Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sneak Preview - and a possibility???

This post serves two purposes. And, it may be the first model railroad blog post to feature a Vulcan funeral… 
The first purpose is crass commercialism - a plug for my friend Bernie Kempinski's Upcoming book from Kalmbach - 45 Original Track Plans. 
But one of those plans does have some bearing on this post and on my layout. It's Bernie's Magnum Opus du White River Junction…. or some such. Essentially the plan in the book features White River Jct. and several other CV towns in a massive dream layout scenario. He did me a favor and didn't design it for my present basement - a good thing since I'd likely be taking a crow bar to what I DO have had that been the case. Thanks Bernie!
For frame of reference here's a snippet of the parts of the plan that apply to this discussion (reproduced here with Bernie's permission)


I've blogged about the issues with the White River scene on my layout before so I won't repeat those concerns. I might come to the conclusion that what it is is what it is…and it's not worth the time/effort/expense to change. 

But, as Mr. Spock said, "I like to consider that there are always …. possibilities."
[Editor's Note: Of course that was shortly before he sucked down the Enterprise's main engine fumes inside a glass box that looks the smoking rooms in the airport, died, and then got shot out of the ship in a giant eyeglass case….But I digress.

Although the plan in the book is too large but perhaps I could take a kernel of an idea and solve several of the issues with WRJ by adapting it to fit my space. 

The key would be the removal of the wall behind WRJ - completely - and finishing off the walls in the present workshop to match those in the rest of the layout room. (The workshop area is 6 x 11 feet).The staging yard which presently juts into the middle of the storage room would turn 180 degrees and end up along the left wall of the present workshop in this view.
 I'd add a little - perhaps 14-18" to the rear of the layout - enough to make the platform area of the station a true highlight. The resulting operator's area would be approx 36" wide. Access could be via duck under or through some sort of lift out lift gate. A door may or not be installed between where the water heater is and the corner of the wall. 
A conceptual sketch of how this might fit the space is below.

Will I actually do this???
Honestly, I don't know. There's some appeal to it but I also dread the thought of another step backward. 
At least this wouldn't require tearing out sections of the layout and rebuilding them - it's a change to the space more than the layout itself. 
Key is to determine if the time/effort/expense is worth the benefit. We'll see. 




7 comments:

  1. Marty, Bernie's idea for White River Junction after you built your version looks great... I thought you said he was your friend !!! JOHN...LIVE LONG AND REBUILD

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  2. I have a file on my computer called "Marty's layouts." Over the years I have drawn many plans for him, including several of WRJ. This latest one that is featured in the book fits in the basement of another friend that just moved to Utah. The overall layout is large about 1200 ft sq, but not impossibly so. The key to the latest design is that it has all four routes through WRJ live. Marty doesn't have space for that, but he could easily adapt the plan shown in the snippet to fit his available space with two routes alive. The key is the access pit behind the hill and the broad radius curve around the station. Given Marty's space constraints and interest in CV I have always advised him to focus operation on the CV and have the B&M as essentially scenery.

    One other thing, the WRJ plan in the book was one of the most difficult to design. I spent over 16 hours drawing the plan not counting research etc. A 4 way junction with all routes live without too much selective compression was a real challenge.

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    1. Just remember, "Desperate affairs require desperate measures."
      Horatio Nelson

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  3. hi Marty, been following your layout progress from NYC and 2 NERS CV 2-8-0's ready for paint and dcc sound. What numbers do you have on your own? thanks Dave. I should have said hello up at Collinsville meet. I live nearby and always attend meet.

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    1. Hi Dave,
      Are your NERS engines M-3s or N-5s? Currently I have one N-5 numbered 464 in service. The others don't have numbers (or paint) yet.
      I have three M-3s - one of the is 450, shown in the blog header photo, one of the others is 453. The third is awaiting decoder and paint.
      I do have several of the Bachmann 2-8-0 conversions - 472 and 467. The "stock" Bachmann engines are painted and letter for Southern New England in the 480-496 series.
      One of my regular crew members is also a CV modeler and he lives nearby - he has 5 N-5s - and he brings his engines over here to run - my main goal is not to duplicate his numbers!

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  4. Hi Marty:
    Interesting thought - but it only solves one of the two problems you've been having. The other problem remains: Access to the turntable for operation and maintenance.
    While I know there's a lot of pain involved in ripping out layouts (I've done that many times myself, and I remember having to invite friends over to take the first blows on one layout), I do like your plan to flip the station and roundhouse scenes, as we discussed over lunch at the NERPM...
    Cheers!
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64... for now)

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  5. Wow - I give you huge props for even considering such a rebuild. I, for one, wouldn't have the guts to do it. There are a bunch of things (and the list seems to be growing) that I would do differently with my layout (i.e. Middletown yard is way too small; the Shoreline is becoming more important but there's no space for it; the AirLine is just freelanced; I just got back from my vacation and suddenly have a strong urge to model Cape Cod, etc), but I've never been as far along on a layout as I am now - and I'd sure like to complete SOMEthing at some point.

    Only you can decide whether it's best to cut bait before spending too much time going down the road you're on (to mix metaphors). All things considered, and despite my missteps, I'm still pretty happy with continuing down the road I'm on. You've identified the key - Only you can determine whether the time/effort/expense would be worth it in the long run. That's a tough evaluation to make.

    Then there's Tony Koester. He gives me hope (and sometimes frustration) that it's never too late to totally undo years worth of work and do something totally different. We just have to remember - it's not truly "undoing" work. None of those years of experience are actually wasted.

    Anyway, enough rambling - I always enjoy reading how you reason through things.

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