101 Track Plans ready to run

Folks,
The TrainPlayer site opens for business today. We offer TrainPlayer 1.1, the ultimate in mouse-driven railroading, along with all 101 track
plans from Linn Westcott's classic book, fully tracked and ready to run. Prices are low, learning curve minimal. Check it out:
http://www.trainplayer.com
-- Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Interesting coincidence. A guy put a bunch of old mags, etc. on the give-away table at the last NRHS meeting, amongst which was a copy of Westcott's 101 Track Plans, which I've been re-reading on the - make that in the "library". What is interesting to me is how dated most of the plans are compared to today's norms. Most seem to be based on tables rather that shelves around the wall, most seem to be based on running trains round and round more or less convoluted loops, most seem to depend on switching in a single end yard to make up trains while very few have holding yards, relatively few seem to realistically embody prototype scenes and practices, and few seem to be well suited for timetable or car forwarding operation. But then walk-around throttles were rare when Westcott did those designs, average home sizes were smaller, and I believe the average roster was smaller due to the greater dependency on kits, etc. Still, those plans gave many, many hours of armchair dreaming, as my old dog-eared copy will attest. Gary Q
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Geezer wrote:

attest.
The folks at Kalmbach say they are a little embarassed by the quality of the layouts in the Westcott book, yet they agree that there is an irresistible old-fashioned charm about them responsible for all those dog-eared copies out there.
The 101 is just the beginning. We have exclusive rights to the entire Kalmbach archive. We'll be doing other track plan books and monthly downloads accompanying featured layouts in MR. To prove we could handle modern plans, we worked up John Armstrong's Shasta Division (April MR) with the complete five-layer helix. Hope to post that as a featured download soon.
-- Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Geezer wrote: [...]

All true, but many of them are sound in basic design concepts. Westcott's operating suggestions indicate what could be done in terms of scenic/prototype theme and operation. If you photocopy a smaller plan, cut it up, and arrange its parts along the walls of a larger space, you'll see what I mean. Most of the defects Geezer notes are the result of cramped space. Loosen up the space, add a staging yard (easy to do in most of them), and you'll have very workable bases for a layout design.
I've been rereading John Armstrong's books. He, too, crammed an amazing amount of track into small spaces. Only cunning carpentry and careful backdrop arrangement would save most of his designs from the spaghetti-bowl look - a fact he was well aware of, for in many of his articles he provided cross-sections to illustrate just those requirements. He also advocated staging yards and prototype-based design concepts. He was one of the designers who thought in terms of layouts, not track-plans.
I think the main advance from the 50s/60s to the present has been the shift from track plans to layout designs. "Total concept" governs much layout design discussion these days, and we are all the better for it.
BTW, I find the mini-layouts in the front of 101 Track plans charming examples of how much one can do in a very small space. IMO, these very small layouts are very successful, perhaps because in them the design has been reduced to essentials: a loop of track and a siding or two. Scenery and operating theme become crucial in this case, and Westcott's suggestion are very, very good IMO. N scale or HO/O narrow gauge versions of most of them would make neat portable demo-layouts, well suited to showing what a wonderful hobby this is.
Have Fun!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wolf replied: All true, but many of them are sound in basic design concepts. Westcott's operating suggestions indicate what could be done in terms of scenic/prototype theme and operation. If you photocopy a smaller plan, cut it up, and arrange its parts along the walls of a larger space, you'll see what I mean. Most of the defects Geezer notes are the result of cramped space. Loosen up the space, add a staging yard (easy to do in most of them), and you'll have very workable bases for a layout design. I've been rereading John Armstrong's books. He, too, crammed an amazing amount of track into small spaces. Only cunning carpentry and careful backdrop arrangement would save most of his designs from the spaghetti-bowl look - a fact he was well aware of, for in many of his articles he provided cross-sections to illustrate just those requirements. He also advocated staging yards and prototype-based design concepts. He was one of the designers who thought in terms of layouts, not track-plans. I think the main advance from the 50s/60s to the present has been the shift from track plans to layout designs. "Total concept" governs much layout design discussion these days, and we are all the better for it. BTW, I find the mini-layouts in the front of 101 Track plans charming examples of how much one can do in a very small space. IMO, these very small layouts are very successful, perhaps because in them the design has been reduced to essentials: a loop of track and a siding or two. Scenery and operating theme become crucial in this case, and Westcott's suggestion are very, very good IMO. N scale or HO/O narrow gauge versions of most of them would make neat portable demo-layouts, well suited to showing what a wonderful hobby this is. ---------------------------------------------------
I always enjoyed Linn Westcott's and John Armstrong's articles and books. They provided me with a lot of great ideas and inspiration.
"101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders" is one of my favorite books. I used it to get ideas for some of the model railroads I built over the years.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/
"Track Planning for Realistic Operation" by John Armstong is also one of my favorites:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
"The Classic Layout Designs of John Armstrong" has a number of John Armstrong's creations:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,100 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All from Kalmbach, of course! Watch for these to show up in runnable form sooner or later.
-- Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:

IIRC, _Model Railroad Planning_ did exactly that three or so years back, with one of the medium-size Westcott plans -- expanded a crawl-in "donut" to a walk-in "U", added some staging and updated the theme.

My coffee-table N layout is vaguely "based" on one of the itty-bitty plans from the second chapter.
-- Kizhe

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.