Tag Archives: diesel

A catchall photo post

It’s another boring night shift on standby, imagine that! I considered doing another layout design post, but figured I’d reach into the archives and find a few shots that haven’t been posted yet.20140127_110053

None of these are posted in any particular order, and they aren’t all the same train either!20140328_131814


Unfortunately I don’t have many steam pictures uploaded onto the server right now. I have several shots on my phone (including a bunch of equipment with Sergent couplers, and a rejuvenated Mikado) but can’t access them on the laptop. They’re gonna have to wait til days off!20140128_11203420140128_11294120140128_11174020140328_121923

That’s all for now…looks like I have a bunch more that haven’t been posted, so I may have to do another of these posts in a few days.

Passenger train for fun pt 2

It’s been too long since I posted here again, but here goes! This time around we’ll follow the passenger train from a few posts back on its return journey from Namaka back to the main station.20140328_121109

The first shot is a tight one taken in the newest part of Larkhall. The welding shop on the right was built by Doug Wingfield, I don’t recall who built the complex on the right. Did I mention that I love the ability of a smartphone to get into locations that a traditional camera just can’t? The next shot was taken as the train winds its way past the small yard and station at Larkhall, a new angle for me. Kindly ignore the red monstrosity on the right hand side of the picture!20140328_121233

Leaving Larkhall we climb towards Commerce, winding along and over a river and a pair of big bridges.20140328_12132220140328_12134420140328_121421

I stand by my claim that Commerce is one of the most difficult locations on this railroad to photograph, but I’ve found a couple angles that seem to do it justice.20140328_12145320140328_121914

Tucked away in the back is this spot that most members of the public don’t get to see. For that matter, most club members don’t get into the spot I’m standing unless there was a derailment they need to fix. This is the other end of the siding at Bradshaw, very basic and unremarkable compared to the station and branchline junction at the other end.20140328_122020

Here’s the other end, in a grade crossing view and aerial view. 20140328_12270020140328_122713

Leaving Bradshaw we cross a couple bridges just before the summit of the railroad.20140328_12274320140328_122850

Halfway down the hill our passenger train winds its way into the lumber mill settlement at Bain.20140328_13182320140328_131904

The last couple shots are taken as the train approaches the terminal, where we turn on the wye and back into the station.20140328_13314020140328_133222

With that we finish another run over the Alberta Southern. Until next time…20140328_133630

Passenger train for fun pt 1

Seeing as it’s another boring night shift in the hotel in Red Deer, let’s do another photo post. I had one of my passenger trains set up behind a set of diesels from the club, but for some reason I never got around to grabbing pictures of that set up. I do have pictures of the club’s stainless steel cars behind a beautiful set of C-Liners so let’s go for a tour following them around the layout.20140328_104111


Continue reading Passenger train for fun pt 1

Six degrees of separation

…or is that inches?

Perceptions are very important in model railroad design. Unless you are designing or building a switching layout, most layouts are intended to depict a railroad that goes somewhere. In all but the most generous of spaces, that means we need some way of getting extra length of line into a given space. Double decking has become a typical means of doing so, but there are times where parallel lines on the same level of railroad are needed.

The key question then, in our struggle to show a line “going somewhere” is how to visually separate those lines. A six inch horizontal separation, as in from the mainline to the second yard track in the shot below, is very little in visual terms.20140128_112017

When we get into the vertical dimension, as in the next shot, 6 inches is a significant difference. I’m not sure why, but the vertical is an excellent way to separate parallel lines, which are schematically separate.20140128_113631

Another factor is to figure out what draws the eye into a scene. In my opinion, this is an area where model railroads have a distinct advantage over a static diorama. The motion of our trains is something that captures our eyes and attention. Considering the shot above, a static picture allows the eye to see the whole scene, and notice both lines through the scene (which are about 3 or 4 train lengths apart on the layout. When viewing the scene in person, the motion of a train catches the eye, and we tend to focus on the train, and the line it is on. My experience in looking at this spot tells me that I don’t even notice the other line, even though the bottoms of the bridges are very close to the lower line, especially when there is a train passing through.

Because of this, I’m not concerned with designing a double deck layout. If a 6 inch vertical separation is visually adequate, I’m not concerned about a second level of railroad being a distraction when viewing the layout. How much is enough separation? I’m not entirely sure, I’m going to have to do some mockups before too long to see how deep a deck works (at this point I’m assuming 24″ wide shelves stacked over each other will work) and how far apart they need to be. I should also test closer spaced tracks, with a small, inch and a half or two inch vertical separation. That would allow a physically close, yet schematically distinct, industrial district (for example) I could also use this sort of idea around the smelter, or mining areas of my plans.