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Thread: "Best Practices for model railroading"

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    Default "Best Practices for model railroading"

    I am starting work on a "Best Practices for model railroading" document. See attached screenshot of my spreadsheet.
    Any suggestions for additions or corrections?
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    @tbarber1027

    The first thing I would do would be to change the title to (perhaps) "Suggested Practices" or better still "My Practices" rather than best practices and go from there.
    Cheers Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    @tbarber1027

    The first thing I would do would be to change the title to (perhaps) "Suggested Practices" or better still "My Practices" rather than best practices and go from there.
    Like Tony says , they are your preferred practices , I'm willing to bet that nobody else has the 5 you mention all on their list , myself , I think I would have only one of them . But maybe that's what you meant a list for yourself , it's what we call a givens and druthers list.
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    To echo and expound upon what @wombat457 and @Janbouli have expressed, if these are best practices you have gleaned from your experience or whatever source you acquired them from, and they're yours and yours only, great. But I think you need to make that crystal clear.

    Given that you're new to this forum, and I suspect new-ish to the hobby, I would suggest you be circumspect in the extreme about advancing "Best Practices for Model Railroading" for anyone else.
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 13th Jan 2020 at 05:21 PM.
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    My practices are different.

    What might be better is a list of common options for each type of thing, with benefits and drawbacks of each. Some of those might give you better running or better realism, but with the drawback of added expense.

    In any case, I'm pretty sure all of those have been debated in various threads (which means people have different preferences and opinions.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbarber1027 View Post
    I am starting work on a "Best Practices for model railroading" document. See attached screenshot of my spreadsheet.
    Any suggestions for additions or corrections?
    You might consider reviewing NMRA's recommended practices and standards. https://nmra.org/index-nmra-standard...nded-practices
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    I suspect that even if you could empirically determine what a "best practice" for any particular hobby task, you would find that assembling a complete document would be a nigh impossible task. There are so many kinds of things to be done, and so many approaches to them, I think you'd find yourself swamped. For instance, I prefer to do scenery with my own blend of "ground goop", applied over expanding foam, and consider this method to be superior in terms of the results that I can get with it. One of the ingredients in my goop, in areas where I will be sculpting rock faces, is scoopable kitty litter. There are different brands of kitty litter on the market, and many of them include blue or green scented grains, which would not be wanted in a scenery goop mix. Other brands might have a strong odor even without the decorative grains, and thus be less desirable.

    So, would the completed "best practices" document include a specification for the "right" brand of kitty litter? The rabbit holes you could go down can go rather deep.

    But of course you'd need to take a step back and figure out just what criteria are evaluated in order to determine "best". For instance, you list body-mounted knuckle-type couplers, but some folks might consider that Micro-Trains Z-scale couplers are best because they are closer to scale and photograph well. Others would swear the N-scale couplers are better for reliability and operations. If you are body-mounting, you can just as easily go either way, so what's the criteria?

    As others have said, you end up defining your own preferences, rather than an empirical "best". That can be a good thing to think through; my frustrations with rolling stock started to go away when I made a commitment to replace all the trucks and couplers with Micro-Trains and FVM metal wheels, bringing everything up to a defined standard. Similarly, I decided on modeling the year 1971, arbitrarily setting a "best" year to model for myself, and this guides my choices in terms of paint schemes and locomotive types, not to mention scenic features like automobiles (it still kind of bugs me that I can't run SD40-2s since they hail from 1972 onward, but them's the breaks!). I hope we're not discouraging you from giving this kind of consideration to how you wish to approach the hobby, since it is a valuable exercise. Just understand that the rest of us are not likely to agree with the term "best" (even if used in its jargon/corporate committee sense).

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    I hope @tbarber1027 hasn't left us already , I realize some of our comments may sound a bit harsh in writing , but all is well intended.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    @Janbouli

    Unlike some of us, I don't think he is here every day and/or night.

    As for the comments left, I don't think they are that harsh, just to the point and needed to be said. As you stated - they are all meant to be well intended and to "discreetly" let him know that this is not a "One Size Fits All" hobby, that he has to gain some experience (hands on experience) before he starts saying things that (to us) may seem a little arrogant considering he has only been in the hobby a few weeks or so - regardless of his intentions.

    Hopefully he doesn't take the comments to heart and remains with the forums so he can learn and gain experience.
    Cheers Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbarber1027 View Post
    I am starting work on a "Best Practices for model railroading" document. See attached screenshot of my spreadsheet.
    Any suggestions for additions or corrections?
    Moose created a similar document for Moose's layout. Great idea!

    Moose would add things like maximum grade, minimum clearance, track height above floor, the list goes on, but you certainly have a good start. What you put in the document will of course vary from what others might put in theirs. Obviously, it all depends on your needs and desires ... Moose suggest getting a copy of John Armstrong's "Track Planning for Realistic Operation," if you haven't already.

    Noticed in your profile that you are running DC and a software engineer. Just wondering if you might be considering going with DCC. DCC would have simpler layout wiring and could really expand what you can do with the layout and operations on it. Plus there are sound locomotives that are always fun! Okay, that's just a moose's opinion...

    There's a free software suite called JMRI that you can download to work with DCC that allows easier programming of DCC locomotives and similar than what the typical DCC system provides. It requires an interface and your PC.

    Oh, and welcome to nscale.net, the greatest wee n scale forum on the interweb!
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Not implying that this is the case.
    Paul, Moose considers you a friend, but Moose has to ask you, what is your point if not implying that the original poster is as your link suggests?

    If Moose were new to this forum, Moose wouldn't be back after reading what several you have written.

    The comments made above make assumptions about the original poster that seem very unfounded. As such, they come off as rude and insulting.

    These are not the kind of statements that have made this forum the welcoming and enjoyable place that Moose has come to enjoy these past several years...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

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    @Moose2013

    Mate, I consider you a friend (and a knowledgeable and experienced one at that) however, what people have pointed out is what has been suggested by the "Title" of the thread, a title that is poorly worded and states a specific thing. The OP needs to know that his title implies something that is wrong and it needs to be changed and clarified by him.

    Perhaps I have a thicker skin but if I were the OP then I'd probably respond with a "whoops - what I meant was .....", acknowledge I made a newbie mistake, fix it and get back to doing what I set out to do - enjoy the hobby and learn from the experience of the people in the forums.
    Cheers Tony

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    @wombat457

    Moose considers you a friend as well, good sir!

    Moose get that you and others perceive that original poster's title was meant to be literally for all of MRR world, to be set in stone, or similar and that you are just trying to correct him.

    However, what Moose is suggesting is that the way in which you've gone about it is inappropriate, could be taken as off-putting in no small degree, and quite honestly, unnecessary. The nSn community here could have focused on helping him with his request and over-looked what ever concern they had regarding the wording of the thread title.

    You may not agree. You may not see how this is possible. Moose no know. Moose no thin skin, but Moose wouldn't feel welcomed to nSn after reading the comments above.

    Moose hope that the original poster reads past what ultimately were - IMHO (in Moose's humble opinion) - unhelpful & disrespectful comments.
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2013 View Post
    Paul, Moose considers you a friend, but Moose has to ask you, what is your point if not implying that the original poster is as your link suggests?

    If Moose were new to this forum, Moose wouldn't be back after reading what several you have written.

    The comments made above make assumptions about the original poster that seem very unfounded. As such, they come off as rude and insulting.

    These are not the kind of statements that have made this forum the welcoming and enjoyable place that Moose has come to enjoy these past several years...
    I see your point, @Moose2013. Post deleted.

    But to a great extent, I feel the OP's two latest posts -- the recent one regarding preferences for realistic track and a few days later this topic -- were not so much innocent questions from a newcomer seeking information, but rather topics chosen intentionally to gin up reactions and debate. And not very sophisticatedly done, either, other than posting a "spreadsheet."

    In other words, somethin' hasn't smelled quite right to me compared to other newcomers here.
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    I can see where Moose is coming from, but at the same point, I agree with Paul.
    Nothing against the OP, but everytime I see the word "BEST" appear in a thread or thread title,
    the hair on the back of my neck stands up and I have a strong urge to run for cover because I know what's coming next.


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    Allen, couldn't you have just posted a picture of a can with the word "worms" on the outside? I can't stop staring at the disgustingness...

    It's true that Paul could be on to something with the OP "fishing" for debate (no pun intended given the worms, and all..) but my initial reaction after reading the thread was the same as his Holy Moosiness, in that "yikes, here's a guy just having some fun with his hobby, making lists and all, and he just got ran over by a bus."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    I see the word "BEST" appear in a thread or thread title,
    the hair on the back of my neck stands up and I have a strong urge to run for cover because I know what's coming next.
    That's it exactly.
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    You see, it's already starting.
    Sides are being taken and lines are being drawn.

    And yes Paul, I could have posted just a can with a word on it, but would it have gotten your attention?

    But aren't you a fisherman?@pwh70
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    Boths sides have had a chance to sound their opinions.
    But before those worms spread too far, I'm going to end to this right now.
    Sorry.
    The Little Rock Line blog


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