There’s a new section (Layout Design Basics) under the Articles menu. The first article there focuses on Inglenooks.
Layout design basics
I’ve added a new section on layout design basics under the ‘Articles’ menu. In the first page I’ve looked at the Inglenook. Bought about by the recent posts on the Montpelier, OH grain facility. Which is a double-ended Inglenook.
Inglenooks are a fascinating subject of study on there own, and really handy to come to terms with as a small layout designer since they can be used as a game, or in normal operating usage when switching your layout. All with the change of the number of cars on the layout.
There’s a lot of information on the page, and I’ve added links to the ultimate source of Inglenook knowledge too. Head on over to the page and check it out when you get a moment.
First-mile/last-mile railroading, what modellers refer to as customer switching, is the customer end of railroading. That is the setting out and picking up cars from a customer’s premises on the railroad. This can be directly from a customer’s spur, a ramp at the local yard or a team track, off the local mainline.
It is the point at which the customer and the railroad meet. All railroad economics relies on it and always has. While in the modern era the customer has gotten bigger to take advantage of intermodel and block trains, the underlying forces remain the same. Customer shipping goods. Railroads picking up goods and moving them to their destination. Destination (consignee) receiving and accepting goods.
So why is this important to me?
For you, the small layout builder/operator, the first-mile/last-mile end of the operation is the:
simplest to model,
easiest to operate, and
most interesting to work with for the longer term
Whether you use a ‘tuning fork’, inglenook, supernook, or another layout design element you enjoy, by focusing on the customer end of the operation you make the layout simpler to build, which means getting going faster. You can operate for 10 minutes, 30 minutes or for as long or short as you have the time for. And over the life of the layout (whether that is a few months, or a decade or more), operation varies day to day, session by session, from a well-designed customer operation so that no two sessions are ever the same.
If you’ve been following the blog for a while you’ll know that I enjoy watching Railfan Danny on Youtube. Danny has just released another video, this time a Q&A session. One of those questions was about first-mile/last-mile railroading. I hope you’ll watch the entire video, for those without the time, I’ve linked to the 7:11 mark to watch the section specific to today’s post.
Railfan Danny’s “Railroad Questions Winter 2021”
There are more switching videos over at Danny’s YouTube channel, just follow the link below to go to all the videos with ‘switching’ in the description:
A recent conversation with a fellow modeller has bought me back to thinking about why I’m modelling, and what my modelling should represent. Let me explain.
I have a lot less modelling time now than I ever did before, due to my work commitment, which is driving the nature of my modelling in different (if interesting new) directions.
Among the changes I’ve had to make is in the scope of the work. Because it takes longer to complete larger and more complex projects I’m focusing on smaller easier to complete in a day projects as my primary goal. I have some large projects that remain on the table. These will be for items I cannot buy, kitbash or otherwise make out of something else.
Will this change the nature of posts that appear here on the Andrew’s Trains blog? No, I don’t believe so. This blog has always been about small layouts with lots of operational potential, and that is in line with what I am moving to in my modelling.
Weathering will continue to play a large part in my modelling, upgrading blue-box style kits to better reflect the prototype is where I found real joy in modelling as a young man. And I’m going back to that in a big way this year. There’ll be more posts along these lines to come over the next few months as I get my modelling life back in order.
With a demanding and hectic work life simplicity is my goal. Modelling simplicity likewise has to be the case. Simple projects that can be done with:
tools I already have,
resources I already have, and
that can be completed in the time I have to give them.
This is the focus of my modelling going forward. Likewise to layout building. I have a couple of projects that I want to complete, one of which is a Supernook, a new design I’m working on now that will begin with the baseboards build before we left the USA 13 years ago. I’ll be continuing on with the US-based shunting layouts, but I’m interested in building a Australian/UK-based Minories layout soon as well.
I’ve made modelling a complex and often difficult endeavour. I’ve lost my love of producing models that I enjoyed building and that I am proud of. Life is short, and more so as I near my mid 50s. Time with my family and enjoying what I do is not limitless. So the time is now to make the changes that keep me happy, healed and enjoying what I do. I hope that you will stay along for the ride. With almost 100,000 unique views over the last 3 years I’m hopeful that you will stick around and see what is coming.
I admire modellers who can get to the meat of a project, quickly and with vigour. Gazmanjack (Gary) on RMWeb used second-hand track, wood and other parts from his modelling left-overs to create a stunningly good small layout for operations. Read on for more.
Linden Ford – the second-hand layout
Gazmanjack (his handle on RMWeb) back in 2014 built an outstanding layout from left over bits and pieces, as an adjunct to his current layout, to give himself something to operate on during the other layout’s longer build. I’ve only just found it and wanted to share the forum post with you.
And what a cracker this layout is. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I think the adage of a picture telling a thousand words is true on this occasion. There is plenty of information in the post too on the build including scenery, tree armatures, and so on.
Image 1: Linden Ford – an outstanding small Inglenook layout
I hope that you find inspiration in the post. So much with so little that turned out so well. Well done Gary!
If you’ve not heard of Adrian’s site before then you are in a for a treat. This site has everything that you ever wanted to know about shunting puzzles, including the Timesaver and the Inglenook.
Of interest for those of us thinking of building a layout using the Inglenook design is the discussion on the design of operation and movement for the layout. Additionally there is the mechanics of designing and building the layout also. Very well worth the look.
Putting the Inglenook to work Adrian’s great little layout deserves a look. Well designed, well executed and well presented Adrian walks you through the design and build process and provides a lot of insight into the process.
Head on over to the websites and do a bit of reading – you’ll not be disappointed.
First we need a little context before we get to the layout’s brilliance. As a Western Sydney boy, I regularly saw long and short freights during the 1970s come through Blacktown in Sydney’s west before and after school. Living in Marayong on the Richmond branchline we had regular freights to and from the Riverstone Meatworks, and further up the line to Richmond itself.
In the inner west (when I could wrangle a train trip into the city) I saw several locations that I always thought I’d like to model. The Mungo Scott flour mill siding for one as shown below seemed ideal. It was inner-city, working class, railway grit that has had me fascinated all my life. Here’s two examples from that location.
Image courtesy of Trent Nicholson
So now that you have a visual context of the type of layout that I’d always wanted to build let’s take a look at Ben Gray’s vision of inner city railway industry in a small space (not that you’d notice).
The image above caught my eye immediately. First, I loved seeing these 46 class electric locos working freight and passenger traffic around the Sydney network. Designed for heavy freight drag work out of the Sydney basin and over the ranges to our west, these locomotives were built by Metropolitan-Vickers and its partner Beyer, Peacock and Company in England for the New South Wales Government Railways. For many years these were the most powerful locomotives in Australia with a one-hour rating of 3,780 horsepower (2,820 kW) and the ability to deliver more over short periods. They are to me the most beautiful locomotives (electric or diesel) built and look fantastic on this Inglenook (if only there were overhead wire – sigh).
There are some very clever uses of visual trickery here. The layout is just an Inglenook but it is so much more because the focus is not on the Inglenook; rather the focus is on the concept of the viewer’s experience of the layout. You have to be an inner city kid, who saw locomotives similar in appearance, doing what locomotives do with freight cars. And how it worked on me. Good one Ben and well done on taking me back 30 years with one photo.
Enjoy another view of the layout. Follow the links above and if you’re a Facebook user head on over to the group and join in the small layout love. Finally see if you can work out some of the clever tricks used in the design of the layout.
Now for a little more 46 class locomotive weathering porn (model first, prototype last):
The lovely old 46’s were notorious for getting and staying grubby, but really what’s not to like eh? All the best see you over the weekend.
Captured and photographed by David Bromage at the Gold Coast Model Train Show in or around June 2016 at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium this layout shows what can be achieved in a small space with great presentation and attention to detail.
In this overall image you see the entirety of the layout. What it shows to me is that you can have a small layout (in this case with UK prototype trains) that keeps the interest of the viewer and the operator, allows interactivity between the viewer and the operator (and should you choose to do so) allow the viewer to become the operator.
In addition you can build the layout board and case quickly, with little effort if using pre-built (Ikea style) components. Then you can go to town on the detail in the viewable scene. If you want more than you can add more into the scene, or as the operator has, show the operating scheme to the public at large.
Using the link in the heading above will take you David’s portfolio for the exhibition. I hope that you enjoy looking into this scene and learning as much as I have from it. I’d like to build an Inglenook in HO for exhibition use this southern spring and summer. I have several layout ideas for an inglenook and a Supernook – who knows what we’ll end up with!
Winter is over, although where we live in Ballarat at 420m (1370 feet) above sea level, you’d be hard pressed to tell that change of season has arrived. Our mornings are still cold, the winds are still lazy (they go through and not around you), and the weather is not shiny or happy. However, my seasonal allergies have kicked in, and the Wattle has been in full bloom for about 3 weeks now. I’m sniffling, my eyes are streaming and I look like I’ve gone five rounds with the late, great Muhammad Ali. My allergies and the weather are not the reason for today’s end of Winter post…
Built as a shunting puzzle (Inglenook) and based loosely upon the real Croft goods (Darlington, NER, not Leicestershire LNWR), Croft is a magnificent example of simple effective display and operation. The image below courtesy of RMWeb and Steve Taylor.
I could go on at length about this layout, or I can let you soak up the atmosphere of this image and then follow the ScaleFour link above.
It’s been some time since my last post, due mainly to work and other real world commitments. Recently while enjoying a little downtime, I cam across a great set of posts and the layout blog. I wanted to share that with you.
Site 1: Burbank Branch Layout
A simple Inglenook track plan, this layout has some outstanding features that make it worth looking into. Not least is the modelling skill shown going into the layout by the builder – survivaljoe over on the MRH website..
As a renter he needed to build a layout that could move when he moved and not mount to or damage any of the walls in the dwelling. The control is DC for the moment while he waits for new technology in the market to mature. That does not appear to change the slow running qualities of locomotives.
Designed for operating sessions of roughly 30 minutes at a time (which I’ve talked about several times before as the perfect amount of time to operate on a small layout) this layout really shines up well, even without all the scenery in place.
The video above shows a basic operating session and the modelling quality involved.
While the video above shows images taken during the build process. I hope that you enjoy look at the layout as much as I have. Look into the resources below for the build and blog over the MRH site also.
Paul Allen’s masterpiece Inglenook, built in OO scale, shows what can be scaled up very simply to British O scale (1:43) with the use of commercially available kits, RTR trucks and loco’s available now or in the very near future. The entire aim is to keep cars and loco’s short to keep the visible part of the layout within the 8′ (2400mm) maximum. Giving enough run and movement without taking up the entire house.
Ingleton Sidings, designed to sit on a standard home window sill or ironing board, illustrates what can be achieved in a minimum with RTR products and basic scratchbuilding techniques. The location as modelled is fictional and represents a small BR sorting siding during the late 1950s through to the early 1960s. The layout features point motors, 16v lighting, line side CCTV and Kadee automatic coupling. With the layout detailed and weathered to represent the last days of steam.
If you are thinking of going British O at minimum cost and personal commitment then Ingleton Sidings might be the place where you start.
Now see it in action:
First up an overview of the layout and features:
Next, from February 2014 – the initial running of DCC and Sound on the layout at the Milton Keynes model railway exhibition: