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I'm sure this is obvious to everyone here, and it's an obvious point if you think about it, but this weekend my wife spent a lot of time this weekend setting up an aristo passenger depot that she painted and landscaped. She built a nice platform for it out of cedar, and carefully chose the location and set it up. The we ran a train with a Pacific and three Aristo heavyweight cars on past the station. Sudden insight hits me in the head.


If you made a station that would be at all prototypical, e.g where the platform was as long as the typical passenger train it served, the platform would have to be 8 feet long! If you ran the more prototypical 6 passenger cars, your station platform would have to be 16 feet long! Now that would look very cool, but in no time at all there'd be no "garden" to speak of.

It's just a reminder to this beginner how much is illusion. It also makes me think once again that narrow gauge is a better choice if you want something like realism in your layout
 
G

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or you place your layout in the 'good old times'...
three or four four-weel cars, then you need "only" five foot.
 

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Actually your problem is quite prototypical. Most passenger stations were built when steam powered heavyweight trains were the norm. These trains often ran 6-10 cars on average. When the longer streamlined trains with the extra lounges, diners and cafe style cars came about, most lineside depot platforms fell short, literally. So the railroads only had one choice, and arranged their trains accordingly. You pulled the train as far up the platform as you could, usually until the RPO or baggage car (depending on if there was RPO work at that station) was at the end of the platform. In most train arrangements, the coach section followed the head end cars, and these were the cars "short trip" passengers road in. Therefore they had access to the platforms for boarding and un-boarding of passengers. Since people in the sleeper sections were long haul passengers, they rarely needed access to the platforms until they reached a major terminal. These terminals either rebuilt their platforms, or the train was "doubled up" onto two platforms.

So when you detail your stations, place the baggage wagons to one end of the platform, pull your baggage car up to it and you will be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That makes sense, and operational realism has never been a huge priority on our line anyway, but it is pretty startling to realize just how big you'd have to make things even in 1:29. I've often thought if I were starting over in this hobby I think I'd choose to model in 1:32, even though there's less available
 

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Lownote,
Your revelation is exactly why I have always described my layout as a parody rather than a model. The Hedgeapple & RioGram RR contains many elements that reflect family history [figures, cars, trains, store names, animal figures, scenes, etc]. Forced perspective is used with the mountain village [Ozark, AR - home of my grandfather] at the back of the layout. The idea on the layout is to give the feel of the places/events modeled[?] rather than try for an accurate depiction.

JimC.
 

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Lownote, I agree with your analysis. What I do is this. I was recently in NY and took a train from the East end of Long Island to Manhattan. There was one stop where you had to be in a certain car to get on and off. My depot platform is only long enough for one J&S car so that's the way my railroad operates, you need to be in a specific car for a specific stop :)
 

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I want to do a roundhouse, but not just a western small town one... I want a latter day, steam era, main shops type... what I remember seeing as a kid.

I am in 1:32 scale, but even at that scale it boggles my mind when I think about how big it will be.

If I want to handle the larger "Superpower" type locos, the "MINIMUM" sizes of the various components is probably around 3 FEET (36 inches).

Thus the turntable has to be 3 ft across and each stall of the roundhouse has to be the same. The apron area between the roundhouse doors and the turntable is the only place where one can maybe scrimp a bit on space, but should be close to that 3-ft distance, also. The lenght of the apron determines the number of stalls the roundhouse can have. Typically, a roundhouse of this type would have around 60 stalls if it were a full 360 degree building. I am planning only a 1/2 to 3/4 size, but that still requires the same diameter as a full 360-degree one.

Thus the diameter of a roundhouse complex would be, AT A MINIMUM, 9-ft (assumming no apron at all) or a maximum, 15-ft (if the apron is the same length as the turntable and stalls).

I have drawn several configurations (using Google's "SketchUp") and it is quite discouraging to see the mass of what I want.

It will be impressive if I ever get one built, but I know some people whose whole garden RR is in less space!
 

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Do a double stop, or triple depending on length.

On all of my more recent trips on Amtrak's Southwest Chief, we've always done a double stop at Williams Junction, AZ. It's a very small platform.

The train pulls the sleepers (the train is currently running sleepers first) up to the platform and stops and lets the passengers board and detrain. The conductor then radios to the engineer to pull up a bit and stop so the coaches are now on the platform. A coach attendant or conductor is in one of the coaches to help the engineer know when to stop. You'll hear on a radio scanner the conductor or attendant radio 3 cars, 2 cars, 1 car...that'll do number 4 (or number 3 depending on east/west).

Williams Junction is not the only station they do double stops at. I've seen it done at Victorville, Needles, Kingman, and Gallup. And it must be done at others too, I just haven't been east of Albuquerque in several years.

So even in the real world, station platforms are never long enough...and that's on a Superliner train which is typically only 40-44 axles long (including locos). Back in single level lightweight days you could easily see a passenger train of 80 axles or more.
 

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From an old Jack Benny radio show:
"Attention! Passengers for Anaheim and Kukamonga should board the local on track 5. Passengers for Azusa should board the Super Chief; walk to the last car; get off. You're there."
:)

Mark
 

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That's something I would worry more about on an indoor HO layout. I am going by a friend's house tonight to see the progress on his layout. It started in a wing of his attic. Now it's taking over the entire attic. For me , the point of my garden railroad is creating the illusion of a village. Yet its tucked in among full size bushes and mature oak trees. OK, maybe the real point is I like building the structures, and I have a very small house. So the garden railroad gives me an excuse to put them outside in front of the house. :D

Paul
 
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