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QUOTE If you had compared this to Germany then I would have agreed with you. Even their large show layouts are nothing but hobby train sets on steroids.

Hmm. Maybe this is where the missunderstanding lies. Thinking about it it does seem that the highest proportion of DCC layouts I have seen are based on overseas outline. Thankyou for clearing this up.

QUOTE I think attacking different aspects of the hobby undermines the whole basis of railway modelling

Totally agree 100%.

Lets refrain from implying that train set modellers are inferior.

There are more train set modellers out there than any other type of modeller and having done both the train set modelling and the exhibition type modelling I have to say that the train set modelling is more fun!!!

And I am convinced that the Hornby Track Plan Book 2007 will bring more fun to the hobby than any previous example. There are enthusiasts who enjoy simply copying exactly what Hornby create in their track plans.

Hornby should hold an annual competition for the best made track plan layout with generous prizes.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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That would be nice. I always buy Fleischmann, Trix and Marklin Track Plan books even if I only take ideas from them or just to look at the pictures of the built layouts.


It is interesting how things spread in DCC. In Europe they were already developing systems that allowed the running of multiple trains and once DCC became available it dovetailed with the popularity of cab control in the United States and now it's even reached the UK where some of the more experienced modelers may be a little hesitent to make the switchover due to the expense and because the design of their smaller exhibition layouts may make DCC less of an advantage. How is that? This is a generalization of course but overall I think accurate. As is the comment over the uses of hobby train sets. In the US they are mostly crap and except for Lionel mostly discarded. While in Germany they are the more or less the same quality as individual pieces and kept and expanded. My thinking is in the UK it's somewhere in the middle.
 

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QUOTE As is the comment over the uses of hobby train sets. In the US they are mostly crap and except for Lionel mostly discarded. While in Germany they are the more or less the same quality as individual pieces and kept and expanded. My thinking is in the UK it's somewhere in the middle.

In the UK It's about the same as Germany. The Train sets are made by Hornby and Bachmann which make reasonably good trains. While Hornby track is OK I have never seen or used their track so I don't know about that. But in general UK train sets would be ok. You don't get the top end sets like Maerklin and Fleischmann make but the market for that in the UK as discussed elsewhere is limited and would probably not be economically viable. In terms of getting in to the hobby it's the way to go. Until recently there was not the DCCoption but now that there is it's a good way to start. I reckon almost all British members of this forum probably started with a Hornby train set. I did, a long time ago.
 

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I'm sure Dennis and others could give more examples, but here are a few links to US layouts that demonstrate there's plenty of "serious" modelling "out there".

Rensselaer Model Railroad Society's
There's a long video (somewhere on the web) showing this massive layout off to good effect.

Bruce Friedman's Website
UTAH COLORADO WESTERN
Appalachian and Ohio

Playing trains and having fun isn't confined to playing with Train sets.
"Serious" modelling can also be GREAT FUN.

When it comes to who owns a Train set or who is "into" "adult" railway modelling, here in the UK the demographics have changed significantly.
There has always been two major divides, childrens toys and railway modelling. The latter is a VERY diverse hobby. There is of course a middle ground between the two, often a transition phase, but some adults prefer to stay with Train sets, even in a "modelling context".
Horses for courses.... whatever floats your boat ....etc, etc.

Today, it seems the UK market for selling Train sets for children has shrunk so much that it has become rather obscure; whereas the adult market has blossomed, peaked and is now rather stagnant.
Recent affluence has seen adult spending on RTR and model railway products at an all time high, but the future (according to Hornby) is an uncertain and gradually shrinking market, and to me seems rather bleak. It's for this reason Hornby are spreading their wings and looking at European and Worldwide business (eg, Lima, Electrotren etc).
DCC will give the RTR manufacturers a major sales boost right across the range from Trainset to Railway modelling (All consumer products need freshening up or updating from time to time!).

The Hornby Trackplan book serves a purpose in that it encourages customers to enlarge and grow their own layouts; and in doing so buy more products from Hornby.
If Hornby are wise, the range of suggested layouts would cover the most simple to fairly ambitious, but in essence all of these are of the Train set type.
In my view there isn't any need to go futher, this book is aimed at that market after all.

Although it's not for me, I've no problem with that?

 

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From railway magazines and a little personal experience I got the impression that the American modellers are more operations oriented than Austrian (similar I think to German ones) modellers. American layouts seem to be built and run by a team while in Austria most private layouts I know are built to run lots of trains with a high degree of automatism by a single modeller. The Americans not only built very big and detailed layouts, they seem to emulate the prototype very well. What impresses me most is that when I have a look at older magazines the Americans had high quality model landscapes when most local modellers used no more advanced materials than coloured sawdust. UK modellers seem to be very exhibition orientated. So for me the interesting conclusion is that American and English modellers seem to be more social.
My dream layout would be a OO gauge grouping era layout with beautiful English landscape in American Thomas
 

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Almost every train and track manufacturer has a track plan book and they are good for inspiration and ideas. What all of them have in common is that they are trying to get you to buy their track and stick with their product. It's a shame they all weren't more compatible.
 

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Even though this thread started out a little rocky I think some of the conclusions are getting a lot more accurate. Sometimes the push for realistic operations seem a little too serious for me. I like something in the midldle between Continental and American with a little English modeling thrown in.
 

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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 5 Sep 2006, 13:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Even though this thread started out a little rocky I think some of the conclusions are getting a lot more accurate. Sometimes the push for realistic operations seem a little too serious for me. I like something in the midldle between Continental and American with a little English modeling thrown in.

Agreed, while the American desire for accuracy is comendable it creates trains that are very difficult to run in practise. I have decided not to buy anymore US outline as it's too hard. Shame as I like the locos but the crappy RP25 wheels and bad positioning of couplers etc just make it more hassle than it's worth. I don't get these problems with UK or German outline where opperational efficiency is more of an issue.

You need to get a balance between realism and workability. Lets face it if you built a scale rail layout your curves would be 40 foot wide. ( I really hope some pedant doesn't come back with "err no, 37 and half actually).
There has to be a degree of artistic license. It's really down to the layout owner how imaginative he wants to get. My preference is efficient workability. I hate derailments.
 
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