The model railroad, designed for operation, where you don’t model either end of the industrial process it is supposed to represent and really only provide enough stage to host an extract of the operating session. Just enough to model the bit I’m interested in:
- Engine enters the stage from “C” and moves through the scene to exit at “B”
- “B” represents a place where loaded hoppers are retreived. I’m not interested in modelling how they are loaded I just need them to come from somewhere to support the play. Further, by excluding this scene from the layout it can be greatly reduced to only a single track where I add or remove cars from the layout instead of a complex yard of tracks, cars, and scenery – all of which distracts from the purpose of the plan and the intent of the experience.
- With the engine shoving from the tail end, a string of hoppers is shoved through the scene. Even though only one motion in one direction, it’s a dance of delicate steps: feeding in enough throttle to maintain inertia but not so much as to break traction on the rails.
- Cars are fed into an unloader of some sort located at “A”. Again, not interested in building a model of this and don’t feel I need to.
- Repeat from step 1.
Just sawing back and forth through the scene and enjoying just how good it feels to watch and listen to well-made models in action. Not that it demands more detail, but from another page in the sketchbook, I found this page providing some additional detail for the typical operating session:
The length of the operating session is determined by the amount of time I feel like attending. When retrieving hoppers, it is just running across the stage. When shoving them through the unloader though, even though the actual unload point is off-stage and not modelled the act of feeding cars through it one at a time is a very important part of the operating session.
- The train rests, all three cars and an engine of it, on stage
- Grab a notch on the throttle to shove the first hopper into the unloader.
- Pause while it’s unloaded and then shove the second into place…then the third. With
- With all three now unloaded move back to staging.
- Return with as many hoppers need to be unloaded next or if this is a day where we only received three hoppers, bring the engine home and go get on with life.
In terms of reference, the operating session looks one heck of a lot like the second half of this video:
And the sound and look of that little engine is a lot like this: