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  • Topic: Portable Switching Puzzle / John Allen "TimeSaver"

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    • August 24, 2019 8:14 PM EDT
      • Defending the State of Exile! ,
         
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      Cliff Jennings said:
      Colin Criswell said:

      On the switching layout our club has and bring to our module events has a transformer that can be set at a slow speed so the locomotive does not run off the track and will not harm the bumpers at the ends of each siding.  We also use a toggle switch for the forward and reverse.  This way the kids only have to use the toggle switch to move the locomotive.  Another thing we use is hook and loop couplers.  By giving the operator (kid) an old credit card or hotel card they can slide it down between the 2 cars that they want to uncouple and move the other car away.  The switching layout is not a timesaver, but does have a main line and 3 sidings.  2 sidings can hold 2 cars max. and the other 3 cars max.  The mainline will only hold the loco and 2 cars.  We also use small cars like the Hartland mini cars and an Aristo Lil Critter for the motive power.  There are 6 cars on the various sidings when the child starts.  The cars are all numbered.  They then pull 3 cards from a deck of 6 cards.  This tells them the cars they have to pick up and in what order.  So with the mainline lining up with the straight siding that will hold 3 cars it makes it a challenge to clear that track and get the cars in order to have the loco and 3 cars on that track.  We have been using this switching module for over 10 years and it has been a big success with the little ones at the events.  It was originally made for the Boy Scouts Scout-O-Rama and is one requirement for their Railroading Merit Badge. 

       

      Edit:  I wish I had a picture of it.  The next time we have it up, I will take a picture.

       

      I love the idea that a simple model railroad setup could serve as a fun instructional tool for young people, for over a decade. 

       

       

       

       

      Amen

    • August 24, 2019 8:59 PM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Colin Criswell said:

      On the switching layout our club has and bring to our module events has a transformer that can be set at a slow speed so the locomotive does not run off the track and will not harm the bumpers at the ends of each siding.  We also use a toggle switch for the forward and reverse.  This way the kids only have to use the toggle switch to move the locomotive.  Another thing we use is hook and loop couplers.  By giving the operator (kid) an old credit card or hotel card they can slide it down between the 2 cars that they want to uncouple and move the other car away.  The switching layout is not a timesaver, but does have a main line and 3 sidings.  2 sidings can hold 2 cars max. and the other 3 cars max.  The mainline will only hold the loco and 2 cars.  We also use small cars like the Hartland mini cars and an Aristo Lil Critter for the motive power.  There are 6 cars on the various sidings when the child starts.  The cars are all numbered.  They then pull 3 cards from a deck of 6 cards.  This tells them the cars they have to pick up and in what order.  So with the mainline lining up with the straight siding that will hold 3 cars it makes it a challenge to clear that track and get the cars in order to have the loco and 3 cars on that track.  We have been using this switching module for over 10 years and it has been a big success with the little ones at the events.  It was originally made for the Boy Scouts Scout-O-Rama and is one requirement for their Railroading Merit Badge. 

       

      Edit:  I wish I had a picture of it.  The next time we have it up, I will take a picture.

      What is the name of your club?

       

      Sounds very much like the TimeSaver setup, restricted cars, restricted siding length, restricted speed. We use a bit larger version for our Boy Scouts merit badges here in San Diego too,.

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    • August 25, 2019 7:20 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Your description is very much like the "Inglenook Puzzle".  Looks so simple and will drive you nuts. 

    • August 25, 2019 8:20 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Tom, they look to be the same picture to me.

       

      Greg, I am using Firefox and had the warning. Odd. But once I clicked advanced and go to the site anyway, the issue was solved.

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    • August 25, 2019 8:26 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Yes, it sure does sound like "Inglenook Sidings"

      More here.

       

      Of course, that's the "original".   Lots of variations - Carl Arendt, the late master of micro layout design, subjected the Inglenook formula to some practical testing and found that it can be cut down to one siding holding 3 cars and two sidings holding 2 cars each, which together with a 2 cars plus loco length headshunt will still provide operating interest when forming a three car train from a total of five cars randomly placed in the sidings.

      There's even an online version.

      This post was edited by Bruce Chandler at August 25, 2019 8:31 AM EDT
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    • August 25, 2019 10:02 AM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Greg, Colin and I belong to Arizona Big Train Operators, here in the Phoenix area.

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    • August 25, 2019 2:44 PM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Looks like an inglenook to me too...

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    • August 25, 2019 6:41 PM EDT
      • Scottsdale, Arizona
         
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      Greg, that would be the switching layout we use for our club ABTO (Arizona Big Train Operators).  I searched all over for a picture of it.  Where did you find that one?  Also that picture is at least 5 years old since the layout has been repainted and the controls updated.

    • August 26, 2019 12:34 AM EDT
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      I have my ways, ex CIA and NSA.... 

       

      The obvious, go to your site, and pull up the newsletters until I find one with that picture. Pull the picture from the PDF file.... and it was a 2018 newsletter..

       

      Greg

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    • August 26, 2019 1:59 PM EDT
      • Scottsdale, Arizona
         
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      Thanks Greg.  My next step was going to contact the person that takes most of the pictures for the Club and see if he had any pictures of the switching module.  Anyway thanks again.

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