Western Union - March 2013

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BrianMoore
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Western Union - March 2013

Post by BrianMoore » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:02 pm

More Modular fun today, with Mike Ruby bringing along the long-planned set of crossover boards we built last year, and onto which Mike laid the track last week. The set-up is wired for possible block detection, and will have Dispatcher-controlled switches and eventually light signals:
Image
New crossing boards by bxmoore, on Flickr
The new boards provide huge potential for operating opportunities, as can be seen from today's set-up:
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March 2013 full layout by bxmoore, on Flickr
Finally, a snap of the Propane facility at Golden:
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Propane at Golden by bxmoore, on Flickr
Brian Moore

redbull
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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by redbull » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:33 pm

Looking brilliant! Really like that it's been wired for block detection - that should be a requirement on all modular boards to increase realism.
Peter Borcherds
Rochelle Intermodal N Scale Modular Layout
http://www.rochelleintermodal.com

calaf01
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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by calaf01 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:55 pm

Depends which era and area you're trying to make prototypical. Some territory is dark, so block detection is very not prototypical.
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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by redbull » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:52 pm

Yes, but remember that the whole idea of modular is that the era & theme is not set - so someone with a west coast modern era module could hook up with an east coast transition era module. Mind you, there is a system available that gives modules this extra layer (PLJ, remind me what it's called?)
Peter Borcherds
Rochelle Intermodal N Scale Modular Layout
http://www.rochelleintermodal.com

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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by redbull » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:37 pm

Good idea, if you have enough modules of a certain era.
Peter Borcherds
Rochelle Intermodal N Scale Modular Layout
http://www.rochelleintermodal.com

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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by santafe1958 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:19 pm

ednmra wrote:Midwest Modurail (mostly CB&Q) used to divide their running sessions into eras, more realistic.
That I admit is the one drawback I find with some modular (and not so modular) American layouts.
There can be too much of 'anything goes'. A few years ago there was a small N scale layout at a provincial show, that was supposedly modern Arizona, but was spoilt by NYC and Pennsy trains. It somehow kills the realism for me.
Brian K.Woolven
Chief Operating Officer,
Deadwood City Railroad.

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BrianMoore
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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by BrianMoore » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:42 pm

ednmra wrote:
santafe1958 wrote:
ednmra wrote:Midwest Modurail (mostly CB&Q) used to divide their running sessions into eras, more realistic.
That I admit is the one drawback I find with some modular (and not so modular) American layouts.
There can be too much of 'anything goes'. A few years ago there was a small N scale layout at a provincial show, that was supposedly modern Arizona, but was spoilt by NYC and Pennsy trains. It somehow kills the realism for me.
Well I suppose one of the drawbacks of modular groups is that almost by definition you will lose the specific nature of a single model railroad. Although, perhaps more in modern era, you can get a broad similarity of some trackside structures (Otherwise known as Pikestuff and Cornerstone!!) it is difficult to get an overall believable era or location. Mountains, flatlands, coastal, etc etc. but you could try for a broadly believable batch of locos and rolling stock at any one time such as transition midwest 10am till lunchtime, steam in the east from lunch till tea and so on. Just to a give only a little more cohesiveness.

Martin B
Like everything we do, it's always a compromise somewhere. At Western Union modular meets, the boards are single-track "branch-line"-type appearance, and we have rules to avoid the biggest howlers, viz: limit the locomotives to secondary route power (eg, geeps/early SDs, but no SD70's), no more than two locos lashed up (especially important as the passing sidings are limited in size), boxcars do not have roofwalks etc (and no ice reefers or similar cars from the 40s/50s), and no steam locos. Of course, this means that the railroad is less than accurate in some ways, but not overtly so.

So, although you may well see the loco I usually run for "live ops" (an SP RS11, as depicted in the months prior to withdrawal in 1979, based in Houston TX), passing a train hauled by a BN SD9, and then having its train switched by a UP Genset, we can live with it, as the "whole" gives us the required pleasure.

One thing that does keep the individual modules looking similar is that they mostly have the same type of ballast on the main line, but again, you don't really notice that if you are concentrating on moving your train across the district, having a switch list and being under the control of the DS, like the real one is.
Brian Moore

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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by torikoos » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:19 pm

As you say Brian, I don't think we do a bad job at all. Running a club layout will always be a compromise, but we have managed to be pretty okay most times.
The majority railroads present by our group are SP, UP and SF, oh and some pesky Canadians :-)
They could all be seen in western USA so modeling that general area makes it pretty believable. Also you've managed to organise shows to an extend that one time it would be transition era steam , next we'd be in the diesel era etc, not often (if ever) seeing a consist of SD70AcE loco's meeting up with a cab forward or Challenger (unless it was heading a steam special tourist train perhaps).

Also at shows, it is useful to show the variety that one can find in US model railroading, which is also key. For those that question certain 'mixes' , refer to such a thing (want to show a variety to the public). Even more so if we post some information along the fascia for people to read.

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Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by Mike_R » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:14 pm

redbull wrote:Looking brilliant! Really like that it's been wired for block detection - that should be a requirement on all modular boards to increase realism.
All that means is that the track is not connected directly to the track bus. Instead the bus goes to a terminal block, where each of the track blocks is linked to the track bus. If we add detection all that has to be done is put the detectors in place of the links and connect the detector to the feedback bus (Lenz in our case) which is a mandatory bus on our modules.
Mike Ruby

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Re: Western Union - March 2013

Post by Mike_R » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:11 pm

A video of the meeting is now on Youtube.

Last edited by Gloriousnse on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (edit to embed video)
Mike Ruby

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