MR track plans

Well, I see the group is empty again today, so I'll fill the emptiness with a vent.
Some of you may already know that the only way I read MR since about '85
or so is via the public library. That way I pay what it's worth. But I will concede, in all fairness, that I do find 2-4 interesting articles per year so it's not a total loss.
The other day the library was displaying "101 More Track plans ..." so I took it home. It's a compilation of MR plans put together by Jeff Wilson. Linn Westcott can rest easy - his crown has not been pilfered :-).
The 2nd plan in the book was for a layout called the "Vancouver Power & Transportation Company" complete with sharp curves and 2 car barns. Obviously a traction layout. Mr Wilson suggests running "short switching locomotives(steam or diesel)". I would have concluded that he's never seen a streetcar but plan 32 is defined as "Streetcar modeling".
Plan 3 has a piece of the track plan chopped off. Luckily it can be seen in the rendering although not clearly.
Plan 28, also chosen for the cover illustration, has all of the structures neatly numbered - but no legend explaining said numbers. The same is true of plan 63.
Plan 31 is defined as "point-to-loop" when it clearly has a continuous run.
And plan 74 is squeezed into such a small portion of a page that most of us will need a magnifying glass to read it. Of course it's one of the better medium size plans in the book, the "Moth Lake & Mount Ahab".
And for this tome they want $17.95. I have to wonder who buys it. Probably the same sort of folks who think a Harbor Fright chop saw is all one needs to build fine furniture :-).
MR and Mr Wilson should be ashamed of themselves.
Remember when publications had proofreaders?
OK, I've had my rant. Have a great Memorial Day.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Newbies. People like me who a year ago decided it would be fun to build a model RR.
Over the past year I've come to see how they remarket their articles as books. And why not? There is virtually no competition. In fairness I've learned a lot from these books even with all their flaws. Yet, I wouldn;t be surprised to see them offer a book on a rat's rump if they thought they could get a return on their meager investment.
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All print media are currently struggling to survive in a world where publishing/delivery costs have gone through the proverbial roof and readership has severely dropped off. Some of this is due to the amount of stuff becoming available on line, but there's also the fact that more and more people -particularly younger people- are simply getting out of the habit of reading hard-copy books and magazines.
Rising production costs coupled with lower readership numbers mean higher prices for those of us who still like the old-fashioned paper copies, and there's simply no way around it; rants notwithstanding.
Were the publishers getting rich as a result of these high prices the rants would have some justification, but the fact is that they're just holding on by their fingernails, and many small publishing houses such as Carstens and Kalmbach have already gone under.
Welcome to the future.
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On Fri, 27 May 2011 00:40:18 -0700, Twibil wrote:

I think you missed my point. I considered the price "high" only because of the quantity of errors I found. If those had been found and fixed (i.e. by proofreaders) the book would have been useful to inexperienced modelers. Also to others who haven't saved track plans for decades :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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I think you missed my point. It costs money to employ quality proof readers.
Money that the small publishers no longer have to spare.
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I think you missed my point. It costs money to employ quality proof readers.
Money that the small publishers no longer have to spare.
--------------------------------------------
Do you read any none American hobby magazines? You should.
MR claims it is the world's largest model railroad magazine yet the UK "Railway Modeller" has, on average, twice or more pages of articles, has more in-depth articles, doesn't try and force you into becoming a subscriber by limiting additional article content to subscriber only web pages and doesn't issue "special editions" in order to maximise profit as MR does with "Great Model Railroads" and it's other annuals. Railway Modeller is also book bound and not stapled like MR, has all advertising in the front and rear with none in the middle of articles making it easier and cheaper to have bound as you can remove the advertising pages. And costs slightly less.
I've also seen Japanese model railroad magazines that are similar in size and content to "Railway Modeller", that have more article pages than MR and more in depth articles.
--
Cheers
Roger Traviss
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On 27/05/2011 3:37 PM, Roger Traviss wrote:

All true, but the economics are different in the UK. For one thing, the advertisers can afford regular, highly-detailed ads (mini-catalogues really) which pay for the mag, because the deep discounting that rages here hasn't quite caught on there. And becsaue the Roytal Mail still subsidises magazine mail, the subscriptions are enough to cover the clerical costs of maintenance the list, which is not the case here. (The costs of maintaining a list are rather more than the uninitiated imagine.)
Also, the articles in Railway Modeller are written almost entirely by contributors, not staff. They tend to be written to a formula, which gets pretty boring. I mean, after you've read the 33rd list of locomotives, you wonder why you bother. I rarely read the articles any more, the pictures tell the story. I suspect that the contributors don't get much pay.
Wolf K.
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I don't have the book but have perused it at the LHS. The plan with the missing legend was, IIRC, an urban layout with a continuous run under one end. The original article had all the HO kits for the buildings listed. They grabbed the plan and threw out the article. A lot of their 'books' do this and in some cases the 'chapters' refer you to pages which make no sense contextually.
Thinking back to '101 Track Plans', I believe Westcott was doing the same thing way back then.
--
"I'm the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo ..."


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On Fri, 27 May 2011 12:43:37 -0700, Lobby Dosser wrote:

I think your memory is like mine - elusive :-).
I just went through Linn's book and did not find any plan with structures labeled or numbered. So of course I found no legends :-).
What I did see was a lot more text and sepia backgrounds suggesting possible scenery and structures which I think Lynn added to the bare track plans. All good. I did see quite a few "bowl of spaghetti" plans, but those were popular back then.
BTW, I keep swearing I'm going to build plan 47 "Cerro Azul" although I'll probably bend the "U" the other way and add a backdrop down the middle. So far I've not gotten a round tuit.
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No, no, I meant he recycled a bunch of stuff from old MRs.

One of my favorite all time layouts was in the hobby shop in downtown Toledo, Ohio around 1953 or so. A regular rabbit warren! You never knew where a train was going to pop up once it plunged into yet another tunnel. The 'museum' layout he includes in that book was in the museum building at the Toledo Zoo. You watched all the action from a balcony.

I always liked that one. My thought was to jack up the north end a bit so that I could have a lower level continuous run.
--
"I'm the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo ..."


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On Fri, 27 May 2011 23:37:10 -0700, Lobby Dosser wrote:

In "Track Planning for Realistic Operation", Page 81, John Armstrong does exactly that. He even shows staging tracks.
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Thanks. I'll check the library for that.
--
"I'm the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo ..."


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On 27/05/2011 12:31 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

And I think you've forgotten the fact that proofreaders have gone the way of the dodo, because after all, we have spellcheckers now, right?
Wolf K.
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On Sat, 28 May 2011 20:48:57 -0400, Wolf K wrote:

We also have grammar checkers which, apparently, are seldom used.
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On 28/05/2011 9:19 PM, ray wrote:

I've used the ones that came with the word processor. It is a very dim bulb indeed.
Wolf K.
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That is just the sort of nonsense up with which I shall not put.
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That is just the sort of nonsense up with which I shall not put.
----------------------------------------
Yes Yoda.
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Cheers
Roger Traviss
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wrote:

That is just the sort of nonsense up with which I shall not put.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nor sword sleep in my hand ...
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"I'm the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo ..."


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There's naught worse than a literate model railroader, but, on the whole, I prefer "At last! My arm is whole again!"
-Sweeny Todd
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On Sat, 28 May 2011 20:48:57 -0400, Wolf K wrote:

I didn't forget it, I was lamenting the loss :-).
--
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