Saturday, January 27, 2018

LD/Ops SIG meet in Alameda: Saturday

This year's Layout Design and Operations Special Interest Group (LD/Ops SIG) meet was again at the Elk's Club in Alameda. The setting is very nice, and the talks interesting. Clif Linton talked about various kinds of modern petroleum products movements, and appropriate ways to model them. Tony Thompson gave an overview on modeling freight traffic. Al Daumann's presentation on how to add additional actions to enhance operations on small layouts felt very appropriate for my Welztalbahn. I'm going to try out his ideas around simulating passenger and mail traffic, maybe expand it to express shipments, too, so that operators of my regional and long-distance passenger trains have a bit more to think during their respective runs. There was a design challenge for the Alameda Belt Switching layout. Ray DeBlieck gave us an entertaining and very personal introduction to the prototype. I spent a good part of the afternoon with a layout design consultant to discuss my Murrbahn project (more on that in a different post).

The Saturday evening layout tours are a fixture of the event. I picked a few layouts I had not seen yet, but started at Chuck Oraftik's beautiful B&A layout. A real treat of a railfan layout with fantastic scenery and many, many highly detailed buildings and scenes. I very much liked this railroad crossing scene in Canaan, NY.

Even the crossing shed has interior details, down to the phone for train announcements and an oven for heat in the winter.

Here's a good example of how well Chuck arranged trees and shrubs with the right color tones and shapes to create a believable scene.

The main street scene in Pittsfield, MA fascinated me already the last time I was here.

It's impressive how a clean presentation can enhance the theatrical effect of a model railroad. The question is how to combine the needs of an operating layout with the cleanliness of slick presentation?

Steve Van Meter's N-scale South West Pacific layout has a very different vibe and looks like a fun operating layout.

Once again a full day of model train topics with good chats and conversations, topped off with some great layouts.

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