Author Topic: Montana Rail Link 2nd and 3rd Subs - "The Divide"  (Read 4132 times)

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trainzluvr

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2021, 02:21:07 PM »
0
It saddens me to hear that you assume I have not read books, articles, forums or magazines, nor attended to LDSIG.

If you were half the railroader you claim to be, using your greatly superior and vast experience you would've seen right away that what I had built is the ideal shape for this room configuration. The geometry maximizes the mainline run and focuses more on the operating aspect of the railroad than scenery. It does sacrifice some aisle space but nothing that is not workable.

What you put in those 12" of benchwork is irrelevent at that point, because it's the same throughout so any railroad would fit. Some people would choose to leave it as "plywood pacific" while others would add some scenic details or finish it all the way.

But I guess it's a mistake building dominos. You can go tell that to Mark Lestico and David Barrows, too.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2021, 02:21:55 PM »
+2
Have you built a layout before?

If not, I highly recommend starting with something simple. Do a couple TTRAK modules or something roughly door sized.

There are a lot of skills and a lot of work that goes into building layouts and it's very good to develop those skills in a smaller, less intimidating project first.

I've seen lots of barely started basement fillers and not having hands on experience prior to starting is one of the big reasons.

trainzluvr

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2021, 02:30:35 PM »
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I have done simpler roundy rounds way back when on 4x8s, and have been working on my club's layout (25x50') in more recent years. Matter a fact I've used my "clueless" layout planning skills to unravel their twisted 8 setup into a more operationally sound plan, without destroying or rebuilding the entire layout.

Thus I do not see the skill being an issue, more of being able to discover what I like in a prototype and commit to it.

signalmaintainer

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2021, 03:02:31 PM »
-2

If you were half the railroader you claim to be, using your greatly superior and vast experience you would've seen right away that what I had built is the ideal shape for this room configuration. The geometry maximizes the mainline run and focuses more on the operating aspect of the railroad than scenery. It does sacrifice some aisle space but nothing that is not workable.

But I guess it's a mistake building dominos. You can go tell that to Mark Lestico and David Barrows, too.
Re: Barrows, et al, yeah I would, as I am not a domino fan. Sectional, yes. Identically sized sections, no. Just a difference of opinion. I am sure they are big enough to deal with it and would not get their feathers ruffled.

But my vast experience, which you acknowledge, tells me building benchwork before settling on what is to occupy that benchwork is a rookie mistake. You don't even know what you want to model, but have hundreds of square feet of benchwork built to accommodate an unknown.

Maybe instead of dissing and snubbing all the advice you've been given by many others over the past several years and on four different forums, then acting like a victim when that's pointed out, you should start writing stuff down and assimilate some knowledge?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 03:09:09 PM by signalmaintainer »
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nkalanaga

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2021, 03:05:36 PM »
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If you're modeling "today" I suspect you probably can get rid of East Helena.  Go back to the early MRL, or BN, or NP, and that was the site of a major smelter complex, which would generate quite a bit of traffic.
N Kalanaga
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trainzluvr

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2021, 03:09:16 PM »
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Re: Barrows, et al, yeah I would, as I am not a domino fan. Sectional, yes. Identically sized sections, no. Just a difference of opinion.

But my vast experience, which you acknowledge, tells me building benchwork before settling on what is to occupy the benchwork is a mistake. You don't even know what you want to model, but have benchwork built to accommodate an unknown.

Maybe instead of dissing and snubbing all the advice you've been given over the past several years and on four different forums, then acting like a victim when that's pointed out, you should start writing stuff down and assimilate some knowledge?

Just as you said, difference in opinion.

Mark Lestico and David Barrows did not think that building domino style benchwork was a bad idea for what they had in mind. For all intents and purposes they could've modulated their benchwork but chose to instead maximize the mainline runs, and/or in David's case being able to swap dominos around for more operational interest.

I've not invented hot water here at all, only emulated what they have done because in my mind it made sense for what I wanted to see as end goal. Pissing all over that is really pissing all over their work as well, while not acknowledging any effort I made towards learning something.

trainzluvr

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2021, 03:13:16 PM »
0
If you're modeling "today" I suspect you probably can get rid of East Helena.  Go back to the early MRL, or BN, or NP, and that was the site of a major smelter complex, which would generate quite a bit of traffic.

Thanks for the pointer on the smelter, I'll have to research it more...and probably get rid of Montana City to make room for it.

The target period I would like to aim for would be the latest 2003/4 but probably beginning of the MRL "epoch" (1987) until 2000.

John

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2021, 05:16:23 PM »
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Let's keep this civil please

Merry Christmas .. :D :D :D :D
« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 05:18:06 PM by John »

Maletrain

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2021, 05:42:44 PM »
+1
Frankly, I am not seeing a problem with designing to maximize the use of the available layout space for the desired type of operations. 

And, I don't see anything wrong with trying to find a prototype muse to make the operations seem more attractive in the mind of the layout creator.

Rule #1 seems to be getting some violations here today, and I would like to see this get back to more positive thoughts.

Myself, I started with liking the B&O because I grew up around it, rode it, and then liked it even better when I had to ride the Pennsy a lot.  I just like the wending through the mountains more than the long straight trips through the industrial areas.

But, I am somewhat limited in getting the models I want in N scale, and also somewhat space limited for realistically modeling even a double track Class 1 trackwork for any substantial distance. So, I am not going to give up modeling the B&O, but I am going to model just a small fictitious section of it, with a fictitious short line that interchanges with it.  That way, I can model a rationally complete operation on the short line with models that I like because they are available and run well, while still satisfying my urge to model prototype B&O equipment and trains, including structures to whatever degree I ultimately succeed in managing.  I don't need to assemble and break-up 50 car trains, I can just have them roll through from staging, and have them interact with the short line in appropriate ways at the junction.  I start by admitting that the fictional B&O section is fictional, and work on the flavor of the model, not the exact fidelity to prototype everything at some specific locale and time.  No worries about some visitor telling me something like "That isn't the way the B&O trackage looked like in Meyersdale in the summer of 1953, which was the last time that train actually had a steam locomotive for power."

For the fictional short line, I draw on research of B&O branch lines, the Buffalo Creek and Gauley, Western Maryland Railway and the Maryland and Pennsylvania.  Making an amalgam of industries, equipment choices and operating techniques that fit my available space and personal interests.  For instance, my short line will adopt the Western Maryland philosophy that you can move a coal car train over any grade if you put enough 2-8-0s on it.  Because I like Bachman Spectrum 2-8-0s and operations with helpers on grades.  And, I like passenger trains, so I will have a small college part way up the branch line that gets regular service by small trains that are timed to connect with the few B&O mainline passenger trains that actually would stop at the junction.  (Which thought comes from my own college days, but experienced with Pennsy trains).

In summary, I believe that all a model railroader really has to do is satisfy him/her self.  And, that may or may not include fidelity to specific equipment, location, time period or operating style.  If it makes the person who made it happy, then it is a success.  Because that is the purpose of our hobby.  And if I have any info or thoughts that can help another modeler focus in on their particular version of success, I like to help.  But I wouldn't criticize just because I would choose to do it differently on my own layout.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 07:38:17 PM by Maletrain »

trainzluvr

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2021, 06:02:54 PM »
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Thank you Maletrain for sharing your experience and the thought process!

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2021, 06:20:32 PM »
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I would politely ask these two to take their beef back to whatever forum they came from. If they can’t be constructive not sure this is a good fit.
Brian

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trainzluvr

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2021, 06:29:56 PM »
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I would politely ask these two to take their beef back to whatever forum they came from. If they can’t be constructive not sure this is a good fit.

I have no beef with anyone - I do not even know who signalmaintainer is, or what his handle is on any other forums. My handle is the same on all the forums.

With no intention to play a victim here, I feel that his posts are borderline cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying. The fact they are being upvoted is also very concering because I thought that this forum would be above such things.

All I wish is to continue with my thread here, elaborating further on my MRL design I posted and getting whatever helpful feedback.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 06:32:03 PM by trainzluvr »

John

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2021, 07:27:55 PM »
+2
My railroad is the Maryland and Ohio .. It's completely fictional, but has some real place names -- Baltimore, Brunswick, Tygart Jct, Wheeling, Belvue, Cambridge, Chillicothe, etc .. none of the track plans are accurate for any location, it's double deck and fills a good size basement .. I've been tinkering with it for the last 21 years, haven't made a ton of progress and periodically tear down sections to rebuild - I'm doing that now with the helix ..  while I would have liked to model a specific prototype, that's not going to happen because 1) I'm getting too old, 2) I have too many interests (WM, B&O, C&O) and locations .. Ohio, Maryland, Clinchfield country ..

So what i do have is 2 levels, -- the lower level is from Baltimore to Wheeling -- mostly double track - signaled and code 55 .. it runs ok .. is it bullet proof - no .. the bench work on the lower level is around 40-43" built in 1x4 or 2x4 sections (note - not modules) of open grid with plywood roadbed covered by cork .. width is either 24 or 12 or somewhere in between  .. the upper level starts at Tygart Junction, and winds its way around the basement until it eventually reaches 56-58" elevation .. virtually all of the upper level track is on sections 12" or less wide ..

My level of modeling will never reach the standard of excellence set by many on this board -- I won't call out specific members, since I will likely forget some .. but I do "ok" .. since I am primarily a lone wolf building a good size track plan -- it will never reach the stage of completion that I would like it to -- and I made a lot of mistakes along the way, such as not finishing the basement .. so it's cold in the winter, and gets a bit dusty ..

The point I'm making -- don't overthink this prototype thing -- very few model railroaders will ever reach the level of competence to accurately model their chosen prototype ..   if you want to move cars in some realistic fashion, you don't even need scenery .. if you want to recreate a scene faithfully, ala Lance Mindheim .. you can do that too .. it's a big tent .. embrace the suck of the things you can't do, but execute what you can to the best of your ability ...  but don't fall into the paralysis of over engineering, getting every detail just so.

  JFRTM

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2021, 08:36:06 PM »
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I have no beef with anyone - I do not even know who signalmaintainer is, or what his handle is on any other forums. My handle is the same on all the forums.

With no intention to play a victim here, I feel that his posts are borderline cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying. The fact they are being upvoted is also very concering because I thought that this forum would be above such things.

All I wish is to continue with my thread here, elaborating further on my MRL design I posted and getting whatever helpful feedback.

Fair enough and works for me. 

With regards to building a layout I have to build the tables to be able to see what “real estate” I am working with. I am a numbers guy by trade and every effort I have ever made to plan out a layout on paper or computer has failed in its transition to a working layout. I think the biggest thing is just start building and if you don’t like it, than fix it. I just realigned a portion of my dual mainline because I did not how my trains traversed a curve. Don’t worry about the mistakes just fix them.
Brian

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trainzluvr

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Re: How do you research a prototype from the past?
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2021, 08:47:03 PM »
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Thank you John, your approach sounds about right to what I wanted to do with my railroad when I re-entered the hobby back in 2017. Because I did not have a specific prototype or locale in mind, I thought it would be easier to make it all up, because hey, it's all fictional and I don't have to worry about anything prototypical...and I've struggled ever since.

Not because I lacked new skills or knowledge (those I acquired along the way) but because after all this time, I finally realized that I would've saved myself from this analysis-paralysis if only I picked a prototype and ran with it. Without a reference, everything was an uphill battle: what should this location look like, what kind of industry make sense there, where should it go, etc. And it compunds from there since, it needs to make sense both visually and operationally.

The more I explored the more I saw that there is a group of modellers who appear to be stuck in their own (old) ways of doing things. And what's worse, it's generally their way or the highway - case in point is in this thread. They are usually the ones who tell newcomers to go read John Armstrong, as if that's somehow going to impart secret wisdom from the sage himself, and answer all the questions an acolyte might have.

John Armstrong is not easy to read, or understand, on the first reading (I read his book twice cover to cover to wrap my head around it), nor is he as current as he used to be 50 years ago. Things have changed since then in all areas of the hobby, but some modellers just refuse to accept it. As an aside, I recently read Lance Mindheim's latest book on layout design and it is beautifully written, and down to the Earth easy to follow. Everyone in this hobby should read it if they want a fresh and modern approach on layout planning.

I firmly believe that there are many ways of doing something, and I estimate that about 30-40% of all modellers have built their benchwork first and then fit their railroad in it. They did not spend endless years researching their prototype and writing every nuance down on paper, to be later followed to the T. With their childhood railroad in mind they just dove in and placed things where they felt right, then changed them as needed.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 08:57:20 PM by trainzluvr »