Friday, January 22, 2016

Switching Layout Ops.

Now that I put the cart in front of the horse, or laying track for a switching layout without thinking about the mechanics of it all, comes Lance Mindheim's "How to Operate a Modern Era Switching Layout".   I think, so far I did alright blasting ahead like I did after a quick look at his book that arrived today.
I think, Lance may have redeemed himself with me with this book.  I've questioned the value of his pubs in the past, especially the book on 8 Realistic Track Plans.  I felt it very light for the cost and nothing really earth shaking.  Seemed the layouts had the same basic concept done 8 ways.  I may have been too harsh, give that I forwarded a design for a friend that utilized one of his track plans, with some minor revisions.  But still, I will be the last person to ever say Lance is not at the top of his game and has much, much more to offer us in the future.  Just remember Lance, use up all those pages...noting more annoying than blank space :)   Looks like another Oregon Winter weekend, ie, driving rain and snow in the hills around us, so I plan on taking time and digging into this tome and figuring out what I can do to make my shelf layout that much better.

A good investment in research materials is the Model Railroader Magazine Digital Archives.  Coupled with their search engine, it is possible to look up articles on switching layouts and ops there, read the actual articles on line (or print) at your leisure.  You have to buy a subscription to the parent magazine, but get that digital as well.  I've taken to printing the pages I want to keep and filing them so I don't need to dig through stacks of magazines for content I need.  I subscribed to both the digital archives and the video archives at the same time and eventually dropped the latter.  I'm not a fan of their video productions as they tend to focus on making the staff member the star of the show instead of the subject...but it is what it is.   I regret ever subscribing to the video content because I get almost daily emails wanting me to re up and calls almost daily as well from call centers in Milwaukee.  I don't answer so I can only assume that's what they are. 

Anyway, my goal is to come up with a Car Card system that is not too detailed.  I doubt I have anything that would warrant friends coming over to do "Ops" at the moment, so I only need the basics.  More to follow.

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