Forum Sponsorsss


Forums General Operations
  • Topic: Which is more fun?

    Back To Topics
    (0 rates)
    • September 8, 2015 1:17 PM EDT

      •  
      • Posts
        315
      • Thanks
        61
      • Thanked
        36

      Which is more fun?

      So I've been wondering which type of layout holds more operating interest. One with many industries but only enough room to spot one or two cars per industry. Or one with fewer industries that can accommodate more cars cars at each site. Since many of us have limited space, this becomes a trade off we must make. I can kinda see the appeal of either.
      Thoughts?
    • September 8, 2015 3:36 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
      • Posts
        7,381
      • Thanks
        204
      • Thanked
        801

      Well, it doesn't have to be an either, or, does it?

      Though, from my point of view, I generally prefer industries that hold about four cars; each of the ones in Jackson can hold that many - and it can get tough to switch if it's full.

      I think it has more to do with the layout of the switches and spurs than it does the actual capacity.   If my spurs were longer, I'd probably just be picking up or delivering more cars without any real change in how I approach the problem.

      Over in Occoquan, it's a lot different situation...

       

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • September 8, 2015 5:39 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        11,057
      • Thanks
        123
      • Thanked
        889

      Gee, I'm a roundy rounder, so I only switch on the club set up, and only when there aren't any spectators. They do tend to get bored when we start fiddling around with switching. I think cutting 1 or 2 cars out of the middle of the train is more fun then shoving a whole cut of cars into a siding. That's just my limited viewpoint.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • September 8, 2015 5:52 PM EDT
      • Bremerton, Washington
         
      • Posts
        1,038
      • Thanks
        2
      • Thanked
        10

      OK, here is may $ 5.00 worth!  One, I know a number of rounddy rounders and they have their fun, and that is a good for them!  I prefer operations and that is why I have more switches and industrys.  And also why I go over the water to the CCRy, at no small expence these days.  You see what happens when there 10 or 12 trains with way bills are on the main line!  Then add a little snow, yes that cold white stuff and see what happen when the TOC come out with the plow train!

       

      Paul

    • September 8, 2015 6:07 PM EDT
      • East Brunswick, N J RRR#22
         
      • Posts
        1,854
      • Thanks
        156
      • Thanked
        202

      Aha!

      See, Bruce, when you're not home, Ken goes over and plays with your trains! Better git a lock fer that gate!

       

      And per the topic, it depends on whose interest. You're right about larger groups getting bored, but if you enjoy switching, go for it! I wish I could fit in more switching, but I'm basically a Roundy Rounder.

      This post was edited by Lou Luczu at September 8, 2015 6:09 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with." - L. Frank Baum

    • September 8, 2015 6:34 PM EDT
      • Nashville, IL
         
      • Posts
        5,257
      • Thanks
        444
      • Thanked
        364

      I think the type of operations one desires/performs depends basically on the individual and their tastes, not to mention the available space they have to make a layout work...

       

      My goal for the Bluestone Southern was to have a 70-80's era small class 1 railroad, which kind of mandated diesels and longer trains..  What I have accomplished so far, has met all my expectations, and I believe it's enjoyable for visitors when they operate on the railroad..   2 Switching puzzles are included within the layout, one being the ""Industrial Park", and the second being the town of ""Overlook"...   My goal with each was to make it a fun puzzle to work, without seeming to be impossible...  Along with these puzzles is also a Shortline railroad that does an out & back, working 4 towns/elevators along the route.

       

      My initial introduction to operations in G-scale, basically, was Ric's Kaskaskia Valley Railroad...    Trains were basically steam loco's and rail buses, and train lengths were only a max of 6 cars..   There were numerous station stops and industries along the mainline, which made the whole operation very nice to work.

    • September 8, 2015 7:16 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
      • Posts
        7,381
      • Thanks
        204
      • Thanked
        801

      This can be an interesting discussion as we find  out that different folks like different things about operatations.   A lot depends on your own personal preferences as well as size of the layout.

      • My RR is rather small and typically operates only 1 train at a time.   Trains are rather short - 5 or 6 cars.    There is no dispatcher.   I have operated 2 trains at once - one from either direction and scheduled a meet along the way.   But, it's pretty much a 2 person deal.   One engineer and one conductor per train.   I seldom operate alone, but seldom invite more than one person at a time.  I use JMRI.
      • When operating at Bob's he can run 4 or 5 trains at a time.   His layout is considerably larger than mine.  There is no dispatcher and trains are 5 or 6 cars.   It's a lot more social.   Bob uses JMRI for switch lists.
      • Stan's RR:   There is a dispatcher and lots of trains.   I'm not sure what the maximum length of a train is, and sometimes it's just what the loco can haul up the grade.  It, too, is very social; though the layout is so large you sometimes don't see people for awhile.   Runs can be nice and long.   Stan uses car cards and provides a blank switch list to create your own as you go.
      • On Fred's IPP&W, a dispatcher runs it and has lots of trains out at once.   Trains are typically 5 or 6 cars.   The layout is a bit more packed, but there's still plenty of room to walk.   Very social.  Fred uses RailOps.
      • Andy also has a large layout, and longer trains.   Typically around 15-20 cars?   The Bluestone Southern runs under a dispatcher.  I think Andy builds the switch lists manually.

      I think Stan is the only RR that doesn't provide for continuous running (a loop), but I could be wrong about that.   Though to get from one end to the other is quite a hike!  

      Andy is SG, the rest are NG, though Fred does run a SG session on one day of the Invasion.

      And, yes, there are a few others that I haven't mentioned.    All fun.

      Is one of them better than the other?  Absolutely not.   They're all different, which is one of the reasons Jean and I travel to them at least once per year.   It's a lot of fun and always a challenge to get the work done.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • September 8, 2015 7:28 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        5,301
      • Thanks
        1,761
      • Thanked
        1,306

      I have switches, but my mood is known to wander ... Freights are for switching and more than one person. Alone; sometimes the Passenger allows me more important Ponder time in my Ponder chair, than running. Spring switches on reverse loops and the eyelids get droopy and I'm Casey Jones high balling through sleepy river curves...

      Were I wanting operations, I'd like 3-4 car length spurs, to pull out empties and then replace them after full loads have gone in. Another train can pick them up... or not.

       

      John

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • September 8, 2015 8:09 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
      • Posts
        12,556
      • Thanks
        564
      • Thanked
        359

      I tend to limit my trains to 6 cars, plus caboose and locomotive, primarily because there is a passing siding that is limited to trains of that size.

       

      I generally operate alone, because most of the folks in the club just want to watch the locomotive chase its caboose, and because there is a sign posted near my driveway that reads, "Edge of the World - 2 Miles."  (I live out in the sticks.)   Occasionally, I can host 5 or 6 trains.

       

      My sidings can accommodate at least 2 cars per industry, just to make life interesting.  The one farthest from the turnout is the one that has to be pulled, and the new car goes in closest to the turnout.

       

      To keep things interesting, Union Rules prohibit the caboose being involved in switching operations.  It must be parked, until the train is built and ready to go to the next location.  The conductors got tired of their homes being bounced around.

       

      My layout is a point to loop to point, and during operations, I place a brick at one point on the loop, creating two more sidings. I have a wye at halfway, and a turntable at the distal end.  I have plans to build another TT for the proximal end.

       

      When I just want to work on the layout, or just sit and watch the sunset, I can turn a train loose on the loop.

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at September 8, 2015 8:15 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • September 8, 2015 8:11 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
      • Posts
        12,556
      • Thanks
        564
      • Thanked
        359

      Ken, the caboose is supposed to be at the end of the train, behind the locomotive. 

       

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • September 8, 2015 8:42 PM EDT

      •  
      • Posts
        14,489
      • Thanks
        2,490
      • Thanked
        1,471

      Ken who?

       

    • September 8, 2015 9:35 PM EDT
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
      • Posts
        2,743
      • Thanks
        309
      • Thanked
        340

      Joe Bussing said:
      One with many industries but only enough room to spot one or two cars per industry. Or one with fewer industries that can accommodate more cars cars at each site.

      I don't have a G scale layout on account of owning no landscape on which to build one; but as for the matter of the philosophy, the modules I built for our club's HO layout offer a couple of each situation described.

      As for me: Sometimes I just want to sit on my derriere and "railfan". Sometimes I want to shuffle cuts in the yard. Sometimes I want to work the industries.
      Now the question is, what to do with those desires in minimal space?

      Think I would try for a 2 track yard serving several small industries.

      And kind of like with figures for miniatures gaming where 1 figure might represent that person or a unit of 50 depending on scale of game, sometimes that one or two model cars might be taken to represent longer cuts.
      Now, that wouldn't have the visual appeal of a long cut weaving through turnouts - but physics only allows so many solid objects to fit in a given volume of area and ya work with whatcha got.

    • September 8, 2015 10:00 PM EDT
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        739
      • Thanks
        6
      • Thanked
        20

      I do both types of running or operations, whatever you want to call them.  If it's not too hot, like it has been most of this summer, I like to do switching operations.  I also have a tower crane to load and unload gondolas and tipper cars.  Then I send them to another town to be unloaded.  But I also like to just sit and watch a train travel the circuit.  My layout is big enough that you cannot see a train when it's at the far end from where you are standing.  This gives the illusion that the train is coming from a distant locale.  

      ____________________________________

      "In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholsome diet"

                                                                             Winston Churchill

    • September 9, 2015 5:03 AM EDT

      •  
      • Posts
        2,489
      • Thanks
        10
      • Thanked
        208

      My railroad's definitely the "lots of industries, one or two cars per siding" variety. That's partly due to the compact size of the railroad, but also, moving blocks of cars--to my thinking--is no different than moving one car, they just take up more space in the train. That's why I don't model the EBT's coal operations, as that's a "loads in, empties out" affair with a long train with all the cars going to one place. Visually stunning, operationally pretty basic. I've got 12 places on the railroad to spot cars, and on any given operating day, I'm picking up and/or dropping off at at least 9 of them.

       

      My railroad is actually fairly simple to switch, thanks in part to the track plans at each town being copied from the prototype. Those guys didn't want to work any harder than they had to, so they laid out their sidings and spurs so that switching them would be very simple. There's usually only one industry per siding, and only in a few places is there a need to move cars out of the way on one siding to get to another. Things get complicated on my railroad for the most part only when my train is longer than I have room on my passing sidings to handle if I need to run around, but then with no other trains on the line, it's easy to drop the caboose and whatever extra cars "outside of town" so to speak, and switch each location with a shorter train.

       

      By the same token, my workshop railroad is a switching puzzle. It's designed specifically to make you think how to move the cars around to get them in the correct places and then build your train with the cars in the correct order. No track engineer in his right mind would ever actually lay tracks like that in the prototype world, unless he was uniquely sadistic or had a deathwish. However, I've got a few small locos which are ideal for such things, so it's a challenge to break up your train, put the cars where they need to go, and reassemble your new train with the cars in the right order.

       

      I've operated on some lines which are built along similar "challenging" lines. (The Woodland Junction yard on my dad's railroad has been described as "diabolical.") They're likewise a great bit of mental exercise, especially when you have to keep the main clear for other trains! All good fun. 

       

      Later,

       

      K

      ____________________________________
    • September 9, 2015 6:20 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        11,060
      • Thanks
        680
      • Thanked
        1,033

      Steve Featherkile said:

      Ken, the caboose is supposed to be at the end of the train, behind the locomotive. 

       

      It'll get there.......eventually...........

      I'll have to echo Bruce's sentiments. Each layout is different, and each one has it's own set of challenges. I don't mind operating by myself, but it is more fun with  someone else helping out. The old "2 heads are better then 1".

      On mine I usually just have 5-6 cars and the way it's set up it'll skip certain industries until the next train goes out on the line. Most sidings will hold 2-3 cars. I like the puzzles so I've added more to the new layout. So far I've been the only one to run on it, but I get a kick out of watching how others solve some of the problems that arise. Right now it's an out and back type but it will eventually contain a loop.

       

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • September 10, 2015 12:13 PM EDT
      • Cape Cod,
         
      • Posts
        3,047
      • Thanks
        157
      • Thanked
        267

       I think for most of us our RR restrictions are due to available funds and land.   Who wouldn't want to run 50-100 car trains and have room to park them?   Grades on my RR restricts me to 6 or so car trains but the hopper train has 10 cars.  

      I have 2 yards and 2 industries and a factory plus a few other sidings just because.   Depending on the length of the cars these industries can hold 8-10 cars but I don't like to cram them up.  I think 2-3 cars spotted next to a dock conveys enough of the message that the RR is a working RR.

      My main yard can hold maybe 20 cars but that is jammed up.

       

      In the end To each their own.  I like to have a destination for my trains and mostly I run them and pickup drop off a few cars here and there.  

      AS long as we are having fun right? 

       

       

    • September 10, 2015 1:16 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        11,057
      • Thanks
        123
      • Thanked
        889

      Todd Haskins said:

       Who wouldn't want to run 50-100 car trains and have room to park them?

       

       


      Me. I like short trains, meandering along trackage that is anything but straight. That's why I started out trying to model a small, narrow gauge railroad.
      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • September 10, 2015 1:57 PM EDT
      • Nashville, IL
         
      • Posts
        5,257
      • Thanks
        444
      • Thanked
        364

      I like longer trains also, but not over 30 cars, max...   I run diesels, double headed, non-elephant style, so a short hood is always running forward...  I think about 15 cars per unit is sufficient...  My shortest siding is 48 foot long, so that basically restricts train size..   Right now, we run 15-20 cars on a train, cept during cleanup trains at the end of an Operations weekend...  Then, I think 38 cars was the max on one train...

    • September 11, 2015 9:58 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
      • Posts
        9,101
      • Thanks
        432
      • Thanked
        445

      I have to agree with many that all the different ways of operating gives variety and fun.  With advice from Dave Goodson and Fred Mills, plus many, many others, we started evolving our theories of operations around 1998 and did our first ops at our layout in 2001.  Today is our first day home from a summer of visiting many railroads.  A scheduled operations on a local HO layout this evening will get our schedule back to normal.  If normal exists anymore.  Was/Is any one form of operations, better than others?  NOt really, but they are all different, even the ones that try to be the same.

      Through the years, we have seen some that take elaborate set up and planning to pull off the operations and it all has to be choreographed.

      The worry of the layout owner for it to go perfect is way overblown in their mind and the visitor usually enjoys all of the experience with flubs and perfect layout performance almost exactly the same.

      I know when we were starting out, there was lots of planning and lots of changes.  What is done behind the scenes to make it run smoothly is what shows the most results toward a smooth operating session.  And complete, well maintained railroads, sure adds to the enjoyment.  Not being able to achieve this is what suspended our own operations in 2010.

      Being able to instantly bring a train out and operate, whether it is just running around the railroad in a "roundy-round" fashion or setting out and picking up cars at designated sidings seems to be the most satisfying.  Personally, I favor the operations that immediately begins with the first movement of an engine or a piece of rolling stock.  The theory that follows, let me carry these cars to these locations and then we can start having fun in an hour or so, detracts from the fun.  I think Al Pomeroy's layout with starting points and destinations all being inside and the route being outside is one of the best examples I've seen.  However, I have to say this was close to one of my goals on the KVRwy, so it seems natural that I would like that.

      "Setup trains" can be as much fun as any other part.  And "pick up trains" can also be enjoyable, if they don't create such chaos that the next session is going to be a nightmare.  We once sent a "setout train" out at 10am for Ops beginning at Noon.  As the afternoon progressed we found that things were not running as smooth as we wanted.  About 2 pm, we found the "setout train" was letting scheduled trains go through.  Yep, that kind of messed things up.  But it is all for fun and we laugh about it all these years later.

      Probably,  the friendships creates the most fun and the best sessions.    

      This post was edited by Ric Golding at September 11, 2015 9:59 AM EDT
Forums General Operations

    Icon Legend

  • Topic has replies
    Hot topic
    Topic unread
    Topic doesn't have any replies
    Closed topic
    BBCode  is enabled
    HTML  is enabled

Add Reputation

Do you want to add reputation for this user by this post?

or cancel

Ads by Google