Location

Discussion and happenings with a possible modular layout by members of the forum.
S301
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Re: Location

Postby S301 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:31 pm

Daivd, it should be remembered that the free-mo system isn't really designed for 'round and round' type layouts, based off a quick read of the US standards.

In fact, it would really be impossible to do properly with the 'freedom' that is available in the module sizes and shapes.

As to just 'rocking up', I agree, modules should be pre-booked. However, what happens if someone has to pull out? And they have an 'important' module needed for a NE type layout to work...

The Bendigo style line would be do-able. And being 'double track' (true double track), one could also go to single track at one end as well. Allowing those who have built single track modules (particularly good for a good looking trestle bridge, or similar) to tack onto one end. Wouldn't be hard for someone with a large 'single track' station to have a second module to operate one end of the layout from double track :)

Or just have a small station to merge the lines together to go over a specific bridge, or similar :)

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VRfan
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Re: Location

Postby VRfan » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:38 pm

dthead wrote:I would assume we would plan a show with known modules. So no one could rock up as such.
By going Nth East one presents a big operational problem of single lines - pass trains. True some may build staions or loops, but they would need to be more than 3 modules long at a minumum I'd say. And that means someone has to make more than one module !


I wouldn't think it's any worse than a regular double track layout. For any layout to be useful, you would need to have some basic staging yards somewhere. If there's no passing loop around the front, well you would just have to do follow on moves only on one of the lines until the entire track is clear, which is no different than operating traditional double line. If someone does happen to bring along some modules that allow passing or overtaking moves, then you actually have an increase in operational scope over traditional double line.

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Re: Location

Postby vrcasts » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:40 pm

S301 wrote:the 'location' should be more a 'basis' than a 'specific' though. You would have, say, a set of photos to base your scenery on. Plus a set of basic materials to use at the ends of the modules, to ensure that they blend.

Zec


I like this idea

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toxation
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Re: Location

Postby toxation » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:04 am

Here's a bold idea, to get the best of both mainline and branchline running...

The Bendigo line, beginning at Castlemaine and extended in one of three directions (a double track mainline with crossovers, two directions) and a branchline stub that comes off at a 'T' to the mainline layout to (either Maldon or Maryborough). You can then almost run anything from 1870 through to 2010s. Plenty of scope for expansion, and plenty of scope for operability re: passing loops, etc..
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Re: Location

Postby VRfan » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:13 am

I think keep it simple to start with. It's easy to get carried away and find everything falls in a heap.

dthead's idea of some staging tracks around the back with a double line loop of members modules is the best starting point. From there, people can build stations, etc... if they wish.

If you are looking at an exhibition, you also have to think about what's practical. Could you realistically expect an exhibition hall to accept a sprawling collection of modules that doesn't fit within a rectangular space? Also, if you make the layout too spread out, then it makes it hard to keep an eye on what members of the public are doing. I don't think many people here would be happy for one of their locos to dissappear via an 0-5-0 shunter, or little johnny to grab that D3 as if it's one of his thomas toys.

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Re: Location

Postby toxation » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:19 am

LOL

Point taken. But double track BG might be a more compelling idea than double track BG/SG. And Bendigo has a lot of really nice Victorian and Federation style buildings which would look nice on a layout, as simply houses, churches or whatever along the line. And they can be placed anywhere, without the requirement for a station.

In that aspect, the NE is pretty generic from a scenery perspective. It's much younger, developed later, and things tended to be made from timber as opposed to bluestone, which have quite clearly not survived.
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S301
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Re: Location

Postby S301 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:37 am

Unfortunately, a 'loop' layout doesn't really fit within the free-mo system, which allows the modules to be practically any shape/size.

Because of this, they are designed as 'point to point' layouts, generally.

One of the best setups for this that I've seen is the Mildura layouts, which are balloon loops with fiddle yards.

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Re: Location

Postby VRfan » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:00 am

It would fit quite easily if you mandated the length of each module. Then for x number of modules out the front, you need x number of modules in the staging yard. Because the stanging yard doesn't have any scenery, you can stack them more compactly.

If people want to build something that is longer than 1 module, then they build it over 2 or 3 module lengths.

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Re: Location

Postby S301 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:40 am

Then you go straight back to a standard modular system, and not the free-mo system. This means you have either perfectly straight modules, or 90deg turn modules. And those modules will be one of specific lengths. To be able to do it properly, you need decent length modules (say 4ft long), which may be too long for some members to build.

The free-mo system allows any shape, or length, module to be built. Be it a 1ft module, or a 10ft module (or 'multi-part' module, such as a station).

With a regular 'modular' layout system, stations are difficult, since they must be build to fit the modular lengths (rather than to fit a good looking station).

You will generally need your fiddle yard to have enough modules to match the modules out the front (unless you want 1/2 your modules hidden up the back - not something that everyone would be happy with...). Becomes very, very, messy when you look into this side of it (something I have been thinking about a lot with my own modular layout).

This isn't to say you go to an exhibition and say 'give us all your space, we have a stupidly big layout to display'. But rather that the layout can be adjusted to fit the exhibition. You would have to go in before hand, and organise your layout a little while before, so as to ensure it fits. Imagine being able to use the 'useless' areas that appear in some exhibitions.

This does, of course, count on you not being moved around (e.g. if you are given a corner to work in). It also means that you could have a longer layout to operate on as well.

As to controlling your models on the layout, is this any different to the awkward layouts that are around. Any layout will have issues with kids trying to touch models, or attempts to steal models, no matter how big or small. You might have to have someone monitoring the yards fairly often to prevent this, if the layout became fairly large. On the other hand, most modules would tend toward scenery only (aka, track through the land), which don't have as much risk of static rolling being stolen, since they will only be there when you stop the train yourself (mid section).

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Re: Location

Postby VRfan » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:45 am

S301 wrote:Then you go straight back to a standard modular system, and not the free-mo system. This means you have either perfectly straight modules, or 90deg turn modules. And those modules will be one of specific lengths. To be able to do it properly, you need decent length modules (say 4ft long), which may be too long for some members to build.


Free-mo is simply a standard for interfacing between modules. There is nothing to say that a group of people can't agree to build x number of modules all within certain parameters (such as a designated length).

I would suggest that for the first attempt we should keep it as simple as possible. ie: get something that works and can be assembled together relatively easily. Going around in circles is as simple and easy as it gets.

S301 wrote:The free-mo system allows any shape, or length, module to be built. Be it a 1ft module, or a 10ft module (or 'multi-part' module, such as a station).

With a regular 'modular' layout system, stations are difficult, since they must be build to fit the modular lengths (rather than to fit a good looking station).


What I am suggesting is to pick a minimum module size. Everything bigger must be a multiple of this size. Just say the minimum size is 2ftx3ft and a station takes 7ft. That means your station is actually 3 modules long because you will need 9ft worth of modules to fit the station. Also, from free-mo perspective it would be considered as one 9ft module, so only the ends would need to conform to the standard, allowing a wider space than 2ft wide in the middle if required.

S301 wrote:You will generally need your fiddle yard to have enough modules to match the modules out the front (unless you want 1/2 your modules hidden up the back - not something that everyone would be happy with...). Becomes very, very, messy when you look into this side of it (something I have been thinking about a lot with my own modular layout).


As the staging yards are at the back of the layout, this determines how many modules you can have out the front. Therefore, you make the staging yard semi modular as well so that you can expand and contract to match the number of modules out the front. dthead should have a rough idea of the sort of "expected" minimum and maxium dimensions we would be looking at for an exhibition layout. Also remember that you can include modules on the sides of the layout.

S301 wrote:As to controlling your models on the layout, is this any different to the awkward layouts that are around. Any layout will have issues with kids trying to touch models, or attempts to steal models, no matter how big or small. You might have to have someone monitoring the yards fairly often to prevent this, if the layout became fairly large. On the other hand, most modules would tend toward scenery only (aka, track through the land), which don't have as much risk of static rolling being stolen, since they will only be there when you stop the train yourself (mid section).


Like I said, keep it simple and manageable to start off with. Once we know what does and doesn't work, (such as assembling the layout, behaviour of spectators, etc...), we can then look at more unusual arrangements such as point to point with branch lines, etc... Out of all of us on here, I'm not sure who apart from dthead actually has experience operating an exhbition layout.

From my own personal perspective, If we do get to the stage of building something, I only plan to make one or two simple scenic modules so that I can get the hang of it before worrying about anything more complex.


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