Is there a general info site out there for beginners? I know I want to model a 'short line' with the possibility of 'switching' local industries, and I have bought a book on modelling US lineside industries, but I would like to run a passenger service (hauled by my RS2) and I am very unsure what this should look like.
I put up the notes made for my god son on UK outline -
the only bit that might interest/amuse this group is the Historical Background, subsection on 'Some notes on Mono-rails and other alternative approaches'.
I was looking for something similar for US outline.
There is any number of web sites available dealing with construction of a layout, but it sounds as though you're looking more for historical date of railroad practices. I'm not sure that there is a "general information" web site with sort of orientation. There might be some sites with information on the practices of specific railroads, but that may not be helpful if you're trying to create your own freelanced layout.
Maybe your search phrase wasn't the best: finding what you want on the web often hinges on the right combination of words and/or knowing the correct terminology. (It's been pointed out that you have to something about what you're searching for in order to frame the best search phrases.) Try "operating a model railroad". You'll probably get enough hits to keep you busy, and maybe even happy ;-), for quite a while.
OTOH, you coudl read a book. The one I've used repeatedly is Track Planning for Realistic Operation, by John Armstrong (Kalmbach Publishing). Your stated aim places your layout ca. 1950s-60s, and Armstrong's book begins with an excellent overview of how US and Canadian railroads operated in that time frame. The second half of the book deals with how to translate this knowledge into a layout design.
Also, Iain Rice has written several books on N. American track plans. Iain always suggests operations for his layouts. The books are also available from Kalmbach Publishing. Go to their website, and check them out. If you have trouble getting them in the UK, then Mike Hughes can help you, or else e-mail me off list, and I'll see what I can do for you. Use this: wekirch a-in-a-circle-symbol sympatico flyspeck ca.
Damn - I nearly ordered the Armstrong book! I'll add it to the list. Sounds like what I need. Plan is to run a small test layout (4' x 2' probably) and see how I get on, that's about equivalent to the size of the original G&D so it should serve. If the slow speed and magnetic couplers work as advertised then its 12' x
21", probably an oval with stuff going on in the middle (because I do want to have a continuous run). Early 1950s short line, short trains of short rolling stock (in 1950 most freight stock was in the 40' range) and a short passenger train providing an occasional service, everything running on a shoe string in a quiet (but industrious) backwater.
Thanks for the help gents - I await the arrival of the new locomotive (should be here in a week I gather).
The annual Model World exhibition is taking place this coming weekend.(12-14 Feb). There a couple of American themed models on show including an N scale one.
Specialist video and book supplier SPV will also be there. They may just have the books you want - as well as some videos of the real thing so that you can see what you may want without a great deal of cost.
This may be an ideal opportunity for you to get information that can save you time and money in the future.
In fact, if you joined the NMRA there is an extensive library of all sorts of books relating to American railways, real and model. All you have to pay is the return postage.
When (not if ) you decide to take the plunge that is when NMRA membership would benefit you most. This is especially true of the early days as you can get discounts from a number of specialist suppliers as well a wealth of information.
Again the invitation to visit an American themed club open to you - and anyone else in the UK
Thanks Mike, I'm based in Altrincham (just south of Manchester) so it is a bit far for me, and I have a client booked for the weekend (work for a charity). I'll order the Armstrong book, a bag of MT long shank trucks (for the Bachman/MP stock) and see how I get on. I also have 10 Atlas freight cars (assorted) with their coupler fitted.
I am currently in a fairly small (by my standards) appartment, hence the shelf layout, so I need to do a lot of experimenting to see just how tight I can make the end curves and retain reliable operation. If I can get the baseboard width down to 21 inches life is good, much more and it starts intruding into the living room space. Might have to have a bulge at either end to take the return curves.
It was the Madder Valley that got me into this hobby and the US equivalent would be the Gorre & Daphetid, but I prefer diesel outline as I find it provides better running (8 wheels picking up and mounted on trucks), so it's
When I was in the US in the 70s and early 80s I noticed a lot of odd bits of the railway, mostly falling into disuse by then, that would make for splendid modelling - a really tight curve across the street just down the road from our appartment in San Jose feeding a cannery (Glorietta Foods), just room on the spur for about four box cars, and a one-car spur at a factory on the main street done in Baton Rouge (LA). The potential for endless slow speed switching appeals, but a continuous run is nice for when you just want to sit back and watch trains go by.