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Striving to being closer to the Prototype

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:25 pm
by torikoos
(Split from this topic - viewtopic.php?f=30&t=95)

see, our relatively short trains on our model railroads are prototypical, no need for 100's of cars :-)


Re: Short UP Auto Train

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:44 pm
by BrianMoore
Ah, you open up a can of worms there, Koos!

I've learned, over the years, that, for me (emphasis on "for me"), it doesn't pay to use "the exception" hardly ever, if you want to model "prototypical" trains and operations, which I increasingly strive to do. It was Tony Thompson who introduced me to the concept of almost complete avoidance of the exception, eg, one-off big loads like gun barrels and transformers, or really specialist types of wagons which were either one-offs, or built in tiny numbers. Most would be seen, even on the main line, once in a blue moon. Having that same load running up and down regularly "to justify its existence" lessens the realism for me.

The only exceptions I have on my layout are two bespoke coaches - the SP Dynamometer Car, 137, and the Coast Line Superintendent JJ Jordan's Private Coach, 119 "Coast", as both were seen regularly on the Coast line in 1954, and the latter was constantly attached and detached from all sorts of trains.

But I digress...


Re: Short UP Auto Train

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:51 pm
by Gloriousnse
I tend to also follow Brian's way of thinking - it's too easy to end up with a pastiche instead of something that looks like the real thing.

I was 'mentored' (for want of a better word) in railway modelling on a layout called New Annington, UK, 00, and strictly modern (+/- 2 year rule) - we had a rule that we modeled the everyday *first* - once we had that covered we added a sprinkling of the many one-offs out there - contrast with other layouts of the day that looked like they were running an open day, as they had every one-off in the country on them continuously!

A modern parallel? - if you're a modern UP or NS fan, what percentage of the fleet are their respective 'heritage' or special liveried units - and what percentage of your own fleet are they. Most modern modellers I suspect shouldn't be able to justify more than one, if that many...

I'm not saying you have to have it slavishly correct, a little jazzing up of the fleet here and there is well within the modellers license - but if you have (for instance) all of the UP heritage units running on your layout and only one 'normal' SD70ACE for company it will never look much like the real thing does*

Obviously YMMV**, IMTS*** and Etc Etc....

(* Unless you are modelling an open day!)
(** Your Mileage May Vary)
(*** It's My Train Set)

Re: Short UP Auto Train

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:25 pm
by torikoos
I don't disagree with you both , and you should take my remark with a couple of grains of salt. :-)
There is a prototype for everything, but you are right, a collection of oddballs and exceptions doesn't look realistic at all.
The reality for many of us is that we have usually limited space, so running huge trains is something most can only dream off (or do it at a 'club' meet).
At home in my case, I've chosen the subject of a short line, and i will be running mostly short locals, with 'common' car types, loads and locos. Not a collection of oddballs. Even these locals will probably be shorter than I'd like them to be, 8 to 10 cars max, while in real life those trains would easily have 20 to 30 cars, if not more.
Once my layout is complete (or at least the track work and some of the back scenes are finished), I will be able to hide a through freight behind a back scene, that will likely have enough length to warrant 2 or 3 6-axle diesels, and about 15 to 18 fifty foot (box) cars. Not long by any stretch of the imagination, but on a model railroad , it will be a reasonable compromise that can 'pretend' to be a much longer train.
(and for videos, I could of course do as you do Brian, making sure I start filming such that you can't see the last car, while the train sort of chases it's own tail, and look very long)

cheers, Koos

Re: Striving to being closer to the Prototype

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:58 pm
by Mike_R
I'm trying to stay within the norm. I have commonly used cars and locos. My trains are shorter than the prototype, I don't have prototype space! My long trains are 20+ cars, locals are 10 to 12 cars, so about 25% of the prototype.

If my operations become more frequent I may add occasional MOW trains and other specials to add to the operations, but otherwise everyday operations are interesting enough.