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What time of day is it on your layout?


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There is no "Operating" section on here so I thought I would ask what time of day do you model when you operate? 

Somehow the layout always looks more realistic when I plan what time of day I'm modelling,  I don't model the night.  That's when fitted freights run, I represent them by having the 47XX and Halls which bring them in on shed during the day, but it saves me buying 3 sets of 20 wagons or so if I only model local freights and a few daylight fast freights.  My sleeping cars seldom stir from their siding, the parcels seldom move, but local passengers shuttle folk to work at stupid o'clock in the morning, the so called express leaves for Paddington stopping at every second station around 7.30 am, a proper one leaves at 10 to get them toffs and that to London for Lunch,  A through express rustles the fag ends on the junction platforms as it come through non stop at 80mph ten minutes late around noon, and as soon as its gone the stopper which has patiently waited in the loop platform for 30 minutes, follows it the Hall blasting away trying to claw back a few minutes, and after that an up goods follows across from the down yard to be held at at the thus far imaginary advanced starter for the stopper to clear the section.  
It was seeing a photograph of an A3 on the southbound Thames Clyde and a Scot I think on the southbound Mid Day Scot both stopped at platforms at Carlisle  Citadel which set me thinking.  A station with only 3 through platforms and a WCML and GSWR/Midland train which must have followed each other in from Gretna, now that's not what many modellers would think of.   Just set me thinking.  Do you run trains as if its a certain time of day or do your local pick up goods, sleeping car trains and expresses just circulate randomly?

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I go more for recreating the ambience of the time period and I model night or day, but I am currently limited to depot movements. DCC is being rolled out so the locos will light up when stationary, and through running will be established prior to a first extension being added off the far end of the layout. I’m thinking of some kind of parcels or freight facility as the next scenic phase, with a main line to the back on top of the cutting as a subsequent phase. That will be any time of night or day running. Lights add an extra dimension to the scene and a camera on a tripod with a small aperture and long exposure captures it nicely.

 

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I know it is high summer in 1959,1963 or 1968 (sometimes a later year) and full daylight but the actual time of day has to be kind of all day. This is because I do run a variety of trains some of which would run at certain times of day. 

I think the clayliner was an evening train

14.JPG.393435e966e967b7a0312b60affa7160.JPG

 

And the milk was early evening

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But the down steam excursion would be morning

IMG_7280.JPG.034970defb0a06a851563d15c8799398.JPG

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1 hour ago, Chris M said:

I know it is high summer in 1959,1963 or 1968 (sometimes a later year) and full daylight but the actual time of day has to be kind of all day. This is because I do run a variety of trains some of which would run at certain times of day. 

I think the clayliner was an evening train

14.JPG.393435e966e967b7a0312b60affa7160.JPG

 

And the milk was early evening

DSCN1500.JPG.c3d83746cd43fbda4fc650b3d7d95506.JPG

 

But the down steam excursion would be morning

IMG_7280.JPG.034970defb0a06a851563d15c8799398.JPG

Very nice Chris! 
 

Clayliner was up late evening and back early morning with an additional on Wednesdays which went up at night and back around lunch time …. Worcestershire time.

 

Another vote for 24 hour operation… traffic flows vary significantly throughout the day 

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On Houghton Street it is always 12:50. The afternoon shift is queuing to clock on and being a school holiday children are to be found making their own amusement as once they did.

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At the end of a 24-hour working timetable (fast clock) all the stock either gets back to where it started from or is swapped with a similar set elsewhere on the layout.  If you don't want anything left standing on the running lines at the end of an operating session, the timetable has a dead spot in the small hours where nothing is moving anywhere.

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3 hours ago, Chris M said:

Mine is certainly in the school summer holidays. And it must be before bed time.

Can't be - it's not tipping down with rain.... 😆

 

I worked nights for 12 years straight on one job I had. I have no desire whatsoever to replicate night time on my layout!!

"Time of day" is a bit of a mis-nomer though isn't it? It indicates a fixed point in time, whereas by it's very nature running trains depicts a period of time. "Time of year" might be a better question?

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Hi all,

On the indoor 16mm narrow gauge lay out  I help run with a friend we run a 12 hour time period shrunk down to about 90 minutes running time. A sort of 6am to 6pm time scale.

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Someone please remind me of the name of the layout I saw at York the year before lockdown. I think it was located on the south coast and ran a full 24 hour clock under controlled lighting. It was superb.

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Cwmdimbath operates between 05.50 (first train) and 00.01 (last train, empty auto off 23.55 arrival from Bridgend, actual train ran to Abergwynfi).  Box open 06.00-22.10, any movements outside this being on a ‘one engine in steam’ basis.  To real time by ‘Cwmdimbath Clock’ (iPhone timer app), clock can be stopped but no movement can take place while it is stopped, and ‘fastforwarded’ to minimise quiet periods, but if a train is moving, including shunting movements, the clock must be running.  It is therefore important not to cheat, so speeds must be realistic and time allowed for, for example, brake continuity tests or ground staff to walk between hand points and places where they need to uncouple or couple up.  Completing movements in the time allowed in the WTT without delaying other traffic is the challenge and satisfaction of operating the layout. 
 

Layout lighting is 3x Maplins led anglepoises, no longer available but I believe Hobbycraft do something similar.  They have 3 light intensity settings and 3 colour settings, cool, warm, and mixed, so I can suggest different times of day and different weather conditions.  There are platform, building, street, and yard lights which can be used to suggest times of day as well (village post office/general store shuts at 18.00, so is only lit for winter evenings), and the signals are lit.  
 

Some passenger rakes have battery lighting, and I am working on working loco and brake van lamps, not easy because the layout is DC and because it’s a BLT, all trains return whence they came and all lamps must be changed to the other end of the loco or train.


Scenery represents as indeterminate a season as I can manage.  The system is by no means perfect, but I can suggest times of day and seasons reasonably well

    

 

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1 hour ago, doilum said:

Someone please remind me of the name of the layout I saw at York the year before lockdown. I think it was located on the south coast and ran a full 24 hour clock under controlled lighting. It was superb.

Hi Doilum,

Was this the one in the Railway Museum. I think the name is St Paul's Road.

https://www.railwaymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/model-railway

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My layout is basically daytime during the summer months although I am eventually moving towards full illumination of buildings, street and trains so that I can recreate a scene with a "night athmosphere".

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An early layout of mine was operated to a cross between "time of day" and "era" mainly due to availability of stock.  It started off in the early morning with a late 40's early 50s vibe with milk, pickup goods and workers trains, progressed to mid-day and early afternoon through the "Pilot Scheme" with expresses and local services, the late afternoon saw all steam vanish and dirty blue diesels and DMUs proliferate while services became downgraded and early evening saw a "closure" railtour and engineering trains travelling in one direction with ripped up rails and sleepers...

 

My most recent layout was more "operational", a sequence reflecting ebbs and flows of traffic through a notional weekday, during the hours of daylight.

 

Nighttime looks good from a visual perspective, but running semi-visible trains in the "dark" doesn't appeal.

 

 

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Of course, if you really did pick a time of day, nothing would be moving: The sun would be fixed in the sky, no wind would blow, animals and people would be motionless and trains would be stationary.


When you think of it that way, it's an anachronism to have trains moving through the scene at all...

 

You could save yourself a fortune in rolling stock and electronics! 😉

 

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1 hour ago, Harlequin said:

Of course, if you really did pick a time of day, nothing would be moving: The sun would be fixed in the sky, no wind would blow, animals and people would be motionless and trains would be stationary.

Aha!! You have stumbled upon the basic premise of many, many Exhibition Layouts!!! 😂

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On 14/05/2022 at 06:32, DCB said:

There is no "Operating" section on here so I thought I would ask what time of day do you model when you operate? 

Somehow the layout always looks more realistic when I plan what time of day I'm modelling,  I don't model the night.  That's when fitted freights run, I represent them by having the 47XX and Halls which bring them in on shed during the day, but it saves me buying 3 sets of 20 wagons or so if I only model local freights and a few daylight fast freights.  My sleeping cars seldom stir from their siding, the parcels seldom move, but local passengers shuttle folk to work at stupid o'clock in the morning, the so called express leaves for Paddington stopping at every second station around 7.30 am, a proper one leaves at 10 to get them toffs and that to London for Lunch,  A through express rustles the fag ends on the junction platforms as it come through non stop at 80mph ten minutes late around noon, and as soon as its gone the stopper which has patiently waited in the loop platform for 30 minutes, follows it the Hall blasting away trying to claw back a few minutes, and after that an up goods follows across from the down yard to be held at at the thus far imaginary advanced starter for the stopper to clear the section.  
It was seeing a photograph of an A3 on the southbound Thames Clyde and a Scot I think on the southbound Mid Day Scot both stopped at platforms at Carlisle  Citadel which set me thinking.  A station with only 3 through platforms and a WCML and GSWR/Midland train which must have followed each other in from Gretna, now that's not what many modellers would think of.   Just set me thinking.  Do you run trains as if its a certain time of day or do your local pick up goods, sleeping car trains and expresses just circulate randomly?

Just coming up to afternoon teatime!

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Getting back to the OP's original question.......

 

Surely, any layout will operate a compressed timescale over a day, or at least several hours, compressed down to an hour or so. That is, unless you are planning to replicate every stage of the day (and/or night) at an exhibition, I would guess.

 

To simulate anything else would require a very sophisticated lighting set, to follow the sun? As others have said, the biggest choice must be time of year surely?

 

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My "Where Seagulls Dare" (if connected to the Internet) can go through a complete 24 hour cycle in real time, with the sun setting and rising, moon, moving clouds, fireworks, building and street lights coming on, and working lighthouse - and that's just the backscene! Platform lights and the burger van on the layout can also be switched on and off manually as appropriate.

 

"Wallingford Mark 2" has working platform and street lights, though that's mainly because having installed the lamps as details (using items from the Kytes range), and having a spare switch on the control panel, I figured I might as well wire them up!

 

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In theory "Wednesford", my layout in the shed, has lighting that can be set to replicate the colour cast caused by the different times of day.  I say "theoretically" because it doesn't replicate the movement of the sun across the sky, which causes shadows to move, I did try three floodlights mounted along the centreline of the shed, with one at each end and one in the centre, but I found it insufficiently bright so ended up putting in more mounted over the baseboards.  Nevertheless, being able to adjust the amount of brightness and the colour of the light does give some nice effects.  You can create a watery early morning sky colour, a bright summer's mid-day, or a sultry summer evening which does bring any rolling stock with lights to life as well as the fabulous Rapido Daimler Fleetline buses with internal lighting.

Colour changing remote control LED lighting, either by floodlight or strip light, is readily available on Tatbay and can really give you a chance to add a bit of atmospheric variety.  Combined with background audio (I use a redundant smartphone to play a continual loop of ambient urban sound effects edited on Audacity) it really can add something even if the miniature life forms don't move.

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6 hours ago, wombatofludham said:

In theory "Wednesford", my layout in the shed, has lighting that can be set to replicate the colour cast caused by the different times of day.  I say "theoretically" because it doesn't replicate the movement of the sun across the sky, which causes shadows to move, I did try three floodlights mounted along the centreline of the shed, with one at each end and one in the centre, but I found it insufficiently bright so ended up putting in more mounted over the baseboards.  Nevertheless, being able to adjust the amount of brightness and the colour of the light does give some nice effects.  You can create a watery early morning sky colour, a bright summer's mid-day, or a sultry summer evening which does bring any rolling stock with lights to life as well as the fabulous Rapido Daimler Fleetline buses with internal lighting.

Colour changing remote control LED lighting, either by floodlight or strip light, is readily available on Tatbay and can really give you a chance to add a bit of atmospheric variety.  Combined with background audio (I use a redundant smartphone to play a continual loop of ambient urban sound effects edited on Audacity) it really can add something even if the miniature life forms don't move.

Excellent point regarding the movement of the sun & shadows. Shadows can be diffecult to "get right" so I use the "if you can't get it right then maybe leave it out" principle here.

We see more and more layouts at shows with lighting effects somer good, some not so good.

 

And with the LED lighting strips available for little money it's worth experimenting. Anything that can add to the atmosphere such as sound (within reason) will help to create a lifelike scene in which a lot of objects that would normally move are stationary.

 

How far to go with lighting effects ?

We could illuminate the road vehicles (how many of them on layouts are driverless ?), passenger trains too - & then we have to populate them - nothing like an illuminated (even to oil lamp levels) coach to highlight the lack of passengers.

And then what about features/set scenes that are fine for the day but not at night (talking of night, not evening) - schoolchildren or people enjoying their garden *** for example ?

 

We can get it close, but not 100%, it's all about compromise & what is/is not acceptable to the builder(s) of the model.

 

*** Could be updated to a barbie complete with patio heaters.

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On 14/05/2022 at 16:17, doilum said:

No, this was the show at the racecourse. I have a nagging idea that it might be Lyme Regis. I will need to explore the attic for the old show guides.

Having had a quick look I think it was St Ruth, a 2mm fine scale layout set in Cornwall. It gives me the excuse to have a proper read of the decade or so of guides I retained.

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