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Layout Construction With No Trains Running


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I have just been watching the "Kingstorre" DVD supplied with the current issue of BRM Magazine, and excellent it is too, but during the course of the DVD mention was made of the fact that no trains ran for over twenty years from the commencement of the layout build.

 

Whilst I appreciate that this layout is one of those "Layouts of a Lifetime" and the owner is very much interested in building and scenery construction, I was wondering how long forum members could build a layout for before the need to run something became overwhelming?

 

I think my personal threshold would be a lot closer to twenty days than twenty years!

 

So how long could you remain motivated for during the layout construction phase without running anything?

 

Any views or experiences would be much appreciated.

 

David

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I have _something_ that can run, fairly well all the time. I've been up to 9 months without running a train though- hard to do it when you are at sea !. (I had some bits in my locker though!)

 

At home here, I think that it has been rare that all the layouts are unable to run. _something_ should be runnable. Right now, I have the club layout that is useable, and the other 3 layouts are not. (Long Marton, Thomas & the Lego). Lego is being put back together, it needs wiring & more bits building. Long Marton needs the end near the water heater track relaying. (it got taken out for the new hot water tank to go in). Thomas layout got taken down for the club layout to go up. Currently: My hands are a bit yellow from painting in our addition to the house. Next: Blue. Then, downstairs with my 5 year old.

 

James

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The longest I have gone without running a train on my own layout is about a year... not by choice however, as I did not have the room to set it up. Seeing as I visit my parents every couple of months, I get to run trains there, so that tends to reduce the withdrawal.... cool.gif

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Guest jim s-w

Running trains holds no interest for me whatsoever. When I do take the layout out as a demo we run stuff and I am usually bored by midday of the first day

 

I reckon on another 20 years or so until the layout is finished so thats 20 years before I get bored!

 

Cheers

 

Jim

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months (Quintland still has little track laid) when SWMBO called in the builders so it has been boxed up in store.

years (Noquay) has all the track down, wired and tested but not even an 08 run on it - it then met the same fate.

years (Sychpwll) I just get the track laid then change my mind about the scenery - also boxed. I hope to get back in the garage next year.

weeks (Murquick mine) ran the first loco then I decided it needed to be smaller - started again - it is on its side next to the workbench - nothing more than aboard with doodles on it.

 

But then I spend 99% of my time building kits - so unless you call a rolling road a layout - I guess I never "run trains"

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Occasionally I'll run the odd train (more of a shunt) for 15-20 mins before going to bed if a layout is set up (but that's not normally the case), though it's more that likely just to check that everything still works prior to a show and more of a succession of moves to check that everything is up to scratch. I'm more interested in the building bit and then looking at it through a camera lens.

 

Combwich will be on the road this weekend, but if I can palm the operating off on some unsuspecting soul I'd rather do that and natter instead. I've had this Lenz DCC thing sitting on the side for over a year on semi permanent loan, but to be honest have no interest in putting any chips in anything because chipping a couple of dozen locos just for a few hours runnning a year is not really cost or time effective. And anyway, most of my layouts are backwaters with just one engine in steam, so unless they have sound as well there is little point.

 

But, if I ever do get around to doing that big circular layout of Midford when I finally convert the garage, things might change because all I'll have to do is set the Pines Express off, pour a beer, sit back and watch it going round and round for 20 mins before swapping it for that 30 wagon coal train goin the other way when I refill my glass.

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I would class myself a builder rather than a runner, with a couple of exceptions: Sound makes me run stuff for much longer than I would otherwise. I was trying out the sequence of moves I want to use on Whitemarsh yesterday, testing couplings and wagon combinations, but spent rather longer than I meant to listening to 60014 growling around. I also like setting Tanis (my little roundy-roundy) going on the dining room table while I'm doing something else - it's very therapeutic.

 

I'm curious for the people who like building much much more than operating (e.g. Jim and Chris above) - why make the trains go at all? I gather that Malcolm Furlow used to build only for photography for some of his stuff, and it strikes me that's not a bad approach. Is it that the mechanical/electrical challenge is a big part of the building side, or because you both exhibit your layouts, or something else?

 

Cheers,

 

will

 

 

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For me it cannot be any more than about a month or two before the unitrack comes out and the dining room table is commandeered for the evening. It helps me get over the fact I have not had a layout at home for a good few years and the one under construction is still a little way off seeing something running. For me running trains...even if it is on a bare table for a coupeel of hours is relaxing...

 

A slightly different situation is at our club. We went for months on end without anything turning a wheel on either layouts. After a while this does get frustrating and can lead to members loosing interest....not everyone is as patient as those on here who are happy to spend years building without running anything; well at least I'm not...;)

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In the past as soon as its down, its running, but its been a while since I started on Hemerdon and will be sometime next year before anything runs because at the moment I am enjoying the build/dreaming phase, and a tinker here and there keeps me interested.

 

Part 2 of this layout though will be run as it is built I reckon because the basic shape of the terminus will come together fairly quickly but take a few years to do all the buildings.

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Guest jim s-w

Hi Will

 

partly because of shows but also because I consider things working well as part of the build process and as such part of the fun. Once I have finished a model and got it running to my liking then I loose interest!

 

Cheers

 

Jim

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 Thanks chaps, it's always interesting to hear the whys as well as the whats. I suppose I have a similar thing with radio-controlled cars - I really like building them, but I don't run them nearly as much as I should despite it being fun.

 

:crazy_mini: (I just thought that this was a fun avatar)

Somewhere on an axis between fun and disturbing, I reckon. I must find an excuse to use that :)

 

Cheers,

 

Will 

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Running trains holds no interest for me whatsoever. When I do take the layout out as a demo we run stuff and I am usually bored by midday of the first day

 

I reckon on another 20 years or so until the layout is finished so thats 20 years before I get bored!

 

Cheers

 

Jim

 

 

I am like jim. My main interest is the building of the layout and creating the atmosphere of a place or structure. With one of my old exhibition layouts Buxworth Sidings & Peak Jct. Railway I only operated it fully during a show on three occasions when it was in Germany. Holland and Belgium. That was over a ten year period. The rest of the time my friends were the operators. It is the same today with my current exhibition layouts. Building layouts for other people also keeps me from getting bored.

Peter

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I try to compress the time between making the first wood cut for the baseboard to having the electrics all done (ie, when the actual 'modelling' starts) to as little as possible. If I was to say a couple of weekends for the baseboard, another for the tracklaying and a fourth for the wiring, that's a month.

 

While the modelling stuff can amble along a bit more slowly, it's still all a race against time for me to complete a layout before interest starts to wane.

 

 

Something that I do that others may find weird - I never actually 'operate' a layout until it's complete. I'll trundle a loco about to test the electrics, push with my hand a couple of coaches to check clearances and platform lengths, but I just have this weird thing about not wanting to properly operate a layout until all the scenic work is done. If you were making something more complicated it's highly likely to be beneficial to operate the layout as you intend to make sure you actually can operate it as you wish, but with my relatively simple affairs it just feels like 'cheating' to run the layout before it's complete :D

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For me? I don't particularly enjoy track laying, wiring or control panel building, although I'm pretty good at it. I haven't been very involved in the scenic modelling on the latest layout 'Harford Street', because I've spent most of my time with a soldering iron and reels of wire. I do enjoy running trains and especially weathering and detailing stock. I also find building wagon kits fairly therapeutic. ;)

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Operating the trains is my sole reason for having any model railway gear. I will be constructing the new layout around the old (the new one is going at a higher level) so that operation can be maintained during construction. Never got any further with a layout's appearance than ballast, rudimentary scenery and a few relevant buildings, as operating then takes over pretty much to the exclusion of all else. I very much admire scenically wondrous layouts, but doubt I will ever have one like that.

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Well if I I run as soon as possible can't have hundreds of pounds worth of Chinese plastic sitting doing nowt !

 

Normal sequence is

solder track

lay track

connect to prodigy

have a shunt

change my mind

complete 1-3 again

shunt

change my mind again

 

infinity and beyond !

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Operating the trains is my sole reason for having any model railway gear. I will be constructing the new layout around the old (the new one is going at a higher level) so that operation can be maintained during construction. Never got any further with a layout's appearance than ballast, rudimentary scenery and a few relevant buildings, as operating then takes over pretty much to the exclusion of all else. I very much admire scenically wondrous layouts, but doubt I will ever have one like that.

Thank goodness for that - I was beginning to think I was alone in liking to operate layouts. At the Cardiff Show they couldn't get me off "Minster"!

 

Dave

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Well if I I run as soon as possible can't have hundreds of pounds worth of Chinese plastic sitting doing nowt !

 

I've got some (well quite a bit) sitting about that has never been run for various reasons. It's not just plastic though, there's a variety of metal products as well. I do feel a little guilty about this.

 

 

 

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I always want to be able to run trains. My trains have been boxed up for two years whilst renovating a house and with the end of building work in sight I'm planning my layout. It's reasonably big and will take some time to complete the trackwork so one of my planning criteria is that I can build coherent sections that will work and I can play with even before I've built baseboards for other bits of the layout.

 

I rejected a few designs on the basis that this wasn't possible. I think (hope) my standard of construction will be higher if I'm not rushing to build all the boards just so I can run something.

 

Nat

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