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Newbie questions: operations?

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  • mdgolfbum
    Is there a website showing Z scale yard operations? I m wondering how trains are realistically madeup: humping, uncoupling, coupling, consisting? Is it all
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 28, 2004
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      Is there a website showing Z scale yard operations?

      I'm wondering how trains are realistically madeup: humping,
      uncoupling, coupling, consisting?

      Is it all possible with properly tuned couplers, etc?

      I'm sure some of the time my trains will just be running but I'd
      like to do siding and yard operations as well.

      I'm planning to use DCC if that makes a difference.

      tnx
      jtm
    • The Prez
      ... I am also very interested in this topic. I have joined other scales groups, read dedicated websites and bought some books to learn something about
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 28, 2004
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        mdgolfbum wrote:
        > Is there a website showing Z scale yard operations?
        >
        > I'm wondering how trains are realistically madeup: humping,
        > uncoupling, coupling, consisting?
        >

        I am also very interested in this topic. I have joined
        other scales groups, read dedicated websites and bought some books to
        learn something
        about operations but I have to confess I am more or less where I started
        from.
        It seems like there is some basics still hidden to me but obvious for
        the rest of the world, maybe the fact that
        I did not attend any operating session and have no idea how it actually
        appears in reality.
        Is any Z scaler runnig operating sessions? I am more interested in the
        whole process, the flow
        of the events during the sessions related to the track design, a sort of
        log of the session itself.
        I would like to plan my new Z layout for operation and possibly to scout
        what is possible
        to do with the current small track design.

        Ciao,

        Alex
      • Jim Miller
        anyone in the baltimore or dc area who has a zscale setup that does operations? i d love to come visit. tnx jtm ... From: The Prez To:
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 28, 2004
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          anyone in the baltimore or dc area who has a zscale setup that does
          operations?

          i'd love to come visit.

          tnx
          jtm
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "The Prez" <alextrov@...>
          To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 11:38 AM
          Subject: Re: [z_scale] Newbie questions: operations?


          mdgolfbum wrote:
          > Is there a website showing Z scale yard operations?
          >
          > I'm wondering how trains are realistically madeup: humping,
          > uncoupling, coupling, consisting?
          >

          I am also very interested in this topic. I have joined
          other scales groups, read dedicated websites and bought some books to
          learn something
          about operations but I have to confess I am more or less where I started
          from.
          It seems like there is some basics still hidden to me but obvious for
          the rest of the world, maybe the fact that
          I did not attend any operating session and have no idea how it actually
          appears in reality.
          Is any Z scaler runnig operating sessions? I am more interested in the
          whole process, the flow
          of the events during the sessions related to the track design, a sort of
          log of the session itself.
          I would like to plan my new Z layout for operation and possibly to scout
          what is possible
          to do with the current small track design.

          Ciao,

          Alex





          "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!


          Yahoo! Groups Links

          To visit your group on the web, go to:
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        • Jim Miller
          maybe i should have broken the question down a bit... is it possible to do operations hands off in z-scale or do you need to manually couple and uncouple after
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 28, 2004
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            maybe i should have broken the question down a bit...

            is it possible to do operations hands off in z-scale or do you need to
            manually couple and uncouple after moving the pieces near one another with
            the controllers?

            yard operations are so cool i'm surprised someone hasn't done a bit of a
            video.

            tnx
            jtm
          • Greg McAndrews
            Looks like interest in modules is popping up everywhere. Anyone in SE Wisconsin or NE Illinois interested in seeing if we can put some modules together? Aim
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 28, 2004
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              Looks like interest in modules is popping up everywhere. Anyone in SE
              Wisconsin or NE Illinois interested in seeing if we can put some modules
              together? Aim for Trainfest 2004? E-mail me a mcandrew@....
              Greg McAndrews
            • Glen Chenier
              ... to ... another with ... With Micro-Trains couplers: Coupling is automatic when two pieces of rolling stock are nudged together. It may be necessary to
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 28, 2004
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                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Miller" <jim@j...> wrote:
                > is it possible to do operations hands off in z-scale or do you need
                to
                > manually couple and uncouple after moving the pieces near one
                another with
                > the controllers?

                With Micro-Trains couplers:

                Coupling is automatic when two pieces of rolling stock are nudged
                together. It may be necessary to first align the couplers with a
                thin tool, just as though you really are a prototype switchman. Adds
                to the fun.

                Uncoupling can be done with a MTL magnet under the rails, or a
                trimmed N scale plastic uncoupling tool if you have steady hands, or
                hand-held magnetic uncouplers described in the July/August 03 issue
                of Ztrack magazine.

                Yes, yard switching and shunting puzzles are a lot of fun. But your
                locos may need 'creeping tweaking' to move slowly and reliably on
                command.
              • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
                ... I do all uncoupling manually. Made my own uncoupling stick like a mini HO or N one. I still derail cars on occasion. If you ve come from larger scales,
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                  >.....do you need to
                  >manually couple and uncouple after moving the pieces near one another with
                  >the controllers?

                  I do all uncoupling manually. Made my own uncoupling stick like a mini HO
                  or N one. I still derail cars on occasion.

                  If you've come from larger scales, the uncoupling reliability is poor. At
                  least at my level of patience.

                  T
                • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
                  ... with ... I meant to qualify my statement with Automatic coupling... Manually, I have no problem. T
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                    >>.....do you need to
                    >>manually couple and uncouple after moving the pieces near one another
                    with
                    >>the controllers?

                    >I do all uncoupling manually. Made my own uncoupling stick like a mini HO
                    >or N one. I still derail cars on occasion.

                    >If you've come from larger scales, the uncoupling reliability is poor. At
                    >least at my level of patience.

                    I meant to qualify my statement with "Automatic" coupling... Manually, I
                    have no problem.


                    T
                  • Bill Hoshiko
                    ... Hi jtm, Z scale, for a long time, has been a scale for collectibles or a scale for running trains. There are some who go for operations but they seem to be
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                      "mdgolfbum" <jim@j...> wrote:
                      > Is there a website showing Z scale yard operations?
                      >
                      > tnx
                      > jtm

                      Hi jtm,

                      Z scale, for a long time, has been a scale for collectibles or a
                      scale for running trains.

                      There are some who go for operations but they seem to be very few
                      and far between. One of the reasons for this is the fact that Z
                      scale locomotives have not functioned well at slow speeds. For
                      switching, you need slow starts, slow speeds, and exceptional
                      control.

                      You also need a coupler that will couple with a gentle touch. Z
                      scale cars are so light weight that, instead of coupling, they tend
                      to bounce back. You could couple onto a string of cars but a single
                      car coupling may not work. Of course, you could make your cars so
                      that they are not so freewheeling but that will prevent you from
                      running long trains. In some of the other scales, modelers have
                      placed a nylon thread that stuck up between the rails and prevented
                      a car from rolling back. This nylon thread would be flexible enough
                      so that it would not derail a train passing over it. For additional
                      facts about Z scale couplers see:
                      <http://www.zscale.org/articles/couplers.html#tips>

                      If the control of your locomotive only allows you to go from a
                      standing start to 20 mph you will just smash into cars while
                      attempting to couple. Prior to having a switching layout in Z scale
                      you must master the art of maintaining slow starting and slow
                      running locomotives. Two links on this page have suggestions for
                      that also.

                      Glen Chenier <http://home.comcast.net/~chenierfam/wheel.htm> with
                      his Wheel Wipers has given us a solution for the MT F7. This would
                      still require careful maintenance on the locomotive and clean
                      rails. Maybe even DCC.
                      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Z_Scale_DCC/> Perhaps someone else
                      could comment on that.

                      Switching yards and switching industry siding are two different
                      things. Yard switching is done to make up trains so that they can
                      be efficiently dropped off in route to their destination. The cars
                      are grouped or 'blocked' as to their final destination. Cars going
                      North or cars going south. Cars going to the next yard down the
                      line or cars going two cities down the line. Cars going to Chicago
                      or cars going to Detroit. Yards are not storage areas for excess
                      freight cars. They are like the old post office sorting bins for
                      sorting mail.

                      No freight car should be in a freight yard for very long. Freight
                      cars standing still do not make revenue for the RR. If you see a
                      prototype yard full of cars, that RR is in financial trouble.

                      For model railroads, you may use your yard to sort cars for local
                      industrial yard switching. The cars in front of the train would be
                      for the first siding and the cars at the end would be for the last
                      siding. That also depends on if your sidings are facing sidings or
                      trailing sidings.

                      I think that it would be very difficult to make a working hump yard
                      in Z. Hump yards use the physical properties of mass and inertia.
                      Z scale cars have no mass and therefore no inertia.

                      I remember seeing an article about a functioning HO scale hump yard
                      with air jets between the rails to control the cars. The prototype
                      uses retarders, or clamps on the rails that grip the wheels of the
                      cars in order to slow them down and not crash into any cars standing
                      in the hump yards. This HO model hump yard used air jets between
                      the rails. It took me a long time before I realized that the air
                      jets were not there to slow down the cars but to keep the cars
                      moving. The HO cars just did not build up enough inertia to carry
                      them all the way down to the end of the yard.

                      You could make your hump yard unrealistically steep but if the cars
                      couple with too much force, they could be knocked off the track.

                      For model railroads in general, it took a long time for operations
                      to become a focal point in building a layout. Even with HO, the
                      available equipment was not good enough. The introduction of the
                      Kaydee delayed action coupler was the first real step toward a
                      functional yard. Z scale has not yet arrived at that point.

                      Good luck, and if you have success please let us know.

                      I am getting closer to that Code 30 track laying machine. Got past
                      another hurdle last night. Still have a lot of things to figure out.

                      Bill
                      El Toro, Ca
                    • Glen Chenier
                      ... Nice info on operations, Bill. And thanks all for your kind comments on the wheelwipers. Funny you should mention DCC. With advice and assurance from the
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Hoshiko" <billhko@y...> wrote:
                        > This would
                        > still require careful maintenance on the locomotive and clean
                        > rails. Maybe even DCC.
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Z_Scale_DCC/> Perhaps someone else
                        > could comment on that.

                        Nice info on operations, Bill. And thanks all for your kind comments
                        on the wheelwipers.

                        Funny you should mention DCC. With advice and assurance from the
                        fine folks on the Z DCC list i managed to fit a Digitrax DZ123
                        decoder into a MTL F7. See the Photos section under "Glen's
                        Gizmos". Image quality is not great so left the full size image
                        (671K) there for now, will delete it in a week or two to save file
                        space. Also pasted a text file into the Files section under DCC
                        describing MTL F7 overhaul and DCC installation. But can't figure
                        out how to get end of line returns in so right now the text scrolls
                        off to the right. Any suggestions on how to fix this easily? Or do
                        i need to go in and edit returns into it manually?
                      • jmac_han
                        Yes, you have to add returns manually. I ve been doing that for almost 5 years now! BTW if you cut and paste text from a Yahoogroups message, it will already
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                          Yes, you have to add returns manually. I've been doing that for
                          almost 5 years now! BTW if you cut and paste text from a
                          Yahoogroups message, it will already be formatted with carriage
                          returns. Beats me why the CR are not recognized by the line editor
                          in the Files section.

                          Jeffrey


                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Glen Chenier" <chenierfam@c...> ?
                          Or do
                          > i need to go in and edit returns into it manually?
                        • Jim Miller
                          actually only the image owner and the moderator can see the fullsize image so it s probably not of much use. jtm
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                            actually only the image owner and the moderator can see the fullsize image
                            so it's probably not of much use.

                            jtm
                          • Glen Chenier
                            ... fullsize image Thanks. Deleted the large image in Photos, put a cropped image into Files under the DCC folder. Comes out much better now.
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Miller" <jim@j...> wrote:
                              > actually only the image owner and the moderator can see the
                              fullsize image

                              Thanks. Deleted the large image in Photos, put a cropped image into
                              Files under the DCC folder. Comes out much better now.
                            • bill.foote
                              The newer 5-pole Marklin units are a big step forward in this respect, however they still benefit from warming up runs at the star of a session (and they do
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jan 29, 2004
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                                The newer 5-pole Marklin units are a big step forward in this respect,
                                however they still benefit from "warming up" runs at the star of a session
                                (and they do not overcome the problems of cars bouncing rather than
                                coupling)

                                Bill Foote (http://freespace.virgin.net/bill.foote)


                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "Bill Hoshiko" <billhko@...>
                                To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 6:23 PM
                                Subject: [z_scale] Re: Newbie questions: operations?
                                >
                                > Z scale, for a long time, has been a scale for collectibles or a
                                > scale for running trains.
                                >
                                > There are some who go for operations but they seem to be very few
                                > and far between. One of the reasons for this is the fact that Z
                                > scale locomotives have not functioned well at slow speeds
                              • william dunn
                                Yes I am interested. I reside in new berlin which is next door to west allis the home of trainfest. I have a layout but would build a module for trainfest.
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jan 30, 2004
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                                  Yes I am interested. I reside in new berlin which is next door to west
                                  allis the home of trainfest. I have a layout but would build a module
                                  for trainfest. All I need is the size and a track plan that will hook
                                  up with the others. I belong to a couple of g scale clubs and we have a
                                  60' by 80' modular layout. Keep me posted.

                                  WILLIAM M. DUNN



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Greg McAndrews [mailto:mcandrew@...]
                                  Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 10:04 PM
                                  To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [z_scale] Milwaukee/Chicago Module Interest


                                  Looks like interest in modules is popping up everywhere. Anyone in SE
                                  Wisconsin or NE Illinois interested in seeing if we can put some modules
                                  together? Aim for Trainfest 2004? E-mail me a mcandrew@....
                                  Greg McAndrews


                                  "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small
                                  DoseZ!


                                  Yahoo! Groups Links

                                  To visit your group on the web, go to:
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/z_scale/

                                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                  z_scale-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                                  http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




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                                • ztrack@aol.com
                                  Please let me know if Ztrack can help your efforts. If you have a letter or announcement that you would like to send to Zers in your area, I would be happy to
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Feb 1, 2004
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                                    Please let me know if Ztrack can help your efforts. If you have a letter or
                                    announcement that you would like to send to Zers in your area, I would be happy
                                    to mail them for you. I can't share the list of subscribers, but can do the
                                    mailings. All costs are on Ztrack! This offer extends to any of the module
                                    clubs. I believe strongly in your efforts and am trying to find ways to encourage
                                    and support the Z scale clubs more. Just let me know!

                                    Rob Kluz

                                    Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                                    6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                                    Dublin, OH 43016
                                    Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
                                    www.ztrack.com


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Greg McAndrews
                                    Hi Rob, I am writing you regarding the WizKidz module group. We have made tremendous progress since I last wrote to you. We have constructed 7 modules and a
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Feb 9, 2005
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                                      Hi Rob,

                                      I am writing you regarding the WizKidz module group.

                                      We have made tremendous progress since I last wrote to you. We have
                                      constructed 7 modules and a few "end" sections and have begun to display
                                      our modules at several train shows.

                                      The reception has been "overwhelming". Representatives of all the shows
                                      in the area have asked us to display: Madison, Green Bay, Milwaukee's
                                      TrainTime, and Kenosha.

                                      I have heard comments like, "It looks like this scale has finally grown
                                      out of a shoebox. It is really impressive."

                                      You can see a write up at:
                                      http://www.wisedivision.org/owlcar/OwlCar200502Final.pdf We got the
                                      biggest picture for the smallest scale btw :)

                                      Now I have an organizational question.

                                      As every group grows, we are seeing the need for some "rules" to deal
                                      with questions that our "regulars" and visitors have asked....like, "Can
                                      I just come and run my trains on your modules at a show even if I'm not
                                      building a module?".

                                      Do you know if any of the module groups have rules that describe things
                                      like, membership, officers, participation, dues, etc?

                                      I would appreciate a copy of these "rules" so that we don't have to
                                      reinvent the "wheel".

                                      Thanks for your help in the past and I thank you in advance for your
                                      help with this matter.

                                      Greg McAndrews


                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: ztrack@... [mailto:ztrack@...]
                                      Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2004 8:51 AM
                                      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [z_scale] Milwaukee/Chicago Module Interest

                                      Please let me know if Ztrack can help your efforts. If you have a letter
                                      or
                                      announcement that you would like to send to Zers in your area, I would
                                      be happy
                                      to mail them for you. I can't share the list of subscribers, but can do
                                      the
                                      mailings. All costs are on Ztrack! This offer extends to any of the
                                      module
                                      clubs. I believe strongly in your efforts and am trying to find ways to
                                      encourage
                                      and support the Z scale clubs more. Just let me know!

                                      Rob Kluz

                                      Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                                      6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                                      Dublin, OH 43016
                                      Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
                                      www.ztrack.com


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


                                      "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small
                                      DoseZ!


                                      Yahoo! Groups Links

                                      To visit your group on the web, go to:
                                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/z_scale/

                                      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                      z_scale-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                                      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                    • ztrack@aol.com
                                      Greg, Congratulations on the successful growth of your club. The one module in the photo looks great! Yes, most clubs do need BI-laws and rules to run well.
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Feb 9, 2005
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                                        Greg,

                                        Congratulations on the successful growth of your club. The one module in the
                                        photo looks great!

                                        Yes, most clubs do need 'BI-laws' and rules to run well. Our local Z group is
                                        in the stages setting rules for operations and members. These can be as
                                        informal or formal as the club wishes. I am copying this e-mail to the Z-Bend-Track
                                        list. Maybe another club out there can send you a copy of their BI-laws.
                                        Billy Roden (roden@...) also has copies of BI-laws that he had distributed in
                                        the past.

                                        As for the question about running trains when one does not build a module ...
                                        interesting question. I would say yes, but with stipulations. For instance,
                                        you may not want a casual acquaintance or non member of your club just to come
                                        in and run trains. Some member will not have the resources or skills necessary
                                        to build a module. They can offer services such as running trains and helping
                                        during shows. These folks should be encouraged to take part and run trains.

                                        You should also think about the expectations of operations, especially for
                                        shows. For instance, trains should be in good condition and be able to run for
                                        extended lengths of time. This is extremely important for shows. You trust that
                                        your members will fulfill this. I have too often seen non members bring
                                        trains to shows only to have them fiddle with their trains and act as this was a
                                        building session. The public lost interest since no trains were running. Not
                                        good.

                                        I will check my records to see if I also have a copy of Billy's BI-laws. Bill
                                        K, do you have any materials on this subject?

                                        Rob Kluz

                                        Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
                                        6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                                        Dublin, OH 43016
                                        phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
                                        www.ztrack.com


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