PDF Track Planning for Realistic Operation

Book description

This book is designed to help model railroaders learn the operation techniques and rules of real railroads and to incorporate them into their layouts and operating sessions.There is a wealth of information here. Unfortunately, it’s not presented well at all, and it does not have sufficient text showing one how to adapt the prototypical concepts into the modeling world.In the first place, most of the operation advice is given in complicated figures with long, difficult-to-read captions printed in teeny-tiny typeface.In the second place, far too much space is devoted to describing prototypical operations like the “hump yard” which almost nobody who has a model railroad would have the space to replicate (Armstrong even admits this in many places).Why spend pages of figures and text describing to me an operation that you know I couldn’t possibly use in my model railroading?

Another major issue with this book, is that the title is a lie — there are hardly any track plans in the book at all.The appendices contain a handful of massive plans for which one would need an entire basement or “bonus room” of space (and how many people have that?).The rest of the book has either (1) bare-bones skeletons of a plan (things like the basic figure eight) without any indication of how one would incorporate realistic operations into them, or (2) tiny tack plan subsections that are so massive that they’d only fit into a layout of the sort shown in the appendices — one that fills an entire (large) room.As great as room-filling layouts are, the realities of spousal opposition, financial exigency, and space limitation dictate that only a tiny minority of model railroaders would be able to build such a layout.What the vast majority of us need is a plan (and some layouts!) for incorporating realistic operations into a relatively small space, such as the classic HO 4′ x 8′ plywood layout.On this critical topic, Armstrong is utterly silent.

Another issue with the book is the dense writing style, which is reminiscent of the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons narrative style.It’s written like a graduate text book, and assumes one has a working knowledge of basic railroading ideas before opening the book. I had to hit Wikipedia or other reference books more than once to figure out what Armstrong is talking about.Therefore, the book is not for beginners.

Given all these issues, I can’t really recommend this book unless you have a lot of space, a lot of money, and want to create a room-sized mega-layout.If those things are true, this book is great, because it will help you create a realistic one under those conditions.If you’re trying to find out how to run as realistic a set of operationsas possible on a 2′ x 4′ N scale layout that’s little more than a yard and a loop of track, however, this book is not going to help you one bit, and I’d avoid it in favor of other books.

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Book info

PublisherKalmbach Publishing Company
Release date 01.08.1998
Pages count144
File size5.4 Mb
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
Book rating4.04 (23 votes)
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