Reading what I wanted to say in words I couldn’t find.

Being a short line railroad, the Hoboken Shore had intimate interaction on a daily basis with its customers. My questions for this are, how could one model this closeness, and how can personalities come into play? On the Waterfront, which was filmed along the HBS right of way, provides an excellent example of the turmoil and roughness of the moment in time of the environment surrounding the HBS. I’d like my layout to impart some sort of understanding of this, and what it may have been like to work on a railroad in that particular place. Because of this trajectory, it becomes necessary to focus on the operator as individual within the context of 1950s Hoboken.

Isn’t that just an amazing approach to layout design?

Before I get too much further, I need to credit its source. The above excerpt is from a Model Railroad Design blog post written by Riley Triggs. The full post is here and is well worth reading in its entirety:

He’s touching on the idea of designing the user experience beyond just traditional track planning or scenery. He’s describing efforts at immersing the visitor and operator into the railroad. I think, nope, I believe this is the foundation of prototype modelling where we’re not just trying to assemble a collection of appropriate models on a spectacular stage but finding ways to engage the operator in the scene he’s a part of. This is real design and I find it truly enjoyable to read.

Extending that experience into the model locomotive’s cab I was excited to be introduced, thanks to this post, to the idea of tailoring a model’s momentum curve to better match the real engine’s. What a fantastic idea. I’m not ashamed to admit that with my lack of direct experience with DCC this had never occurred to me. I see this as a fantastic opportunity to shift the visitor away seeing my layout to further becoming a part of it. A chance to experience the model in a direct way as those that knew the prototype would have. It’s a chance to extend modelling not just the way the locomotive looked but the way it operated.

Once again, I’m so grateful that so many modellers are taking the time to share their ideas with the rest of us.



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