (Read 1508 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Paradise275

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 333
  • Respect: +11
Is BendTrack alive and well?
« on: September 08, 2014, 02:11:06 PM »
0
I don't hear much about BendTrack anymore. Do clubs still use it? I would think it would be great for a running display layout.

Rick

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 02:45:03 PM »
0
Yeah, as far as I know there are still some who are using it.
The website is still up.
I know there are groups in the Carolina's, Florida, Maine, Georgia, Texas and in Canada.
Here's a link to some of them

http://www.bendtrack.com/links.htm

 I think Free-moN kind of took over.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 02:47:45 PM by Bendtracker1 »

Paradise275

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 333
  • Respect: +11
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 04:19:58 PM »
0
Thanks for your post Allen.
I've looked at FreeMo but I think it's more about scenery than running trains. When you go to a train show the kids (of all ages) want to see trains running. That, in my mind, is the way to grow the hobby. Prototypical operating is more for a home layout or a permanent club. You can't be holding conversation with the public and paying attention to a switching operation at the same time. The statement on the FreeMo web says "advanced scenery" a goal.

I want to have fun and run trains.

Rick

John

  • Administrator
  • Crew
  • *****
  • Posts: 10869
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +534
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2014, 04:37:11 PM »
0
Thanks for your post Allen.
I've looked at FreeMo but I think it's more about scenery than running trains. When you go to a train show the kids (of all ages) want to see trains running. That, in my mind, is the way to grow the hobby. Prototypical operating is more for a home layout or a permanent club. You can't be holding conversation with the public and paying attention to a switching operation at the same time. The statement on the FreeMo web says "advanced scenery" a goal.

I want to have fun and run trains.

Rick

then Ntrak is probably your best option

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 04:59:37 PM »
0
Thanks for your post Allen.
I've looked at FreeMo but I think it's more about scenery than running trains. When you go to a train show the kids (of all ages) want to see trains running. That, in my mind, is the way to grow the hobby. Prototypical operating is more for a home layout or a permanent club. You can't be holding conversation with the public and paying attention to a switching operation at the same time. The statement on the FreeMo web says "advanced scenery" a goal.

I want to have fun and run trains.

Rick


Free-Mo is more about operations.  It works at shows just fine, but kind of like you said, since it's geared toward the operations end of the spectrum, operating and conversations can be a challenge.

For just simply running trains at shows with a bit ops thrown in, either Bend Track or Ntrak would be a better choice.
The only thing one has over the other is Bend Track is a bit more flexible as the over shape of things.
Advanced scenery can be applied to any system.

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 05:00:34 PM »
0
then Ntrak is probably your best option

I'm not sure why Ntrak would be his best choice?

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21327
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +1960
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 05:09:24 PM »
0
I'm not sure why Ntrak would be his best choice?

Probably because N-Trak modules often feature very whimsical or other flashy non-railroad-related scenes which seem to be a magnet for those kids (of all ages) who attend hobby shows.  Plus 3 tracks of running Thomas the tank engine will surly attract the very young.  It is all about attracting attention (hoping to grow the ranks of future model railroaders).  Realism is optional.  :)

Well, this was all said in jest, but that is what many "serious" scale model railroaders think of N-Trak.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 05:37:16 PM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

jpwisc

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 863
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +661
    • Skally Line Blog
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 05:32:52 PM »
0
...
I've looked at FreeMo but I think it's more about scenery than running trains....

The statement on the FreeMo web says "advanced scenery" a goal.

I want to have fun and run trains.
Rick

Rick, good looking scenery is a goal for FreemoN, but not the objective. It's all about having fun and running trains. Our layouts are typically set up for operations, so we interchange and switch out industries on the line. We also run through trains, this keeps the casual passerby-er interested. It is amazing how many people will gather around to watch you switch out a flour mill. When you are switching out industries you aren't chasing a train, so you can sit and BS while still getting some "work" done. The 50" rail height also makes it more fun to watch your own train without getting a back ache.

We just don't have all the off the wall whimsy that N-Trak has (no UFO's and such).

 
Karl
CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline.

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 05:46:47 PM »
0
It is amazing how many people will gather around to watch you switch out a flour mill.
 

To add to what Karl said, whenever we did a public show or setup in a mall, there would always be a large crowd gathered around the Yard and Inlet modules where the trains left or entered the yard. 




FYI, this pic was photo shopped, there was never a backdrop in place here.

VonRyan

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2819
  • Gender: Male
  • Partying like it's still 1944
  • Respect: +193
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2014, 05:57:20 PM »
0
Ops of any kind seem to attract people, as well as hold interest. I've done some localized switching at shows before, and I've always had an interested crowd of onlookers watching my every move.

I find that just running trains is one thing, but for anyone that potentially may enter the hobby, seeing those trains actually "doing" something like switching really perks interest.

Personally I like the Free-MoN concept. It offers the ability to pursue anything you could possibly want from the hobby while allowing for a very interactive setting between hobbyists.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

WWII Clerk/Administration Historian

Switchboard Technician - 33rd Signal Construction Battalion (reenacted)

Squadron Clerk - Capital Wing, Airmans Preservation Society

John

  • Administrator
  • Crew
  • *****
  • Posts: 10869
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +534
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2014, 05:58:57 PM »
0
I'm not sure why Ntrak would be his best choice?

Two statements --

Quote
Yeah, as far as I know there are still some who are using it.
The website is still up.
I know there are groups in the Carolina's, Florida, Maine, Georgia, Texas and in Canada.
Here's a link to some of them

http://www.bendtrack.com/links.htm

 I think Free-moN kind of took over.

Ok .. limited availability

Quote
Thanks for your post Allen.
I've looked at FreeMo but I think it's more about scenery than running trains. When you go to a train show the kids (of all ages) want to see trains running. That, in my mind, is the way to grow the hobby. Prototypical operating is more for a home layout or a permanent club. You can't be holding conversation with the public and paying attention to a switching operation at the same time. The statement on the FreeMo web says "advanced scenery" a goal.

I want to have fun and run trains.




And, since Bendtrak seems to be limited availability -- and Fremo didn't interest him ..


Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2014, 06:24:07 PM »
0

 .. limited availability

And, since Bendtrak Bend Track seems to be limited availability

That statement doesn't hold water anymore John.

Here's a prime example of what a lot of clubs are doing now. This is a group from S. Carolina who had one member build a BT module and an adapter module that replaced a Ntrak corner, then the amount Bend Track modules began to grow.  Scroll down th epage and look at both drawing the have posted.
http://www.piedmontnsouthern.org/#



I've seen a lot of groups who accommodate both systems into one setup.  I've also seen other groups who do the opposite and incorporate NTrak modules.  It all depends on each group as to what they want to do.  Most instead of scrapping what they have will make adapter modules.

Using both systems can be done, and it all adds to the setup and display.


Paradise275

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 333
  • Respect: +11
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2014, 06:49:27 PM »
0
Thank you all for your comments and insight. Our group consists of some older modellers  who's hands and eyesight are not as good as they would like. We looked at N-trak but didn't like the pit and the fact that the configuration always had to be a rectangle. Bend Track is linear and can go wherever we want. We just need the right angle of module. We can put up as many modules as we like including some with operating possibilities and can even build a yard like the great one shown above. We only need to amuse ourselves but we wanted a set formula to build to. I believe Bend Track is the way to go for us.

Thanks
Rick

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21327
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +1960
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2014, 07:16:20 PM »
0
Thank you all for your comments and insight. Our group consists of some older modellers  who's hands and eyesight are not as good as they would like. We looked at N-trak but didn't like the pit and the fact that the configuration always had to be a rectangle.

Rick, I'm not trying to sway you towards N-Trak, but I feel that I should address this.

As members get older, many N-Trak layouts incorporate a lift-out bridge module for entry and exit into the "pit".  Also, some N-Trak layouts are linear with end loop modules on both ends (for continuous running).
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

VonRyan

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2819
  • Gender: Male
  • Partying like it's still 1944
  • Respect: +193
Re: Is BendTrack alive and well?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2014, 08:13:20 PM »
0
Don't forget inside corners so it doesn't have to be just a plain-jane rectangle.

And return loops are a blessing. They really allow for a great deal of flexibility.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

WWII Clerk/Administration Historian

Switchboard Technician - 33rd Signal Construction Battalion (reenacted)

Squadron Clerk - Capital Wing, Airmans Preservation Society