Help needed to mix styles

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
Sarge427
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Help needed to mix styles

Postby Sarge427 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:53 pm

Hello!

I’m in the process of planning a layout and find myself in a quandary. OO/HO, DCC, roughly 12’ by 3’ (with 4’ ends to loop back), with scenery. No track plan of any form yet. Thing is I want to include steam, diesel and electric! Steam because of the engineering of the drive linkages, diesel (and DMUs) because that’s what I grew up travelling on, and electric because I think the pantographs look cool!

I prefer Eras II, III and IV, early V, and I’m not planning on it being remotely prototypical, even to the extent of having different countries involved! However, I don’t want it to look too ridiculous. So what tricks can I use to somewhat integrate the different looks? Multiple branch lines? Multiple cameos just out of sight of each other?

bnb
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Re: Help needed to mix styles

Postby bnb » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:48 pm

Why not plan your layout around diesel and electric and then run the steam as excursions. Then and again its your layout so does it matter what you run as long as you get enjoyment out of it. I run whatever I like whenever I like.

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Help needed to mix styles

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:24 am

Two other ways to do this - firstly you could model a heritage railway, which gives you just about cart blanche to run anything in any combination (places like the Nene Valley even have European locomotives and stock) or you could have a station on a secondary line that has retained semaphore signalling and run different sessions for different eras. We used to have an exhibition layout where we started out as all steam in the morning, then as the hours passed the diesels would appear, then steam disappeared, the liveries changed from green to blue and finally at the end of the day everything was HSTs and Sprinters, oh yes and the occasional electric "drag" due to the wires being down on the nearby electrified route. Electric haulage is always the most difficult to incorporate, due to OHLE being needed for these beasties, but of course there is always RULE 1 0 is is your layout, your rules and you can run what you want.

Have fun

Jim
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Bigmet
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Re: Help needed to mix styles

Postby Bigmet » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:16 am

Sarge427 wrote: However, I don’t want it to look too ridiculous. So what tricks can I use to somewhat integrate the different looks?

Welcome, that's some challenge!

Couple of up front aspects that need to be thought through.

Could the viewed scene through which the trains will run be made 'universal' such that it could be anywhere in the countries from which the trains you like come from? Something like broad leaf deciduous woodland is 'scale free', no one will notice that the trees average 100 feet tall in HO but only 88 in OO.

That's potentially a lot of stock you are proposing to operate in the space, and some way of handling that needs to be devised. Exchangeable cartridges to hold trains are one way, quite widely used on the exhibition circuit. Best designed into the layout from the start.

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pete12345
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Re: Help needed to mix styles

Postby pete12345 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:43 pm

Electric is always difficult to model- 3rd rail excepted. You really need to have the proper overhead wires for it to look right, unless you're modelling a diesel 'drag' over non-wired track. That same overhead line gets in the way of most track-cleaning methods and can be expensive to set up and is another item to maintain. The occasional diesel drag can look good, and you could save some cash by looking for a 'not working' electric loco secondhand and removing the motor and gears.

For steam presence, you could have excursions passing through (though this tends to be only the larger locomotives) or model a preserved railway junction with a main line connection, or have a situation such as at Whitby, where the preserved railway has running powers over a section of the main line.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

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stuartp
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Re: Help needed to mix styles

Postby stuartp » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:45 pm

All three operated together for a reasonably long period depending on where you look. Sticking to places that actually have RTR electrics available and excluding preserved steam:

West coast main line south of Crewe/Manchester/Liverpool between 1960 and 1968, ex-LMS and BR Standard steam (with some restrictions), Class 08, 20, 25, 28, 40, 47? deisels, Class 81 - 86 electrics (only 85 and 86 available RTR though I think and 86s only right at the end).

East side of Manchester and Sheffield/Rotherham between 1951 and early 60s - most deisels, ex LMS, LNER and BR steam, Class 76 electrics. Steam was barred from the middle bit of the electric route over Woodhead but at both ends there was a deisel/electric changeover for through trains with steam still present on secondary and goods services. Google 'Sheffield Victoria' for ideas.

In both cases (and certainly at each end of the Woodhead route) the electric route fed into a tangle of existing lines so you can justify all three operating together quite easily.
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Sarge427
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Re: Help needed to mix styles

Postby Sarge427 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:54 pm

Thanks all for the ideas and comments. I will definitely go for a neutral scenery, mostly rural, wasn’t planning on any cityscapes. One line will have an overhead cable section, and I think I’ll run it between tunnels (with clearance for the pantograph :D) in a somewhat Swiss scene; being a single line I should be able to get in to clean track.

The storage and handling of the stock had not crossed my mind, thanks for that.

I’m not familiar with the term ‘diesel drag’, and Google had me believe it was a race between trains!

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glencairn
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Re: Help needed to mix styles

Postby glencairn » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:46 pm

Sarge427 wrote:. One line will have an overhead cable section, and I think I’ll run it between tunnels (with clearance for the pantograph :D) in a somewhat Swiss scene; being a single line I should be able to get in to clean track.
!


If you have tunnels you could have them lift off for access to the track, or a cutting; once again for easy access.

Glencairn
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