Hands On.

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
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Mountain
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Hands On.

Postby Mountain » Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:38 pm

I know this sounds odd but I prefer the hands on approach to model railways, as to me, I find I get more of a genuine feel of the real thing.
When I worked on the railways it was this hands on approach that gave the railway character. Things like going out and clipping points. I have to laugh. While nipping out on route learning where no trains were running where I needed to go, so I decided to go to a certain seaside station, have a walk for an hour and come back as then I could honestly say I had been somewhere rather than just sit at the depot. Route learning only came up in the turns a few times a year and it was rare to get any trains running on the routes one needed to go.
So on this day I travelled to this station and when I came back to meet the train there was a situation where one of the points indicators was not displaying the proceed aspect, so I watched the guard of thetrain from my depot get out to clip the point.
His driver and I watched in amusement as he put the clip over the top of the rail. He came back and we told him we can't move forwards. He said "Why not?" We said "Look!" It was then he reaslized his embarissing mistake! :D
But anyway... It is the little hands on ways that the real railways have that I really miss in model form, and to me, having things remotely operated just does not do it for me. I need "Hands on", as I need my model to "Feel" like I am operating the real thing, so this is the approach that I want to achieve.
Hand coupling and uncoupling. Hand operated points and signals. Hand unloading or loading. Ways to make one feel like one has a real operating railway.

Now if one is feeling there is something missing in ones railway. Try the hands on approach as it can really make one feel like one is running a real railway. One can write turns and operating proceedures. Even try a timetable, though bear in mind that things do not always go to plan, and take it from me. That is just like real life as well! :D

Real railways have a real railway atmosphere.

The model railways that attract regular operators that come back again and again to have fun are normally the ones that adopt the hands on approach. Why? Because it feels real. It does not feel like a model.

Bigmet
Posts: 9133
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Hands On.

Postby Bigmet » Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:00 pm

I would suggest that is because you worked on the railway.

I started my career in manufacturing industry, and for three glorious years was in development and commissioning of unique equipment to production ready handover, with lots of physical 'hands on'. (Then I got to sit behind a desk, managing other people that were having all the fun; and steadily moved offices further and further away from the hands on action: so it goes.) But a hangover from that is probably the reason for my so much liking the Lenz DCC handset; it more than a little reminds me of the Allen Bradley industrial plant control gear handset that was then a key bit of kit.

I only ever 'observed' the railway, and specifically what was required for timetable operation, so that's what I like to see happening when operating a layout. I'd like to be able to replicate the long ago footplateman seen making free use of a coal hammer to 'persuade' something not working in the cab to function properly, but there are limits...


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