Saturday, April 20, 2024

Unspoken Truths - A Cohesive Design - Part 3 (final)

Since making mistakes and correcting them take less time than waiting to find the truth on paper, I’ve decided to fundamentally revise and streamline the Monk project. It doesn’t mean I’m abandoning it, but rather that I’ll try something that can be reverted back to the initial planning if required or that can grow out as I develop the design and find new ways to run trains.

First, I’m completely ditching replicating an exact prototype location. That’s not a mystery to those knowing about my intention with Monk. It had always been the initial goal: find what’s mundane, typical, and relatable. Everything will be generic though prototypically informed. Getting it right is more important than slaving over a prototype that may change according to my fancy. A passing track is a passing track, a grade crossing is a grade crossing and correctly locating a water tank doesn’t really change from a railway to another. Structures are fun to build and can be replaced to create another railway, be it a CNR station or a CNoR one.


Tentative track plan

Second, the theme stays the same: a busy mainline in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. That’s good enough for me. This, combined with the first statement, means that I will no longer give real place names to spots on the layout but rather give them a generic descriptor. The goal is to emphasize what happens there and not to falsely pretend to be somewhere that I can’t model as closely to reality as I would wish. It’s a succession of cameos, vignettes and vistas where one can stand and get immersed by what happens from the trackside. It’s all about railfanning the trains. In this case, places will then be known with short yet evocative names:

  • The Meet: where you can see trains stop at the signals and meeting each other through a clearing in the forest. This is the isolated railfanning spot that provides only a glimpse of trains fighting the grade. It will be located at the Abénakis Bridge which will be replaced by a big fill.

  • The Fill: a very large embankment built in a shallow but large valley with a big concrete culvert. In this regard, this scene is unchanged from the previous layout design. You watch the train as it enters a scenic curve.

  • The Station: a place of civilization where you find fields, a small rural station, a section crew and a team track. Nothing fancy… except for the train order signal and the fact that here, the railway connects with human life.

  • The Causeway: a long narrow embankment built over a lake/marshes on the outskirts of the Station where our train disappear beyond a point we can’t reach after travelling through a highly scenic S-curve.

As mentioned in a previous post, the layout will be modified to be a folded dog bone. The passing track is now implied since there are no visible turnouts and we imagine they are out of sight from the modelled world we can see, as happens often in real life.

Defining the views

Also, some modifications are made to the staging area. Basically, I’ll modify the lower staging to fit the new scenario. I’ve yet to decide exactly what I want to do, but the good news is the longest train will be 50-cars long, which is quite impressive if it even works. Another idea would be to only have the lower level loop used as a staging (between 4 to 6 tracks) and keep the upper level staging much simpler with only one long passing track.

Passing turnouts won't be visible on the layout

My idea is that, if I’m inclined to do so, it would be possible to scenic the upper level and consider it as another layout. Among many ideas, I’m extremely tempted to do it in an American Southwest style reminiscent of Santa Fe and other such classic roads. I won’t hide the fact that ATSF is quite an evocative force in my mind and it would be cool to have a very simple track plan that can support two difference “layouts”.

Proposed scenicked upper staging

1 comment:

  1. le village de Armah avec son pont en arche ressemble beaucoup au croquis de la scene ou st-malachie aussi