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6 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Ah, but my experience there is that one can never get to ask a question about the stock from the front, as all but one of the operators are clustered around the fiddle yard leaving the chap at the front avoiding eye contact to stay fully focused on running the train. So, it's evident that if the fiddle yard was freely accessible, it would be closely supervised. (Straight end-to-end or terminus-to-fiddle yard layouts are more rewarding for the stock-spotter.)

 

EDIT: posing crossed with Jonathan, who gives the case for the defence.

well you haven't seen Grantham, Shap, Herculaneum Dock  or Chapel en Le Frith then... but we are not "awash" with operators inside the layout .. rotas for operators mean any time you get a break you need one...

 

Baz

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10 minutes ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

I have to disagree with you. Railway modelling is not a Broad Church, it is a number of different places of worship, chapels, synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, etc,  with different religions. 

 

Judean peoples front ? :D

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Just now, Barry O said:

well you haven't seen Grantham, Shap, Herculaneum Dock  or Chapel en Le Frith then... but we are not "awash" with operators inside the layout .. rotas for operators mean any time you get a break you need one...

 

Of those, I have only seen Shap, at Warley. But I accept your point that large layouts need many bodies - perhaps part of the problem is that too many large exhibition layouts are in fact too large for the number of people available - so have been missing out on that element of interpretation and interaction with the public that might help draw more into the hobby. (Though that's probably reuled out for post-covid exhibiting; having all the operators on the fiddle yard side will probably be necessary to maintain social distancing from the public.)

 

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14 minutes ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

I have to disagree with you. Railway modelling is not a Broad Church, it is a number of different places of worship, chapels, synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, etc,  with different religions. 

 

... and each regarding the other as heretical. 

 

I suppose I'm a modelling Anglo-Catholic - working in 00 but aspiring to finescale standards of appearance!

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1 minute ago, Compound2632 said:

 

... and each regarding the other as heretical. 

 

I suppose I'm a modelling Anglo-Catholic - working in 00 but aspiring to finescale standards of appearance!

 

Heathen, You'll burn in hell for that....:D

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17 minutes ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

 

I have to disagree with you. Railway modelling is not a Broad Church, it is a number of different places of worship, chapels, synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, etc,  with different religions. 

 

Those that follow one way of worship don't always understand and appreciate another. We should accept that people have different interests but we don't have to share them.

 

Jol

 

Hello Jol and Tony

 

According to my (big) Oxford Dictionary of English a Broad Church (correct with capitals) is:

A tradition or group within the Anglican Church favouring a liberal interpretation of doctrine, or

A group or doctrine which allows for and caters to a wide range of opinions of people.

 

Brian

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bernard Lamb said:

I have seen it 3 if not 4 times at public exhibitions and have never seen trains running for any length of time.

While the attention to detail is superb the basic element of being a working model railway seems from my experience to be in need of some serious attention. 

Hearing comments from other visitors I am not alone in my opinion.

Why it keeps getting invitations is beyond me.

 

I've seen Burntisland (the layout, though I've been around the real place as well) and it's stunning.

I've also been to an exhibition of Cannaletto paintings, mostly of Venice, where not one boat or gondola moved in any of them.  They were all stunning as well.

Burtisland and others like it, are works of art, they just happen to be in 3D.

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13 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Of those, I have only seen Shap, at Warley. But I accept your point that large layouts need many bodies - perhaps part of the problem is that too many large exhibition layouts are in fact too large for the number of people available - so have been missing out on that element of interpretation and interaction with the public that might help draw more into the hobby. (Though that's probably reuled out for post-covid exhibiting; having all the operators on the fiddle yard side will probably be necessary to maintain social distancing from the public.)

 

If layouts are being exhibited outside their home area then there is significant cost associated with transporting them and providing overnight accommodation for the operators.  Layouts typically travel with the minimum number of operators needed to erect and operate the layout, to do otherwise places an unfair financial burden on the exhibition and may even be the difference between a layout being invited or not in the first place.

 

I very much enjoy welcoming people around the back of the layout to view and discuss the stock and the control systems, but it should be appreciated that there are associated risks and challenges.  The stock is often the creation of multiple individuals and so a visitor may wish to discuss an item that has been built by someone either away on a break or tied up operating and so they may not be available to talk at a specific moment in time.  If the visitor is willing to be flexible then it is easier to accommodate their needs.  

 

There are rare occasions where a visitor has criminal intent and so sadly all visitors, unless known to the operators, need close supervision just in case.

 

Its always worth asking but don't be offended if it is not possible to drop everything in order to talk to you at that specific moment.

 

Frank  

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Northmoor said:

Burtisland and others like it, are works of art, they just happen to be in 3D.

 

But perhaps it is exhibted as a model railway, rather than as a static cameo?

So viewers might have different expectations.

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With the talk of broad churches and 'serious' modellers looking down their noses at alternative modelling approaches, perhaps it should be remembered that criticism is a double edged sword and cuts both ways. No doubt Tony W will testify to the 'flak' and criticism he took for an article of his published in a monthly mag about his 'serious' approach and preferences.

 

Unpleasant and unnecessary critique and vitriol does not help the hobby, whoever it is from and whoever it is directed at. Maybe acceptance, although not necessarily agreement, and consideration in response would be better.

 

In the meantime I'll continue to plough my own approach, likes and standards modelling furrow. I'm happy to talk about or promote/post about it, but that doesn't give me the right to pour scorn and derision on others, even though I might not like or agree.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Tony Teague said:

But perhaps it is exhibted as a model railway, rather than as a static cameo?

So viewers might have different expectations.

 

It is quite clearly intended to be an non-static model of a railway; the working features are a key part of it. If one is to compare it to an art form, it's more like an operetta.

 

Anyway, this is an interesting can of worms I've opened up and given a good stir to!

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2 hours ago, seahorse said:

I was helping on a friend's roundy-roundy and fiddle yard layout.

 

A young lad said "do you know what's wrong with this layout, mister? You've only got these two tracks at the front to see trains, and you've got all those trains at the back that we can't see. It's the wrong way round!"

 

 

 

In certain respects, that's what engine shed layout allow you to do.  There was a GWR one in the 80s I recall seeing at Warley, in the Harry Mitchell days, that was particularly impressive as it was full of kit/scratch-built non-RTR locos.

 

I've often thought an effective exhibition layout might be a large engine shed just outside a main station.  Having running lines for parade style trains to go past and shuttling of an impressive motive power collection to and from the shed.  Obviously a loco could depart the shed and then be seen a short while later hauling a train past and vice versa with the train loco coming onto shed having been seen hauling an inbound service.

 

David

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3 hours ago, Bernard Lamb said:

I have seen it 3 if not 4 times at public exhibitions and have never seen trains running for any length of time.

While the attention to detail is superb the basic element of being a working model railway seems from my experience to be in need of some serious attention. 

Hearing comments from other visitors I am not alone in my opinion.

Why it keeps getting invitations is beyond me.

It 

Bernard

I think it has fantastic ambition and pulls it off to some extent. There are too many derailments and the action is rather slow/ spaced out, but when it works there are many things to marvel at. I’m really impressed by the ferry loading and unloading. That is prototypical (as I understand it) so I think it’s a bit unfair to call it a gimmick.

 

The guy out front doing the interpretation has been very good when I’ve seen it.

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I don't enjoy watching exhibitors struggle with a layout that is playing up. I have been there myself and you just wish everybody would go away and come back when the problem is sorted out. No matter how good you think you are, or how well you have prepared, bouncing a layout around in a van or car and moving it from a nice room to an exhibition hall with a wide temperature variation can catch you out.

 

The worst we had was at Ally Pally with Narrow Road, when we were near the organ and the atmosphere was full of dust, muck and moisture, which almost rained onto the layout. Once we realised that the trains were running really badly and worked out the cause, we ended up having somebody permanently cleaning track and another spending all their time cleaning loco wheels and we just about kept things going.

 

A red hot weekend at Manchester with Leighton Buzzard wasn't much fun either. Expansion caused havoc and we had shorts and switches playing up all weekend and we couldn't use quite a few sidings at all.

 

So if there is a layout that isn't working very well, I will walk on rather than watch the poor sods struggle, come back later for a second try and if it still isn't working I will hope to see it at another show.

 

The worst thing is the "helpful" punter staring at you while you suffer and telling you just what you should be doing and how their layout wouldn't fail like that!

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11 minutes ago, Clearwater said:

 

I've often thought an effective exhibition layout might be a large engine shed just outside a main station.  Having running lines for parade style trains to go past and shuttling of an impressive motive power collection to and from the shed.  Obviously a loco could depart the shed and then be seen a short while later hauling a train past and vice versa with the train loco coming onto shed having been seen hauling an inbound service.

 

David

 

That’s a pretty good description of Graham Muspratt’s Fisheron Sarum layout.  It works very well as an exhibition layout, so long as you’re not offended by Malachite green!

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When exhibiting Oakbourne, the OO gauge layout of the East Surrey Model Railway Club, I have invited members of the public round the back to operate. One young lad (who I knew because he was one of my scouts) was better than many of my fellow club members and kept at it for a good hour. 

 

I think this was inspired by invites for my daughter, Ellen, to operate a couple of layouts when she used to come with me to exhibitions. That really helped keep her enthused in the hobby for a while (sadly no longer). I think being young and female helped as I never got invited!

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1 hour ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

 

The fiddle yarss on London Road  attracted a lot of attention. Unfortunately viewers often wanted to discuss the models with the operators, etc. so distracting them from keeping the schedule running properly to entertain those looking at the layout. In the end I  had to build up the FY surrounds to shut off the fiddle yards. The high surrounds were then used to display photos of the stock and details of the layout, the LNWR, etc. 

 

 

Finger poking is, in my view, something that affects too many layouts at exhibitions, irrespective of scale/gauge.

Poor running was an occasional issue on Burntisland when I saw it several times. Sadly, because it is P4 that opens it up to a lot of flak, as I found with London Road. For that reason we had to ensure that any running problems were avoided as far as possible. The track was cleaned in the morning before any running at an exhibition, ant piece of stock that played up was removed and sorted, etc,

 

 

 

Tony,

 

I have to disagree with you. Railway modelling is not a Broad Church, it is a number of different places of worship, chapels, synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, etc,  with different religions. 

 

Those that follow one way of worship don't always understand and appreciate another. We should accept that people have different interests but we don't have to share them.

 

Jol

Good afternoon Jol,

 

My mistake. As an atheist, I should not be mentioning any places of worship, even though many of them represent the finest architecture ever created. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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59 minutes ago, Northmoor said:

I've seen Burntisland (the layout, though I've been around the real place as well) and it's stunning.

I've also been to an exhibition of Cannaletto paintings, mostly of Venice, where not one boat or gondola moved in any of them.  They were all stunning as well.

Burtisland and others like it, are works of art, they just happen to be in 3D.

No need for the sarcasm.

At a model railway exhibition I expect to see a layout working and actually working well.

Except for when it is described as an historical layout. Madder Valley and Aylesbury come to mind and I am quite happy with the presentation of those.

If it is a work of art then it should be presented in an appropriate setting.

Bernard

 

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2 hours ago, jwealleans said:

 

The trouble with that is that too many of the enthusiastic fiddle yard gawpers are (1) too handsy with the stock and (2) too distracting for the operators.

 

If there's someone round there to field questions and slap wrists, no problem, but it's not often you have the luxury of a spare body like that at a show.

Good afternoon Jonathan,

 

When Stoke Summit was at shows it was often 'seen in the round', or at least along both length sides. It was usually either an island by itself or part of a (thin) one.

 

I used to find there was as much (if not more) interest in the fiddle yard as there was in the scenic section. 

 

What we used to do was always ensure there were free 'operators' who were there to answer questions (usually me, because of my dislike of operating). I accept that isn't always possible (on other layouts), but we always made sure it was. 

 

Luckily, we never had the problem of folk touching things - perhaps because the fiddle yard roads were so close together?

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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3 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

That is wildly at variance with my experience, having seen it a couple of times, most recently at Warley in 2019 - with the new  roundhouse. There was plenty of activity both goods and passenger - far more than the prototype would justify! Where did you see it? And what are your expectations for frequency of trains running? Are you only satisfied by layouts depicting 4-track main lines? I've seen quite a number of highly-rated exhibition layouts were there has been nothing happening for long periods - though that does at least have the virtue of being true to prototype. Clutton is an example that springs to mind.

Good afternoon Stephen,

 

Burntisland's running has been discussed on here before, and I've no wish to drag-up past criticisms. 

 

That said, though it is visually spectacular and an incredible piece of research and creativity (and in no way gimmicky), having seen it several times I can honestly say it's never performed to the level I would insist upon with my own trainsets. Far too much stalling, derailing and finger-poking for me, I'm afraid.

 

In fact, it's been at three shows where I was privileged to be invited as one of the judges. In terms of (static) appearance, it would have been no competition; Burntisland knocked everything else into a cocked-hat! However, good running was also a criterion for judging things, and in all three cases the layout didn't win because of that (I was not the sole judge, by the way). 

 

I'm good friends with the builders and our reasons were made clear (which they accepted). 

 

I didn't see it Warley (too busy with my own demo) but if things have improved running-wise, I'm delighted.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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When Ken and I first built a layout together, some 35 years ago, we had a continuous run with a fiddle yard made up of loops but treated them as if they were a set of carriage sidings, ballasted them and added a small amount of scenic features, like a couple of mess huts and a boundary fence with a bit of greenery. We never pretended it was anything other than a fiddle yard, just a pretty one!

 

It was much nicer to look at than many fiddle yards if anybody came round the back to have a look.

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