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What has happened to Feature Layout Trackplans?





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#1 Martingchapman

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:49

I notice that several Feature Layout articles in recent issues of BRM no longer have Trackplans;

 

May - Dartley, Mozzerdale, Buttermere Mining Company

June - Vopak Terminal

July - Duffield, Bluebell Cutting, Up the Junction, Ebridge Mill

 

This is very disappointing because when reading the magazine (I do this digitally) for each Feature Layout article the first thing I do is turn to the Trackplan to get an overall view of the layout and what it comprises.

This then makes the text of the article much more meaningful as I can put each item into context of where it is on the layout.

I also refer back to the Trackplan again several times whilst reading the article to better understand how the layout features fit together.

 

Can I request that you go back to including a Trackplan with every Feature Layout article please.

 

I guess this is a cost saving activity so that you can include more videos, additional photos and audio content, however whilst these enhancements are nice, I would happily forego some of them if it meant you could always include a Trackplan.

 

Martin.

 

 

 

 


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#2 grahame

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 17:38

Track plans can be very helpful and informative in some instances.

 

However, there are many layouts (especially smaller depot style ones) where it is quite possible to understand the track layout and easily work it out from the photographs included without the need to refer to a drawn plan, particualrly if an overall photo view is included. In such circumstances I much prefer to see another high quality photograph in the space that a two dimensional track plan would take up.

 

G.


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#3 Andy Y

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 17:55

However, there are many layouts (especially smaller depot style ones) where it is quite possible to understand the track layout and easily work it out from the photographs included without the need to refer to a drawn plan, particualrly if an overall photo view is included. In such circumstances I much prefer to see another high quality photograph in the space that a two dimensional track plan would take up.

 

That's very much my perspective too; no need to illustrate the obvious. However, with Vopak terminal for instance, it may not be obvious that the trackplan is remarkably basic. Where it is a model of an actual location I think it's better to include a map so the reader can interpret the map and the images, e.g. Duffield.

 

I don't view it as imperative.



#4 Martingchapman

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 12:19

I see with the latest issue this trend is continuing, so I have cancelled my subscription.

 

But I don't expect BRM will be too worried!


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#5 D9020 Nimbus

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 15:56

These days I find less and less of interest in each issue of BRM I buy. Therefore I am now much less likely to purchase a copy.
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#6 Pete 75C

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 16:08

Another thumbs-up for the humble 2D track plan, although I appreciate that if it's not there, it's not the end of the world if a photograph can illustrate clearly "what goes where". Case in point, I hunted down and purchased a 2010 Hornby magazine because I was curious about the track plan, and for the life of me, I couldn't make it out from photos I'd seen of the layout here and elsewhere. It was Judge Dredd's excellent "Brockley Green", btw.


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#7 Harlequin

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:49

+1 for a track plan with every layout article.

 

Track plans provide clarity and technical details that photos and real-world maps can't.

 

They are an art form in themselves, which are (usually) a pleasure to look at.

 

They also allow layout designs to be compared and assessed against each other more easily. Witness the popularity of track plan books through the decades.


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#8 Martingchapman

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:45

Another thumbs-up for the humble 2D track plan, although I appreciate that if it's not there, it's not the end of the world if a photograph can illustrate clearly "what goes where". Case in point, I hunted down and purchased a 2010 Hornby magazine because I was curious about the track plan, and for the life of me, I couldn't make it out from photos I'd seen of the layout here and elsewhere. It was Judge Dredd's excellent "Brockley Green", btw.

 

 

+1 for a track plan with every layout article.

 

Track plans provide clarity and technical details that photos and real-world maps can't.

 

They are an art form in themselves, which are (usually) a pleasure to look at.

 

They also allow layout designs to be compared and assessed against each other more easily. Witness the popularity of track plan books through the decades.

 

Thanks Guys, I was beginning to think it was only me!

 

However, just noticed to date 17 people agree with my original post.

One person agrees with Grahame who does not agree with my post, (no offence intended Grahame you are entitled to your opinion) and no one has yet agreed with Andy the RM Editor (who does not agree with my post).

 

Hmmmm................Andy are you watching this thread?


Edited by Martingchapman, 06 December 2017 - 09:00 .

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#9 Andy Y

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:14

Thanks Guys, I was beginning to think it was only me!

However, just noticed to date 17 people agree with my original post.
One person agrees with Grahame who does not agree with my post, (no offence intended Grahame you are entitled to your opinion) and no one has yet agreed with Andy the RM Editor (who does not agree with my post).

Hmmmm................Andy are you watching this thread?


Somehow you managed to make that post sound like a threat.

Where it is practical or of merit trackplans are included. This may not necessarily be for every layout due to specific circumstances.

#10 Martingchapman

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:29

Somehow you managed to make that post sound like a threat.

Where it is practical or of merit trackplans are included. This may not necessarily be for every layout due to specific circumstances.

 

Andy,

No threat intended.

Simply enquiring if you are watching this post as to date the consensus is track plans are a good thing and I just wanted to know if you were aware of this.

 

Your reply confirms you are, but you stick by your opinion and that's ok as you are perfectly entitled to it (however disappointing that is to me).


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#11 cromptonnut

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 17:38

Another "me too" for the inclusion of a trackplan unless it's something very basic where an overall shot clearly shows what goes where.

 

Something like Smithtown Road Junction (one of my personal favourite layouts and one thing that really tempts me back into N), for example, would be virtually impossible to follow without a clear plan.


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#12 Howard Smith

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:54

Another "me too" for the inclusion of a trackplan unless it's something very basic where an overall shot clearly shows what goes where.

 

Something like Smithtown Road Junction (one of my personal favourite layouts and one thing that really tempts me back into N), for example, would be virtually impossible to follow without a clear plan.

 

Yes, this is our current policy. Micro and small layouts won't be treated to a trackplan, however a raised 3/4 view shot showing more of the layout in its entirety where relevant is useful.

 

Howard


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#13 Scritlock

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:35

The other 'Andy' here. We'll bear your comments in mind, although, as Andy Y points out, it isn't always necessary to include a trackplan with every layout review. The good news is that we have trackplans galore in the March issue - classics too!


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#14 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 12:12

The other 'Andy' here. We'll bear your comments in mind, although, as Andy Y points out, it isn't always necessary to include a trackplan with every layout review. The good news is that we have trackplans galore in the March issue - classics too!

March already! I must have drunk too much on New Year's Eve.


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#15 Brian D

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 14:19

Another vote here for track plans accompanying layout articles.  Generally they are grid squared and it is important I think to know the size and disposition of track/infrastructure on both large exhibition layouts and, especially, the smaller domestic scale layouts so that one's own efforts can be compared, assessed and possibly improved.

regards,

Brian.


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#16 Andrew P

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 15:05

I always tended to go to the Track Plan before reading the article, as I find it helps with any defined area or detail in the wording, and can be referred back to for clarity. Sorry but big or small I used to like them, and found them interesting for calculating scales and dimensions as well.

 

Sorry but It appears to be corner cutting, to save paper.


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#17 joppyuk1

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 15:08

I agree that track plans help one to find the spots the photos* are taken from, but my gripe is slightly different. I hate it when a track plan states the size as Afeet x Bfeet and I think to myself "I could fit that into my space" only to find that there is still a fiddle yard, sector plate, what-have-you that still has to be included, with no indication of how large this might be.
* one magazine used to have a small camera icon at the appropriate point of the plan.
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#18 Andy Y

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 15:14

Sorry but It appears to be corner cutting, to save paper.

 

Nothing of the kind Andy, I've already explained what sort of layout sometimes may not have a trackplan. What can occasionally happen is that I forget to take a set of overhead photos to assist Ian in drawing up his excellent trackplans and then he's stuffed! Comparatively few layout owners have trackplans of their own as they've made it up as they go along and haven't made a plan retrospectively.


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#19 Huw Griffiths

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 15:19

The other 'Andy' here. We'll bear your comments in mind, although, as Andy Y points out, it isn't always necessary to include a trackplan with every layout review. The good news is that we have trackplans galore in the March issue - classics too!

 

March already! I must have drunk too much on New Year's Eve.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the BRM team were already working on some of the content for even later issues - like August or September, for instance.

 

Obviously, I could be wrong ... .

 

 

Huw.


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#20 JohnR

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 15:41

Can I add my vote for trackplans? Even for the smaller layouts they can be very useful, in a way an overall photo is not. Sometimes a trackplan is the only way to ascertain how exactly they managed to get that formation into the space..


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#21 Kiwi

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 18:50

Can I add my vote for trackplans? Even for the smaller layouts they can be very useful, in a way an overall photo is not. Sometimes a trackplan is the only way to ascertain how exactly they managed to get that formation into the space..


Totally agree. I don't find any of the arguments for this new policy remotely logical. Every layout deserves and should include a track plan.

I havnt seen a case explained yet for an actual benefit from the policy, just reasons why we should accept it. You have said its not cost saving, so is it something readers have demanded (this thread seems to be saying the opposite); is it to allow more advertising space; to increase the number of layouts shown; or what?
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#22 HRH_Dan_Hull

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 22:11

Actually this all makes a lot of sense, this is one thing I struggle with on the DVDs perhaps more than the articles. They never seem to have track plans and so context can be quite tricky to find.



#23 john flann

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 22:35

Andy, your post of December 7 says, if I read it right, that many  owners don't have plans, they make it up as they go along.( It's certainly what I do albeit with a back of an envelope sketch.) But they do have a finished result.

 

Surely that can be transcribed into a sketch plan at least.

 

What's the problem then in a draughtsman using that as a guide along with any photos, to produce a finished plan


Edited by john flann, 09 December 2017 - 22:36 .

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#24 Bri.s

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:41

I love the track plans ,when I was a lad I used to go straight to them and look forward to them as much as the layout pictures ,they are a great reference and in my opinion needed
fair enough not really needed with the micro layouts if there’s a full layout picture

Brian

Edited by Stairfoot jct, 10 December 2017 - 07:42 .

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#25 Andy Y

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:57

Andy, your post of December 7 says, if I read it right, that many owners don't have plans, they make it up as they go along.( It's certainly what I do albeit with a back of an envelope sketch.) But they do have a finished result.

Surely that can be transcribed into a sketch plan at least.

What's the problem then in a draughtsman using that as a guide along with any photos, to produce a finished plan

Which is exactly what we do! Unless a plan is largely superfluous due to small size and simplicity, other times we may have decided not to do a trackplan is because it's an accurate portrayal of a prototype location (we may then use a map) or there may be the odd occasion where I've neglected to get the right material for Ian Wilson to do a plan. - his plans are exceptionally good and a very accurate portrayal, certainly not just an optimistic representation. Sometimes if we have a 'layout special' with additional layouts there may not be the time or budget to create trackplans for all of the layouts.

I think that covers it (again).
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