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Author Topic: Do you like running trains?  (Read 1341 times)

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Offline NinOz

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Do you like running trains?
« on: April 04, 2018, 11:32:30 am »
I discovered decades ago that I don't like running model trains.
At exhibitions our club had a large N-Trak layout, some people would run trains round and round for hours.  For me twice round was about my limit before boredom set in and the train was parked.  So for a loop layout it has about 3 minutes of entertainment value. :sleep:
Operating trains is a whole different kettle of fish and can keep me interested for hours at a stretch. :)
However what I really like is making stuff: electronics, programming, computer control, automation, scenery, repairs, maintenance, improvements, buildings, painting, design, etc.

It is all about personality and interests but I am curious about what floats other persons' boats.  :hmmm:
To be called pompous and arrogant - hell of a come down.
I tried so hard to be snobbish and haughty.

Online Newportnobby

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 11:39:44 am »
I would guess people's track plans reflect what they like to do and how they operate their layout. In my instance, I have 2 lower level main ovals for 'watching trains go past' and an upper level branch line oval c/w goods shed, loco shed, dairy etc to do some shunting on.
Both main and branch lines have fiddle yards, though, as I just couldn't watch the same train going round and round.
Sadly, with shaky hands and less than 100% perfect eyesight I find it very difficult to make anything so tend to buy RTR/RTP stuff, but I still consider I am making a layout rather than a train set.

Offline trkilliman

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 11:46:07 am »
I like to see trains running slowly rather than stuff hurtling round and round at an obviously out of scale speed.
Shunting does not really float my boat though. I actually enjoy making stuff/scratchbuilding as much if not more so than running trains. Each to their own of course.

Online The Q

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 11:54:47 am »
My interest is in the modelling, actually running trains round and round or shunting does not interest me much.

That being said, my modelling is for a purpose, Tiree is being converted  into an exhibition layout, so it will keep its roundy track and a branch line but with sufficient fiddle yard that not much fiddling will not be required, assembled trains will take their turn. Keeping things moving at a show is essential.

The Home layout Ludgershall, also has a roundy track, so when I'm sitting there modelling something can just wander around...

Offline Bealman

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 11:56:41 am »
I certainly believe that the late Peter Denny's Buckingham Branch addressed  this problem.

Mind you, it was run to bells and timetables and required multiple operators!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 12:07:35 pm »
I suppose I get more pleasure out of construction of the layout rather than operating, but on the other hand I do love to collect locos and stock so they need to have a run from time to time! 

My exhibition layout is definitely of the roundy-roundy style, though usually the sequence is that each train only makes one circuit in turn and returns to the fiddleyard. I'm not a fan of sending the same train round and round repeatedly.  This tends to be enforced by storing two trains on each fiddleyard line apart from a couple of double-length long freights or IC expresses, and this means there's usually around 24 trains for the visiting public to enjoy. 

Having been exhibiting since the 70s, it's pretty obvious to me that the general public at shows like to see trains running by and soon walk away from layouts focussed too much on shunting and/or timetabled operation with not a lot happening.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline texhorse

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 12:13:55 pm »
I definitely understand where you are coming from.  I would sooner go and put up three bookcases at my brother's house than run my layout in the shed down the garden.  If I go down there, I have to spend twenty minutes cleaning track, and another ten minutes trying to clean point blades so that locos don't stall.

If I just jump into the running, without cleaning first, I will be disappointed when the trains keep stopping.

If I do some scenery though, or build a kit, or renumber a loco, I can jump straight in and get the job done.  More interesting for me than running trains.

Andy
UK
Montrose and Highland Railroad



Offline PostModN66

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 12:23:26 pm »
I never run trains at home except for testing.  For me there is no point without an audience.

At exhibitions, it's strictly one circuit per train to preserve some degree of realism, and just enough gap between trains for the signals to go to at least one yellow!  Both my exhibition layouts also have one good shunting move that can happen whilst trains are running though.  This gives interest to the operator and hopefully the public.

To add to the engagement there is also manual signalling, and in the case of Lofhole 'phone communication with the Regional Signal Centre.

I seem to recall a similar thread a couple of years ago on the "one circuit per train" issue with a fair bit of "argument ad populum" to justify people's positions.   Just stopped myself in time!!

Cheers Jon  :)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:31:49 pm by PostModN66 »
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

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Offline NeMo

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2018, 12:36:11 pm »
I never run trains at home except for testing.  For me there is no point without an audience.

Having seen your layout, and the way it's operated, I'd agree that besides being wonderfully modelled, it is very watchable. Some layouts look nice but are boring to watch. Others are designed for spectators, even if the modelling itself is nothing special. A rare few manage both.

But if you're not exhibiting, then your layout really only has an audience of one. Or perhaps the model maker and his family -- especially youngsters. My little girl loves watching trains go by, and Kato Unitrack lets me indulge her without worrying too much about anything getting damaged. Even if trains fall off the track (hardly unusual when toddlers are spectating) they only fall a few mm onto the carpet or table, so no harm done.

Still, I totally get the arguments made above. I personally enjoy making the scenics most, and especially nowadays work on little dioramas that let me try something new. The previous one was to mess around with a London Underground setting; the one I'm doing now is a bit of a mainline station with etched brass catenary gantries across the platforms. Only a few feet long, but lets me play about and experiment with something new and without spending too much money.

Cheers, NeMo

Offline Bealman

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2018, 12:37:11 pm »
I must be a bit strange, then.

I love running trains into a terminus and moving 'em around!  :uneasy:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2018, 12:47:39 pm »
If I go down [to the shed], I have to spend twenty minutes cleaning track, and another ten minutes trying to clean point blades so that locos don't stall.

I read that quite often - people finding the need to clean frequently to maintain good running. I don't seem to get that sort of constant problem at all, despite my layout being stored boxed up for months on end in a garage in between exhibitions. When it comes out and is set up indoors for a check-over prior to a show then usually a quick light burnish with a track rubber is all that's needed. Once up and running it's then fine for weeks. 

I used electrofrog points with frog polarity switching on all the scenic trackwork so they've been pretty much 100% reliable for 20+ years. The fiddleyard is Setrack pointwork without polarity switching so not quite as good as the electrofrogs but still only needs occasional blade cleaning or adjustment and which only takes a minute or so.

I must admit I've never considered sheds and lofts to be a good environment for a model railway unless fully lined out and kept at a constant temperature and humidity. Sometimes I wonder if it may be condensation rather than dirty track which upsets running. For example if I set the layout up at a show on Friday evening and it's in a large hall that cools overnight, then the next morning a second brief go round with the track rubber is sometimes worthwhile.  When I bring it all indoors from the garage to set-up, I leave it to acclimatise for a while before I assemble.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 12:52:20 pm by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2018, 02:49:01 pm »
When I first got into n gauge, just over 2 years ago, my intention was to build a coffee table with a train layout inside the top. This is I duly did and, having enjoyed myself so much, decided to build a bigger layout. The current layout is approximately 12' long and is either approximately 2' 9" or 4' wide, (depending which bit we are talking about). I have got most of the track in place and, being Kato Unitrack, I have been able to alter the layout a number of times. The track is still not fixed and I do occasionally run a few trains. However, I have to admit that I prefer the 'modelling' aspect to the running aspect.
David.
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Offline Train Waiting

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2018, 02:54:24 pm »
Whilst I enjoy other aspects of our hobby, the real fun, for me, is running trains.  Round and round;  one 'lap' is never enough.  I particularly like the way the trains look running on curved track and tend to use a bigger radius than the minimum I can get away with.  I'll stop the train in the station every now and again and then set it off on its journey.  After a while, I leave this train in a visible loop and run another.  A little branch line train runs to and fro from the bay platform, under manual control.  I have occasionally thought about automatic operation of the branch line.

I enjoy making models, but it is with the purpose of being part of the overall operational scene, rather than as an exercise in pure modelling.  I don't think I have ever made a model for the simple pleasure of just making it.

For me, my model railway is a result of my interest in railways and, in particular, steam railways rather than as an expression of an interest in modelling.

I find the real fun with model railways is seeing them run.  I suppose I am consistent here as that's the fun, to me, of a 1:1 scale steam railway as well.

I find a reasonably comfortable seat and tea/coffee/beer/wine to hand according to the time of day adds to the enjoyment.  A jolly nice way to spend half-an-hour or so.

I expect that this approach will be in the minority on the Forum.  Certainly some of the modelling skills on display are absolutely fabulous and please do keep these posts coming as they are an inspiration.

Isn't 'N' gauge fun?

Best wishes.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)


The Table-Top Railway is a train set trying and failing to be a model railway.

I believe that train sets and model railways are fun.

Offline JohnN

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2018, 03:19:16 pm »
I'm primarily a model maker, not just model railways but also aircraft, ships and AFVs. It is fun learning about the prototypes especially railways. I like to watch trains running with little input but occasionally get a urge to do some shunting. Dartley Coombe is meant as an exhibition layout as I will not get as much out of running an end to end as I would watching trains run by.

Overall, it's about making things for me, especially when I'm not doing other outdoor activities (which include walking, wildlife photography, diy and gardening). A reaction to a day job which either ties me to a computer screen or sees me driving 100s of miles a week.

Offline Intercity

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Re: Do you like running trains?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2018, 03:31:55 pm »
As someone just starting the actual modeling side of the hobby (been collecting for a long time, never had space or time to create the layout), I am very much looking forward to bringing to fruition my ideas and thoughts (not looking forward to wiring), as for running or operating ideally I’d like to have a round roundy train that can be stopped in a fiddle yard to “swap” for another roundy train, but in the scenic side a TMD, Goods yard or carriage siding with some shunting going on would keep interest there.

With roundy roundy trains are we just setting them off to run by themselves, if so does it create more interest to have it computer controlled and run to a timetable per se, expresses to overtake semi-locals, freights put in sidings, to me that would keep movement there and give operators a chance to “shunt” or intervene in the computer side if needed.

A layout with large gaps or no movement don’t hold interest for anyone watching.
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