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Author Topic: Famous Train Layouts  (Read 22290 times)

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« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2010, 10:56:42 AM »

Found a photo gallery of Gomez Addams layout!
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2010, 03:10:51 PM »

I had forgotten how classy the Addams' layout was.  There are lots of layouts in basements, attics and garages, held up by boxes and old fence boards.  But a layout on a beautiful, antique dining table set up in the dining room?  That's class.


Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.

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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2010, 01:48:09 AM »

Took a look at the Miniatur Wunderland on the net, and I have to say it’s impressive, including that working road system--although I have to say I might do some things differently.

For now, though, a look at the Wunderland in action:

Official promotional video:

Swiss Federal freight action; I like the pacing shots from another train, and also the shots from a flat in the train, both of which exhibit, in HO scale, the relative movement between cars that is so familiar to someone who has ridden a train.  But what’s the big deal with all the Santa Claus figures on this road?

Neat GE sounds, particularly at start-up, but I wonder what is with all the Christmas stuff--or maybe I’ve got just a touch of the Grinch today. . .

That Swedish engineer must take a liberal view of speed restrictions on curves!  Plenty of Santa Clones, too.

I have to say the operation of free-sailing vessels (as opposed to models running on an underwater track) is impressive, too:

Not on the Miniatur Wunderland, but included because this is a classic-looking vessel:

Rack operation in the Wunderland:

A touch of humor:

Now, let’s take this idea a step further.  Specifically, what would a North American variant look like?

Speaking for myself, I would cut back on the “fantasy” aspect a bit (with a couple of notable exceptions I’ll mention later); being the nostalgia hound I am, it would be a period piece, possibly multiple periods, i.e., a combined history and geography lesson.  Part of the inspiration for this comes from vintage rail promotional films, such as “This Is My Railroad” (Southern Pacific), “Mainline USA” (Association of American Railroads), and “Operation Fast Freight” (Norfolk & Western); all of these films have an element of what I would call “America the Beautiful.”

Warning: Don’t try to see all these at one time, you’ll be here for a week!

Essentially, my version would tell the story of railroading in America, including some earlier chapters in the 19th century, possibly with different scenes, even in different scales, as was done by the famous General Motors “Futurama” display at the 1939 World Fair in New York.  This film illustrates the effect in terms of scenic effects, although one has to admit that this view of the future is not quite what actually came true.

Several Eastern railroads contributed to a miniature railroad display at the same fair; this is the only internet material I could find on it:

OK, this gives us an idea of what I think this could look like; what would you specifically put in it?

I think it would be great to have favorite, specific locations recreated in this exhibit.  Examples could include a number of major and secondary cities , some of which had or still have magnificent stations  (Boston, Ma., Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pa, Jacksonville, Fl., New Orleans, La., Portland, Or., and so on--maybe Wheeling, W.Va. As it used to be. . .); with equally famous rail locations (Zoo Junction outside Philadelphia, Horseshoe Curve in Pennsylvania, the New River Gorge in West Virginia, Donner Pass in California, the Feather River Canyon, and of course the narrow-gauge country of Colorado).  Rail equipment would be appropriate to era  and location.  It sounds like a lot, but remember how large the Miniatur Wunderland is, and that it is not near completed size yet.

Of course, this is still a huge thing to do, and this is a large country--maybe we could use more than one in different regions, perhaps as a franchise system.  Oh, I also said that we could still use a bit of fantasy--specifically, it would be fun to somehow also work in a recreated Gorre & Daphetide and a Polar Express. . .

These are my thoughts; what would yours be?
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2010, 08:46:23 AM »

Didn't one of the characters of the Sopranos have a layout in his garage?

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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2010, 12:19:14 AM »

Found someone else at Disney who was apparently quite a live-steam/large scale man, a bit surpising, I didn't know he was into this:

Terry Toenges

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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2010, 08:22:30 PM »

I want Donald's layout.

Feel like a Mogul.

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« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2010, 01:43:07 PM »

Another Famous Layout,,Almost forgot about this one, think i'll pay it a visit tomorrow since it is not too far away

imagine an HO scale Sears Tower on your layout.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2010, 01:50:10 PM by jbsmith » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2010, 08:45:46 AM »

I would have to agree with John Allen and Frank Ellison for the US
For the UK I submit Rev Awdry who was a serious railway modeler
whose accidental legacy is Thomas the tank engine.
Peter Denny very recently deceased whose Buckingham Branch was well known through the UK model railway press.
And the Madder Valley regrettably I cannot remember who built that but that railway is now in the Pendon museum in the UK this also had a number of articles in the UK model railway press.
It was one of if not the first UK layouts to take to take a whole landscape
Rather than just concentrate on what was within the railway fence line.
Which was the common way of doing things back then.
regards John

A model railway can be completed but its never finished

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« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2010, 12:10:21 AM »

i went and saw the layout at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago today.
That layout is BIG! No doubt it is the largest HO layout I have ever seen. The Sears Tower model is awesome!
Must be close to 10ft tall. You can see it here in the upper right

The photos in the above link do it injustice.  
In the downtown Chicago section there is an working model of the  "L".
Other sections represent the outer edges of Chicago, the prairies, the Rockies, and finaly Seattle. Yes there is selective compression even on this monster of a layout.
At Seattle there is the Space Needle,the water front with a container ship,King Street Station and other stuff.
Here and there are buttons you can push to make things happen, like sounding the container ships horn and
making a container crane move. There is one that makes a tree fall over and the word "Timber!" is heard from a well
concealed speaker. At another place pressing the button activates a Metra train.

There is 1400 feet of track.
Most of the trains were BNSF and a couple of Amtraks.
Some of the BNSF locos were in a green and white scheme i have never seen before.

I spotted at least one Bachmann loco for certain, a 2-8-0 Rock Island parked on a spur.
I have the same loco, that is how I recognized it.

The rest of the lot, who knows? Probably at least one from all of the usuall suspects.

Most of the smaller buildings are the same ones we can get from any hobby shop. Woodland Scenics, DPM, Walthers, Atlas and so on.
Of course all of the big skyscrapers were custom built.

If you ever get the chance, it is well worth visiting.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 12:39:16 AM by jbsmith » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2010, 12:29:28 AM »

Only slightly off topic but related to the Chicago MS&I layout.

There is a real locomotive on display, New York Central #999. It is a 4-4-0.
Said to once hit a top speed of 112.5 MPH.
I was blown away by how LARGE this 4-4-0 is. I have seen 4-4-0s' before but none came close to this one. As tall as a Berkshire i swear.
The main drive wheels alone are 7-feet 2-inches tall.

in case you are wondering, in the upper right of the photo, that is a Spitfire made to look like it is chasing the Stuka the museum also has.

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« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2010, 01:25:21 AM »

jb -

I'm so glad you enjoyed the HO layout at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. (We old Chicago natives refer to it as the Rosenwald Museum because that family built the building for the 1893 Columbian Exhibition -- World's Fair in today's parlance.)  It is the only building still standing.  Contrary to popular belief, the Field Museum of Natural History near downtown, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium are not left over from the Columbian (which, incidentally was held in 1894, not 1893.  They said 1893 because it was 400 years after Columbus and Chicagoans have never been reluctant to stretch the truth.)

I grew up with the original AT&SF O-gauge layout which was located in the same place as the new set-up.  It was 40'x40' or so and very impressive.  It was installed in the 1930s and rehabbed and retracked in the 50s, all paid for by the Santa Fe which was headquartered in Chicago and well immersed in the City's cultural and financial lives.  But the exhibit ran every day and eventually became antiquated in appearance and a maintenance nightmare.  The rail, which was solid steel unlike Lionel O rail, was so worn that no railhead remained; the trains were running on the tops of the webs!

Somehow the Rosenwald convinced the Big New Santa Fe to build a new layout which accounts for the BNSF equipment and end points.  I see you noticed the El in Chicago but did you also see the subway running under the city?

The NYC 999 is a great loco and it does look huge with those 86" drivers standing on top of the rails and simulated roadbed.  The tops of the drivers are nearly 10' above the actual floor.  I see the museum says the original cost was on the order of $13K.  I understand the rehab cost $1.25, about 100 times as much as the loco cost new.

In addition to the layout and other exhibits in that area, plus tons of high-quality, larger-scale train models in the basement, the large open space adjacent to the main museum entrance houses an AT&SF 2900-class Northern and the original Pioneer Zephyr. 

I hope you looked at more than just the trains.  The whole place is a marvel and a wonderful way to spend a day in Chicago with children.  Next time you go, plan to hit the Chicago Historical Society for some fine railroad and other history, and the Illinois Transportation Museum in Union where they have a bunch of stuff, much of it running.  Union is about 90 minutes northwest of the city, just off the Northwest Tollway.

                                                                           -- D

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« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2010, 01:41:33 PM »

Just for the record, the specs given for No. 999 are for it's as-built design with the 86" drivers.  The NYC rebuilt the engine sometime later with the smaller drivers (72", if memory holds) when 4-4-0's began being replaced in main line service with Atlantics and Pacifics.  These are what the engine has now.  I'm glad to see the engine indoors.  Last time I saw it, it was displayed outdoors, and suffering for it. 

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« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2010, 02:37:31 PM »

ebt -

Yes, it was outdoors, just landward of Lake Michigan and the Outer Drive.  The Santa Fe Northern, Pioneer Zephyr and U505 were there, too.  You could see the deterioration on all three as time went by.  And you could see it just driving past; you didn't need to go through the museum to get close access.
                                                                             -- D

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« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2010, 07:08:02 PM »

That was my first time there since i was in grade school [1970s]  and i remember the "O" scale.
Yep i saw the sub-way!
I took my dad with me, we saw the coal mine tour which he in turn had not seen since he was in grade school [1940s].
We saw almost everything, took the Zephyr tour, the free part of the U-505, old  time main street and lots of other stuff.
I think the only things we missed were the Navy tech and the ships part.
The U-505 is now indoors too! you can even touch the hull.  went thru the 727.
I was wow-ed by how much had changed there at the MSI since the late 1970s.
We left when both of us started to get foot sore, and the thunderstorm had mostly passed on over the lake.


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« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2010, 02:35:10 AM »

jb -

Yes, it's a terrific place.  Having the U505 inside has saved the sub.  It was restored to be fully operational, well, except for the two huge holes through the hull, and the temperature and humidity changes outside were ruining everything.  It was a genuine oven in there on a hot summer day.  The inside tour is better now than when it was outside.  The only down side is that they had to remove the periscopes and radio mast to get it into that futuristic sub pen.  Do the tour next time you go.  I'll bet you'll be happy you did.

Are you an old Chicagoan?  You seem to be very familiar with the museum.  I was born in the city, lived there through high school and college, and again when in the Navy.  I only go now to take the grandchildren as I have no more family anywhere in Chicagoland.  But I'm still proud of being a Chicagoan.  And I mean Chicagoan, not a suburbanite.

                                                                          -- D
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