N scale eye opening moment

benjaminrogers Jan 13, 2013

  1. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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    So Beth and I were on the porch tonight somewhat tickled that we found out in many instances coke ovens were right next to mines I decided to find out how many miles my layout would be. I have 33 linear feet of around the room against that wall benchwork. That is only a tad over a mile!

    Am I calculating this correctly or am I losing my mind?

    I was thinking of having two towns, one at each end of the layout for a passenger run but in reality you wouldn't have had two towns only a mile apart in the 1920's.
     
  2. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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  3. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Also remember...most model railroaders run their trains to fast ! Freight trains around here seem to run about 55-65 Passenger trains closer to 70+. It's simple to figure out how fast your going. Mark off a 12 inch section on a straight section on your layout. Time how long it takes the front of your train to get from point A to point B on that 12 inch section. Most wristwatches nowadays have a stop.watch feature ;-) Then take the seconds it took your train to go that distance and plug it into the calculator on this website

    http://www.stonysmith.com/railroad/speedcalc.asp

    Make sure you change the scale to N...LOL. Chances are you will be surprised to find out that your freight trains and/or passenger trains are going bullet train speeds.... ;-) Slowing down your trains will make distances on the layout 'seem' farther apart. Scenic dividers and other things that break up one scene from another are also part of "Selective Compression"

    On my layout I am going to try and make every 4 feet a mile. It's gonna take work to make it believable....but I think it can be done :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2013
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    No. Not at all. That is just a few feet more than a scale mile.

    Think as George has suggested, using selective compression. And yes, speed is also a factor. Another way of making your empire feel larger, is via hidden staging. Your trains travel to a place out of sight, which could be a destination much further down the line. Shorter trains also can help.

    We used to have a way of setting up distance and speed, via something named "scale miles". Also known as "smiles". It's been too long now, thus I do not recall the process.

    The way I've always liked to build my railroad is via compressed scenes of interesting places along the route, from what I can still see today, or from memories of long ago. These add to an illusion of distance traveled.
     
  5. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

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  6. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    LOL Lou...thats what I said when I read the article 44 feet...woo woo woo...lmao. Its 33 feet for n scale ;-)
     
  7. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks guys! I thought I was losing my mind! I've got an 11' by 13' bedroom to play with and I know I had seen people pull of a ton in that space including two towns. It just makes sense if you are going to run a passenger line! I've been doing a lot of research on coke ovens and their relationship to the mines specifically visiting the ovens at Leetonia, OH. Fortunately the old ROW are visible on Google Earth so I can see how the branch lines worked along with their relationship to the location of the closest mine which now has a huge pond at it's entrance.

    On a side note how would coal typically get to the coke ovens from the mines? Our layout is nondescript region of Appalachia going no later than 1930. I'm figuring that the coal would be moved from the mine to oven via truck and the larry cars loaded by hand for charging the ovens.

    If you are interested I highly recommend visiting Leetonia as they have 205 coke ovens there. Fascinating as Heck place!
     
  8. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Coal could be trucked in to the ovens but usually it was transported via hopper cars. Some of the big ovenworks had their own railroads and usually the mines and the coke ovens were owned by the same entity. Vertical monopolies were formed when steel companies owned the coal, limestone and iron ore mines, the coke works the railroads and sometimes the river barge lines.
     
  9. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member

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    So what else can you tell us about your future layout plans?
     
  10. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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    Well the benchwork will be modular since we are renting. 1920's C&O in Appalachia with a coal tipple that will feed a larry train used to charge a 40 or 50 coke ovens. The coke will very possibly move from there to an iron furnace. This is intended to be one of those Mom & Pop companies and not a huge one.

    The purpose of the layout is railfanning. I'm a roundy rounder type of guy so switching will be at a minimum. Just enough to operate the industries in the proper manner. While this is a complete freelance I want it to be proper and not outlandish.

    Heavy on the scenery and DCC operated. Instead of trying to jam sound into my engines I'm going to put the sound inside some of my buildings and put those into the same MU on my DCC so I get the sound effects with my engine actions.

    Honestly I've never done this before. Thought about it for years though. What else would you like to know?
     
  11. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member

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    You say 40-50 coke ovens: about how long a siding would this require? Due to an absurd amount of free time I've started doing a plan -_- want to get it somewhat right before embarrassing myself :p
     
  12. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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    I think I'd like to do a double siding. One end of the sidings would have the feeds to the larry cars. I'm thinking 4 banks of 10 or 15 ovens and each oven is approximately 10 ft wide on the face so each siding would need to 100 to 150 feet in length. Therefore each siding would need to be able to handle hoppers for those ovens so maybe 3 or 4 hoppers. The other thing to know is that the track for the coke oven spurs is sunken by the height of the cars so they are flush with the lip of the coke ovens for ease of loading.

    I'll post some pictures here in a little bit of the ones at Leetonia Ohio.
     
  13. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member

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    Okay. I'm not familiar with the operation of coke ovens, or larry cars, so if you could sketch something out I would really appreciate it. That's really all I'm struggling with-I have two towns, as far about as they can be in terms of mainline run, and the design includes the basics for passenger train running. I think.
     
  14. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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  15. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, well here is my interpretation of things. Probably completely off base, but who knows, maybe it will give a little inspiration. Info: Single Main Roundy round, multiple passing sidings, 20" minimum radius for the visible mainline, 18.75" on passing sidings. Industry spurs vary, but given they'll have mostly 40' cars, I figure this isn't a big deal.

    Red lines are breaks in the benchwork/outline the different modules

    Black lines are backdrops/scenic dividers.

    I think elevation and grades are fairly self explanatory

    [​IMG]

    A: Town 1, letter represents station location
    B: Industry in town 1
    C: Storage siding or off layout industry or team track
    D: Passing Siding (outside line)
    E: Passenger Station for non visible town (perhaps illustrated in the backdrop). This section is elevated compared to the foreground lines
    (This is where my knowledge starts to lessen)
    F: Coal tipple
    G: Coke Ovens
    H: Siding for oven swither, and, location of interlocking/signal tower
    I: Location of passenger station in town 2
    J: Town 2 Industry featuring shallow backdrop buildings (the ones that are like 1" thick)
    K: 3 track staging

    And yes, I really do have too much time on my hands. I also recognize that I have no idea where the door is/windows are/closets are. But who knows, maybe I'll make this a part of my layout one day :p
     
  16. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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    Dude, that is really cool! Can't tell you how much I appreciate it. There are some really good ideas there I'm thinking of incorporating into the plan I have! Might post something later today!
     
  17. Hansel

    Hansel TrainBoard Member

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    If you are instrested, I have a C&O book on frieght cars dated 1937 for sale. Entitled "Freight Car Equipment of the C&O Railway August 1, 1937", by Shaver. Great condition. Please send me a PM if you are interested.
     
  18. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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    Chris, here is the benchwork concept I started with and it has no track. Maybe it will help give you an idea of the room size. The grid is the size of the room.

    benchwork.jpg
     
  19. benjaminrogers

    benjaminrogers TrainBoard Member

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    Here is what I kinda messed with tonight but it involves adding a 24x24 liftout.

    benchwork with track2.jpg
     
  20. Railtunes

    Railtunes TrainBoard Member

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    Ryan Kunkle, who wrote the referenced article, mistakenly must have thought that N scale was 1:120.
    That is, of course, TT scale where a mile would be 5280 feet divided by 120 = 44 feet.
    33 feet is correct for N scale at 1:160. But, just to be perverse, if you're using British N scale at 1:148, a scale mile would be 35.67 feet, while in Asian N scale, 1:150, it would be 35.2 feet.
     

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