Thursday, April 12, 2012

Waiting times

Waiting passengersAnother question for you - How long should a passenger train stay in the station on a model railway ?

On Flockburgh, the passenger service alternates between the goods trains. It's purpose is to give the operator time to sort out the freight service in the fiddle yard. Thus, a 1:100 scale passenger has about a minute or so to get on board and find a seat.

This short delay seems to perturb some of our viewers who go into "nothingismovingonthislayoutwhydoesnothingevermoveonrailwaysatthisstupidshow" mode. You can feel the disaproval of the crowd. Presumably this is because they have never travelled by train so don't realise that the things actually stop at stations. Or that they would rather be watching a model running like a hampster in a wheel.

I like to think that a short wait in the platform gives the layout a bit of rythm to its operation. Sometimes there is frnetic shunting, sometimes a pause to listen to the birds and look at the scenery.

What do you think ?


Andy in Germany said...

Possibly this is also because modern trains stop and go again within a couple of minutes, and in the case of our metro and outer suburban trains within a few seconds, so this is the time our generation assumes trains always ran at.

I guess it's a balance between having something that is realistic, or parhaps authentic, and what the people watching will accept.

On the other hand, you could make a sign saying that this is a feature "How long do you think rtrains would have to wait?: Time it and find out..."

Paul Barrett said...

I always think that a well built and nicely detailed model railway should hold the viewers attention when nothing moves, something that is hard to achieve. It doesn't help that a lot of people expect to see trains move all the time, preferably at speed!


Pennine MC said...


That made me smile, Phil :-)

Comments about layout operation often appear on the forums, in most cases I think the actual time gap is misreported by a factor of ten ;-)