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Which Type Of Layout Do You Prefer?


Do You Prefer Oval Or End-To-End Style Layouts?  

84 members have voted

  1. 1. Oval or end-to-end? (For your own personal use).

    • OVAL
      50
    • END-TO-END
      34


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Might have to try that trick, I have a fair few Triang Mk 1s - I know they're far from the best on the market, but since you can get them for as little as a fiver a pop, I don't mind the compromise.

 

The bogie coach issue is a good point, and certainly one I'd run into if I ever did get my dream layout up-and-running. Oh well, I suppose I'll just have to win the lottery and buy a barn.

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I prefer oval layouts and lean towards micros due to the fact that I have limited funds and space, even without those constraints  I don’t think I’d ever want an enormous layout. I quite like the challenge of trying to design compact layouts that look reasonably realistic. I also like to sit back and watch the trains go by. 

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I like both equally so I couldn't vote. One of my favourite layouts was a branch line featuring two intermediate stations as well as a terminus. You really feel you are driving along the branch and of course have to wait for trains in the other direction which is rather nice. One day I would like to do another of these. The majority of the layouts I have built have been ovals though. I also like to see trains running along the mainline.

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Oval everytime. Had one as a child and they still grab my attention more than anything else as a 46 year old. I remember being at the NEC a few years ago and trying to peer over the shoulders of crowds about 3 deep at an absolute marvel of a layout, except the operators were clearly following a pre-defined schedule and nothing was happening. Moved on and a bit later came across the Hornby stand with a roundy roundy trainset layout. Must have stood there for half an hour by myself just watching the trains go round and round. Loved it. 

 

 

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One thing I am less keen on is layouts operating from the front as often the operators can be standing right in the way of the views of their creation. I never forget one layout which was up high at eye level. The young mans head followed the train and I never once got to see it, and I was the only person there looking at the layout at the time.

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Oval. You can run end to end on an oval but you can't leave a train running on an end to end, well you can but it might fall off the end or wear the rails away as the loco stops and slips at the buffer stops

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You can run an automated shuttle on an end to end, albeit limited as to what stock you can use. I've done this and quite liked it for those "relax and watch the trains moments".

 

Agree about operating from the front at exhibitions although of course one wants to operate from the front at home. My new project will have a control panel at the front and another one at a rear corner so if it goes to an exhibition I can operate from the back. I'll probably cover the front panel if I take the layout to exhibitions just to remove temptation from visitors. 

 

An "oval" can take many forms from a very simple plan to a hugely complex station with branch which would give a lot of operating potential. 

 

For me the engine shed/MPD/TMD is the least satisfying layout. Yes it works as a space efficient scenic place to store stock so I can see why folk build them but I like to see locos working pulling trains not just aimlessly going back and forth.

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6 hours ago, Chris M said:

You can run an automated shuttle on an end to end, albeit limited as to what stock you can use. I've done this and quite liked it for those "relax and watch the trains moments".

 

Agree about operating from the front at exhibitions although of course one wants to operate from the front at home. My new project will have a control panel at the front and another one at a rear corner so if it goes to an exhibition I can operate from the back. I'll probably cover the front panel if I take the layout to exhibitions just to remove temptation from visitors. 

 

An "oval" can take many forms from a very simple plan to a hugely complex station with branch which would give a lot of operating potential. 

 

For me the engine shed/MPD/TMD is the least satisfying layout. Yes it works as a space efficient scenic place to store stock so I can see why folk build them but I like to see locos working pulling trains not just aimlessly going back and forth.

 

For me the small end to end area for shunting needs to be connected to an oval for main running.

 

I have tried a long end to end which looked like a type of rabbit warren oval type layout on two levels, and it took trains 45 seconds to go at higher speeds from one end to the other, but even at a slower space of time, it needed my focussed attention. Sometimes, I want to sit back and relax and watch the trains go by.

The problem with automatic shuttles is one is limited to DMU type trains which are Ideally suited for this, but one does not get the challenge or the "Feel" associated with running lengthy trains. Don't get me wrong. I love the multiple units, but to me, an aspect of railways is in the locomotive pulling rolling stock. 

One operation I see on occasions on the rare event of engine and coach running is topping and tailing them. I am glad when I was a conductor working on the railways that the E&C operations I did were not topped and tailed, so I was uncoupling, working the stiff groundframes (They were stiff through lack of use) and coupling etc, as though topping and tailing operations... Even though they save all this, they just don't look right. It is like it is not "The done thing".

Question. Diesel electrics and the hydraulics I have worked can be towed as "Dead" units, but what about steam locomotives? I mean... Is there a position in their controls which prevents their cylinders from operating to be towed? Or does another loco at the other end need to "Fight against" the pressure in the steam locos cylinders? I know about diesels through having worked them, but the only steam locos I have worked have been models and they will only tow well if the piston rods have been removed.

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At the moment, I'm building a terminus-to-fiddle-yard shunting plank, as that's the only thing I really have space for at the moment. It's also small enough that I've got a realistic chance of getting it completed within the not too distant future. But, still, I would love to have the opportunity to build a big roundy-roundy, There's something really satisfying about just being able to watch the trains go by, that needs a continuous run to make the most of it.

 

If and when I ever get round to getting the loft converted, what I want is a fairly minimalistic oval all round the room that other, smaller projects can link into via spurs and loops. In essence, the oval (and a set of storage sidings) will be the "rest of the railway" for anything else that I want to build. I don't have any ambitions to build a complete, consistent large layout, partly because I don't think I'll ever have the time and partly because I'm too much of a modelling magpie to settle forever on a single location and era. But I would like a basic, scenic oval that's as era and location indeterminate as possible, just to run trains on.

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  • RMweb Gold
On 11/06/2020 at 22:35, black and decker boy said:

Depends solely on how interesting they are.

 

 Equally I’ve operated ones that you are asleep after 30mins........

 

its about immersing yourself in the moment and the layout. 

 

I actually wouldn't mind if I fell asleep after 30 minutes. A non-medicine induced sleep? Yes please!  Imagine the situation. Finish off a wagon, set it to run with a train, and drift off in a light wave of euphoria. In modelling terms, it doesn't get much better. Then, after 40 winks, back to the kitchen for a bacon sarnie & a mug of tea*.

 

* Other terms of relaxation are available. 

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Oval for me, whilst I enjoy shunting wagons about I am more than happy to watch a long freight or passenger train trundle through the station. 

 

Space though I guess is aways a deciding factor, currently a 16x12 shed houses my layout so I guess I am lucky.

 

Oval or end to end having  some form of layout to play/run is the important thing!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/06/2020 at 13:32, The Johnster said:

End to end every time, and if I had the room for a continuous run I'd have to include a terminus.  I like to operate, and watching trains running through scenery has a limited appeal for me; I need to break them down, make them up, distribute traffic, run around, top and tail, transfer,  Continuous run layouts are fine when they are operated as if they were end to end, but are only any use for testing otherwise. They take up far too much room for me to consider them and often require an up and a down operator to get the most out of their facilities, which is no use for me as I am The Cat Who Walks By Himself and have a low tolerance of other humans.  They tend to have different, or as I  call them, wrong, opinions that irritate me and their needs have to be considered, something I can't be *rsed with.

But Johnster you wuz a railwayman  and I bet you do your shunting in as few a moves as possible?  Lets get back in the cabin  its snap time. :good:

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I like a big roundy roundy . That said I like it to have purpose , so my own layout has a mainline two track oval with station with three through and three terminus platforms . There is then a further third oval with a three through platform and one bay platform station  on it . So I can run my trains from the Inner stations terminal platforms , round the loop for a few times , it then either is a short working and reverses in one of the inner three through platforms or continues into the third outer loop.   I've got engine sheds , so can change locos and have facilities for changing coaches or shunting freight . So its the best of both worlds . I can operate it  or just sit and watch the trains go round.

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As has been noted, you can operate end to end on a suitably designed roundy, but not vice-versa, and so I tend to think that it offers the best of both worlds. 

 

As for space, no, you can't build one on a straight shelf. However, with some compromise and a (probably quite high) degree of suspension of disbelief, you can squeeze a point-to-point operable roundy into a surprisingly small space. Quite apart from CJF's ultra-compressed main line plus branch schemes, a bit squeezy even in their day, there have been 6x4 Dean/Awdry type layouts that would pass muster today as decent models. 

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Oval for me too. In the space I have, it allows me to run longer trains, and just set them off and enjoy watching them go by as I get on with work/admin. My loft doubles as an office so the layout can't be too intrusive into the main footprint of the room.

 

In an ideal world I'd want an oval around the room, perhaps inclusive of a junction station, with an off-shoot branch line/terminus coming into the middle. I do enjoy shunting, running round etc. Not a chance in this house though!

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  • RMweb Gold

I'm another for I have an oval but on the fiddle yard side, there is a minories inspired station in front of the fiddle yard so passenger and parcels have a destination. It was also about whether I wanted 1 scene on the layout (its a 12*6 shed) or 2 totally different scenes.

 

Interestingly whilst it feels like I have more scenic space due to having 2 8ft scenes, in reality it takes up the same scenic space as my previous layout did modelled on 1 side/end and a fiddle yard on the other side.

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I’m not at all sure about the “either-or” nature of the poll question, because I’m convinced that the very best layout involves a circuit with two opposing termini/destinations branching from it. 
 

It took me c40 years to get there, and the version I’ve created is very cramped, but given double or treble the space I would adopt the same basic topology. In fact, given a half or a quarter of the space I still would, just in a smaller scale or in narrow-gauge format.

 

Why? It feels like going from A to C via B, which is what railways do.

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Point to point for me for several reasons. My preferred era is 1923 to 1968. I like shunting, breaking down and building up trains and spreading the wagons around with a purpose. The whole thing of shunting is a more absorbing job than running from station to station with a passenger train, granted you can complicate passenger operations as much as you like but that takes more space than I can manage.  I am a regular operator on a very large layout along with a number of others.  We take turns at different positions so I work a junction in the morning and a goods yard in the afternoon, both have their points but the goods yard is my favourite.

 

Cheers,

 

David

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Oval, so I can leave trains circulating in the background while I puzzle-shunt a goods yard - but featuring a station where passenger trains can terminate, split, reverse etc, and is also a junction for a branch line giving still more interesting operational possibilities.  And a double-ended fiddle yard so trains only go round more than once when I want them to - as when puzzle-shunting as above ....

 

So I agree with virtually everything @The Johnster said, and still vote the other way :rolleyes:

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Trains circulating is the death of reason for me, if a train runs through the scene, enough different trains have to follow it for me to have forgotten it before it reappears, or my suspension of disbelief is upset.  If I were to ever have room for a continuous round the room run, I’d probably go for ‘interesting’ bit one side of room and fy the other, same as everyone else but not including through running, so a train arriving in the fy has to be reversed into it’s storage road, or on to the departure road, or possibly a sector plate where the roads don’t align at the other end. 
 

A removable section would enable continuous running for testing and running in purposes.  

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I like operation with a purpose. That can be achieved on either type if they're designed suitably. I think the opposing termini on a circuit would probably be the ideal solution for me.

 

What I'm not really into is a railway catwalk, where you just send one train in after another and watch it run through, or turn round and run back - those could be either shape too. If you're a rolling stock builder then that kind of thing is probably the kind of thing you're after, but it's not for me.

 

Depot layouts are also not for me, though there's nothing wrong with such things.

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"Railway catwalk" - that's a nice phrase, and very descriptive of a certain type of layout :)

 

Having said that, I do think that, done well, a layout that consists of nothing but trains running from one side to the other can be very effective. The "train in a landscape" layout, to give it its more usual term, can do a very good job of recreating the experience of just sitting by the lineside and watching trains go by. You don't necessarily need a lot of operational interest for that to work - what's more important is that the setting works from a scenic perspective and the selection of trains running through is appropriate to that setting.

 

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  • RMweb Gold
On 02/07/2020 at 17:50, Nearholmer said:

because I’m convinced that the very best layout involves a circuit with two opposing termini/destinations branching from it. 

I think your right with that.

 

The compromise on my layout  (circuit with station + minories) is the pain of moves to reverse the direction of the freight stock at times. Some are easy to facilitate as a piece of on scene operation but others mean working out how to juggle things off scene. If I had the space ideally 2 end points plus a through station somewhere on the circuit but a 12*6 shed is not the place for that.

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48 minutes ago, MarkSG said:

"Railway catwalk" - that's a nice phrase, and very descriptive of a certain type of layout :)

 

Having said that, I do think that, done well, a layout that consists of nothing but trains running from one side to the other can be very effective. The "train in a landscape" layout, to give it its more usual term, can do a very good job of recreating the experience of just sitting by the lineside and watching trains go by. You don't necessarily need a lot of operational interest for that to work - what's more important is that the setting works from a scenic perspective and the selection of trains running through is appropriate to that setting.

 

They can be very well done, as can all shapes and sizes of layout. It just wouldn't hold my interest for very long as an operator.

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