My last post here on Prince Street included a HO scale track plan based on the Bush Terminal lofts at 2nd and 36th Avenues in New York. Given the extreme space limitations for a layout, today, in my home the HO version really feels almost impractical. However, given the alure of the idea, my near-terminal inability to ignore the obvious and fueled by my obsession with persuing silly ideas I’m still wonder about the praticality of switching cars on this layout. Given that it’s design makes use of two, two car headshunts one at the sector plate and the other for accessing door G. Instinct reminds me that to switch a car you need at least room for the car you’re pulling and the car your placing, plus your engine, and that’s the minimum length for a switching lead. In the plan I posted, there’s really only room for the one car and the engine. I’ve been tracing operating schemes on paper to test to find where this gets clogged and it’s impossible to complete a move. It almost looks like it might work.
Why HO at all? Great question. Like many other modellers, I started in HO and my first layouts were all in HO scale. Of everything I have ever purchased in the hobby, many of my favourites are actually HO scale models and the top position on that list will always be held by my treasured Varney docksider. I have logged miles of operating sessions at the throttle of this model, listening to it’s noisy Pittman motor and kicking cars around. I’m also lucky enough to own a Model Die Casting boxcab – it’s the last MDC kit I still have (I’ve had the pleasure of owning and assembling most of their models and a pile of Mantua models over the years for myself and customers. By the way, I wish I still had that two truck shay. What a stupid move on my part letting this one go!)
When you dig through photos of these New York industrial railways you start to see just how many of these engines have actually been available in HO over time and combined with how much I enjoy working on these old models, well, there’s an attraction there I’d like to return to sometime. One example here being that Athearn 0-4-2 and I’d really like to have a Mantua “Busy B” – if you have either, we need to talk.
Just something to think about over my coffee, early this morning. I figured I’d share it here.