The Switchers World is the
third layout I'm building. But this one is completely different. The
first (serious) layout was a track plan published be the German model
raiilroad magazine "Eisenbahn Magazin" in the
middle of the 80's. Some mistakes were made at the transition from
railroad beginners to a serious model railroader. Consequently this
layout has been replaced by another one.
This second layout has been build as a modular layout similar to the
concepts the "FRiendship of European MOdel railroaders" (FREMO)
propagates. The track plan came from a great model railroad enthusiast
called "Pit-Peg". I converted
his stationary layout to a modular one and removed some parts. In
principle does this layout already exist but is now under my fathers
responsibility. And in my appartment there's no room for a big model
railroad. Therefore I started to search through different magazines and
the internet to get an idea of what to do.
The search had an end as I started interesting me in US model railroads
and becoming familiar with John Allen's
Timesaver. In this context I found the Micro Layout Design
Gallery by Carl Arendt and the Layout
Design by Emrys Hopkins. And there i found my track plan: The TimeWaster 5:40 (look on Carl
Arendt's site under Shelf Switchers >> TymeSavers). I call it Switchers World (Part1). Why?
- First, the layout is designed for intensive switching
This means that it is the world or home for switching locomotives.
- Second, intensive switching operations are done by the (human)
- Third, don't we try to build our own little world while building
a model railroad?
- Fourth, sometime there will be an extension - perhaps another
micro layout expanding this one.
Picture 1: Trackplan of The
Switchers World (Part 1)
Very important or critical are the track lengths. They are:
Table 1: Track lengths of The Switchers World (Part 1)
||Length in 40'
|main track left
|main track middle
|main track right
|tean track hidden in street
The main purpose behind The
Switchers World (not only mine - this has been the originating
idea of John Allen's TimeSaver) is to enable switching fun in small
spaces. That's something very important: I don't like people saying: "I'd like to build a model railroad but I
don't have space." That's nonsense! If you have the space for a
baseboard then you also have the space for a model railroad (see Model
Railroad Planning 2003 from Kalmbach Publishing). That's my credo.
The second purpose is that model railroading in every facette is a good
business after a long working day…
Era & Location
The chosen era and location are the transition era from late steam to
early diesels and The Switchers
World is located somewhere in the
Chesapeake & Ohio's railroad imperium. Perhaps somewhere
Ohio because diesels from the
& Ohio have been seen around this switching area.
At the moment the operation ideas are only theoretical but I'm
planning to use some card and waybill system which is restricted
to The Switchers World's
The amount of cars which can be used varies from one (practising
purposes only) to seven (heavy stuff). The most common number of cars
could be four to five. I will decide this after my first operation
sessions - and some practice of course.
Card and Waybill system
For each car on The Switchers
World will exist a card containing informations of the car which
allows an easy identification (incl. a picture) and a bag for the
waybill. the size of the card will be DIN A5 (for my previous layout I
used these sort of card and made good experiences).
The waybill will be smaller (around DIN A6)and have four areas. Two on
the front side and two on the back side. Each area has a colour which
correspondends to a industry on The
Switchers World. This allows an easy assignment of industry and
freight car. Additionally the industry is printed on the waybill.
Starting a session:
From a stack containing a sufficient number of waybills (the reservoir) for each car a waybill
is taken randomly and put on the car card. At this point it has to be
prooved that the cars is allowed to carry the goods which are printed
the waybill. E.g. it makes no sense to switch a flat car to the gas
tanks. If this happens the waybill is put back to the reservoir or
turnde around for 180 degrees - another origination is used.
The same principle is used within a operation session. Therefore it may
happen that for a car only three or less originations are used. This
means that if a waybill is finished the freight car will stand for the
rest of the operating session on its last position.
After the cars is switched to its origination the waybill is turned
around for 180 degrees so that another origination is at the top of the
waybill. After the freight car is switched to ist second origination
waybill is turned the other way round. After the last switching
manouvres the waybill is put back to the reservoir.
Ending a session:
An operation sessions end if the last car is delivered to its last
originiation. All waybills are put back to the reservoir and a new
session can start.
The Switchers World is
designed for the use of 40' boxcars or smaller ones. But it seems
possible to use one bigger car, too. I'll try to use a 52'6'' flat car
also. But this seems to be heavy stuff. Also possible are tank cars and
gondolas. The correct mixture is crucial. At the moment I prefer to use
three boxcars, one tank cars and one gondola for my first session.
Powered rolling stock (so called locomotives:-)
) have to be small and good running. The Switchers World can only have
one locomotive at a time. All locomotives are C&O: a GP-7 and a
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