What is Protocrastinator?

A Protocrastinator is a person who puts off finescale Railroad (and railway modelling) for no good reason.
Originally for me it was 1:87 (HO) scale. Problems with acquiring the bits and pieces led to extreme dissatisfaction and the project stalled. Now I've acquired an O scale boxcar and I intend investigating Proto 48 as a finescale project.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Would you watch a layout at a show from here?

So here's an idea for you. A little off the wall perhaps but here we go.
How many times when you were out railfanning/trainspotting did you sit on a roadbridge and watch trains go underneath you? Quite often, I'll warrant and even more often as a child if you were like me. How often do you get to do that on a model railway/railroad? Not very often. I can only think of two, perhaps three layouts where the principal motion of the trains is front to back. Nearly all layouts have you watching trains pass across your field of view.
OK so there are severe logistical issues here concerning the location of your storage sidings. Which has to make for issues with an exhibition manager an 8'x2' layout is easier to place than a 2'x8' one. But I in my own bloody minded way think it could be solved.
Anyway, here's a mock up to tease your brain a bit.
A loco would push some cars into the middle siding and proceed to switch them out to the sidings on either side replacing cars that would already be spotted there. A standard "inglenook" type switching operation. But all the switching moves would be to and from the viewer. There's not a lot room for folks to watch the layout end on with a 14" width as mocked up here. Even less when you consider the storage area will take up some of that. So some kind of concession needs to be made to letting people watch from the side. Perhaps having the layout open to viewers as far as the first buildings.
Having the storage sidings in front causes issues no doubt. But as I enjoy engaging the visitors in conversation (must be something to do with my accent) that wouldn't be an issue with me it could even form a part of the presentation.
Is it practical? I don't know. Its something to consider over the holiday weekend


  1. When I first looked at the photo that inspired this, I was wondering how you were going to handle the public viewing angle. An interesting problem indeed.

    In your mock-up, is there enough lead in the foreground to work these sidings? I worry that the viewer might be pushed even further back than this.

    It is a novel viewing angle though and I would be tempted to try to rig up some kind video camera from this vantage point, and then have the display in a place where the viewers could see it from that left side. Maybe the monitor could utilize some of the space on the fascia that might come up to cover that building adjacent to the layout edge.

    Of course, I say all this never having attempted such a thing myself. :-)

  2. I like this idea if it could be made practical for viewing. Model railway layouts are all very linear as you say. The video camera idea made by Tom might give you best of both.

    Many years ago I thought about a terminus layout that would be view from three sides. The end view from buffer stops down the track towards a Y junction. Never got off the ground like so many plans but still have a hankering to build one......

  3. Hmmm a webcam mounted on top of the bridge and my alptop on top of the fiddle yard. Food for thought