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Author Topic: Differences in modeling throughout the world  (Read 17069 times)
Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2013, 01:51:16 PM »

one of the biggest difference I can see between us modeling and European modeling has to do with the terminal facilities. in Europe and the uk, passenger trains are very common, so modeling often focuses on the intricate trackage around station areas. also most lines have at least 2 tracks.

in the us, passenger trains are rare in most of the country, with freight trains running on single track common. thus our efforts focus on small yards and moving freight. the only places we have European type passenger terminals are in the major cities like new York and Chicago, where commuter trains dominate. those terminals see few if any freight trains, and on those passenger heavy lines railroads tend to run freight at night rather than get stuck in a siding for hours during the day.

That's the situation today. Back in the pre-car and pre-airline age I suspect UK and US rail traffic was much the same.  Today, the bulk of traffic in the UK is passenger and most freight goes by road whereas in the US, as I understand it, passenger traffic had been lost to airlines and the car while the greater distance involved in freight movement is enough to offset the cost of transshipment from rail to road.

A type of model RR that basically doesn't exist in the UK is where an entire section of RR is modelled with multiple stations, freight yards and so on. Reading Model Railroader (the only US model RR magazine easily available in the UK) it seems every US modeller owns a basement the size of an Olympic swimming pool and a RR empire to suit. I suspect this isn't true! The great bulk of UK model layouts have one or at most two stations.
Colin
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ebtnut

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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2013, 04:32:34 PM »

If any of you US types are planning to visit the UK, I strongly recommend a visit to the Isle of Man.  They have one of everything - narrow gauge steam, a working horsecar around the Douglass harbor, a narrow gauge trolley line, and an electric/rack trolley up to the top of the tallest mountain.  You can see and ride it all in two good days. 
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2013, 04:56:56 PM »

A busy two days! There are actually three narrow gauge steam railways on the Isle of Man. The 3' gauge Isle of Man Steam railway most people are familiar with, the charming 2' gauge Groudle Glen Railway http://www.ggr.org.uk/ and the eccentric 19" gauge Laxey Mines Railway http://www.laxeyminerailway.im/sidebar/restoration-of-the-railway.aspx Given that the electric tramway between Douglas and Ramsey is 3' gauge and the tramway up Snaefell is rack fitted 3'6" gauge you could, with a bit of planning, manage steam on 3 gauges and electric on 2 gauges, not to mention the horse drawn tramway. 
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2013, 08:06:56 PM »

Travel may no longer be an option for me due to an injury Vs $ on hand. But if I can, after I finish off a few more places Id like to see in North America, and maybe a Bullet train ride in Japan, England is my next stop for sure. My sister spent a few years going to school there, and though back for many years, still tells me I should just move there. Not visit, but move. Outside of the pub brawls, she seems to think the "vibe" fits my personality to a tee. She also brings up the Isle of Man quite a bit. Maybe I should consider it more deeply? The world keeps pointing me there Wink.
OK ...no 3d layout guesses... It is a map of the tracks of the M&LRTCL Merioneth and Llantisilly Railway Traction Company Limited, home to Ivor the Engine, and Edwin Jones "the Steam", his driver. I'm not sure if its that obscure, or if I'm just that much older, but that's what it is. Have you at least heard of them? I thought he was mildly popular at least.
 
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jward


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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2013, 10:11:51 PM »

A type of model RR that basically doesn't exist in the UK is where an entire section of RR is modelled with multiple stations, freight yards and so on. Reading Model Railroader (the only US model RR magazine easily available in the UK) it seems every US modeller owns a basement the size of an Olympic swimming pool and a RR empire to suit. I suspect this isn't true! The great bulk of UK model layouts have one or at most two stations.
Colin

it is true that many of us like to model a whole railroad, ala shortline, or a section of a larger railroad. but it is true that not all of us have a huge area to work with. there is an art form to smaller layouts.

as for model railroader, I don't think they are really representative of us modellers. for one most of us are more intelligent than the 6th grade reading level writing in mr would represent. a lot of us are quite well versed in our respective areas of study. another thing is that mr tends to feature layouts with long straight sections along each wall. they think linearly, I think vertically. this is the difference between say, pelle seborg vs john allen. the effects are quite different. it's the difference between having a layout which uses straight track to unintentionally remind you how small it is, vs one that seems to extend beyond the room, where sometimes you can't tell where the walls actually are.

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
ebtnut

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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2013, 11:45:49 AM »

Things have certainly been moving apace on the Isle of Man since I visited in the late '80's.  The Groudle Glen line wan't on our itinerary, and the Laxey Mine tram wasn't even a dream back then.  The Laxey Wheel was impressive enough, though.  What is the gauge of the Laxey tram? And my, but those little lokies are small!
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2013, 01:54:37 PM »


it is true that many of us like to model a whole railroad, ala shortline, or a section of a larger railroad. but it is true that not all of us have a huge area to work with. there is an art form to smaller layouts.

as for model railroader, I don't think they are really representative of us modellers. for one most of us are more intelligent than the 6th grade reading level writing in mr would represent. a lot of us are quite well versed in our respective areas of study. another thing is that mr tends to feature layouts with long straight sections along each wall. they think linearly, I think vertically. this is the difference between say, pelle seborg vs john allen. the effects are quite different. it's the difference between having a layout which uses straight track to unintentionally remind you how small it is, vs one that seems to extend beyond the room, where sometimes you can't tell where the walls actually are.
[/quote]

MR does leave a lot to be desired. I also get a free online mag, Model Railroad Hobbyist, which has a higher level of intelligence. I do like Seborg's work, though. The long straight sections along the wall aren't nearly so bad as what happens when two long straight sections meet at 90 degrees. It's as though the viewer just isn't supposed to notice those bits! The one that annoys me most, though, is two lines of track supposedly separated by many prototype miles running adjacent to each other. I don't care that one track is 10" higher than the other, it just looks wrong. It's for that reason that John Allen's work doesn't really do it for me. That said, using benchwork to create a multi-level RR works well for my eye because each scene is separate.
Colin.
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2013, 01:56:37 PM »

Things have certainly been moving apace on the Isle of Man since I visited in the late '80's.  The Groudle Glen line wan't on our itinerary, and the Laxey Mine tram wasn't even a dream back then.  The Laxey Wheel was impressive enough, though.  What is the gauge of the Laxey tram? And my, but those little lokies are small!

The Laxey Mines Railway is 19" gauge. The electric tramway from Laxey to the top of Snaefell is a rack-operated 3'6" gauge line.
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2013, 01:59:10 PM »


OK ...no 3d layout guesses... It is a map of the tracks of the M&LRTCL Merioneth and Llantisilly Railway Traction Company Limited, home to Ivor the Engine, and Edwin Jones "the Steam", his driver. I'm not sure if its that obscure, or if I'm just that much older, but that's what it is. Have you at least heard of them? I thought he was mildly popular at least.
 

I was a fan of Ivor but had no idea his line was anything like as complicated. It resembles the map of the London Underground more than anything in North Wales.
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ebtnut

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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2013, 04:15:23 PM »

Hm-m-m-m.  Three foot gauge, two foot gauge and 19" gauge steam, 36" gauge and 42" gauge electric trams, commercial horsecar service.  Wonder if someone would be brave enough to suggest a national narrow gauge convention on the Isle? 
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jward


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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2013, 10:48:38 PM »


 The one that annoys me most, though, is two lines of track supposedly separated by many prototype miles running adjacent to each other. I don't care that one track is 10" higher than the other, it just looks wrong. It's for that reason that John Allen's work doesn't really do it for me. That said, using benchwork to create a multi-level RR works well for my eye because each scene is separate.
Colin.

you would hate pittsburgh, and many other places in this area then. around here, railroads parallel each other at different elevations. they cross each other on bridges, some quite spectacular. where I live, I have the former pennsy mainline in my backyard, down the hill was the b&o and p&le running side by side, and on the other side of the river, the pennsy and union rr also parallel each other. 2 miles from my house the union and pennsy cross the river side by side, overtop the b&o and p&le. on the other bank both the pennsy and union rr have major junctions, with the pennsy passing over the union once, and under it twice.

all of this is still in service with minor changes. the pennsy became Norfolk southern. the b&o and p&le are now part of csx, and portions of the b&o line have been torn out in favour of the p&le.

also, when running a john allen type layout, which is the entire point of such a layout, you are concentrating on where your train is and you really don't notice the other levels. to me that is more fun than watching a train orbit the room of wide open space.

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2013, 02:55:25 PM »

Ah, if the prototype has two tracks parallel to each other I am totally fine with it. What I dislike is two or more parallel lines with each supposedly many miles away from the others. My particular interest is narrow-gauge and the image that narrow gauge conjures up, especially in the Western USA but even in parts of the UK, is two rails in the middle of nowhere. An image somewhat spoiled if there's another set of rails fifty yards 'up the hill' Shocked

Good point about how the operator sees his train, though. The human eye and brain can focus on one item and completely exclude anything else in the way a camera cannot.
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rogertra


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« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2013, 05:03:15 PM »

"Once through the scene" has always been my logic when building model railways, right from a teenager.



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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2013, 05:25:03 PM »

"Once through the scene" has always been my logic when building model railways, right from a teenager.

I agree, and continuing the theatre metaphor, the scene is everything between the audience and the back drop.
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rogertra


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« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2013, 06:30:57 PM »

"Once through the scene" has always been my logic when building model railways, right from a teenager.

I agree, and continuing the theatre metaphor, the scene is everything between the audience and the back drop.

And as I earn 100% of my living in technical theatre, I couldn't agree more.  Smiley
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