One of the best layouts I've seen - and it is in S!!

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the NASG National Convention yesterday and participate on the layout tour.  IMO, the highlight of the trip was getting to see Mr. Jerry Holmes' S scale layout.  Mr. Holmes models the C&O and resides in Chattanooga, Tn.  Brother Jonnyspeed was kind enough to take some pics and video for everyone to enjoy:

 

 

 

photo 1

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

Attachments

Photos (15)
Videos (3)
Berk Vid
E8 Vid
Geep Vid
Original Post
Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:

Thanks for posting.

 

These pictures and video's are good "Ambassadors" if you will, showing that S isn't just a backwater scale and it can hold it's own vs. the other scales.

 

Rusty


Rusty,

 

Old Jonnyspeed has a good eye!  This is why I keep him around....

 

Seriously though, I think this layout truly represents why I switched from 2r O over to S.  You still get big trains, but everything (even big articulated locomotives and passenger cars) under the sun will run AND look good on much smaller curves, instead of squeezing in #6 TO's you can use a #8 or a #10 and the stuff runs GREAT!

 

JIC anyone is interested, the locomotives in the pics are:

 

 River Rasin Models Berkshire and H-8 Allegheny

 

 SHS 2-8-0 consolidation

 

 American Models GP 9's

 

 American Models E8's w/ Titan Sound decoders (Everthing had sound, but this was

   the only one I thought to ask about)

 

One of the more interesting aspects for me was inspecting the benchwork.  Mr. Holmes used 3/4 plywood ripped to dimensional width for most of his L griders and supports.  I was very impressed with approach.  I had read about it, but had never seen it applied on a pike....very cool.  

 

I was also impressed with the quality of his Shinohara code 100 track and TO's and, IIRC, he used homasote sub-bed under just about everything.

 

Lastly, as you can see in the pics, the carved rocks used in his scenery were outstanding.  I think he really captured the stratified rock seen in the Appalachian mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

That is truly a very fine layout!  Demonstrates what can be accomplished in the smaller scales when it comes to having the scenery dominate (like in the real world).  The trains just seem to "fit" in their surroundings.  And that video of the coal train provides a superb example of effectively incorporating a backdrop with the rest of the scenic elements.

 

Really some photos and videos that anyone contemplating S scale should take a good long look at.

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:

That is truly a very fine layout!  Demonstrates what can be accomplished in the smaller scales when it comes to having the scenery dominate (like in the real world).  The trains just seem to "fit" in their surroundings.  And that video of the coal train provides a superb example of effectively incorporating a backdrop with the rest of the scenic elements.

 

Really some photos and videos that anyone contemplating S scale should take a good long look at.

 

Alan,

 

Good observation on the backdrop.  What I noticed was that it went all the way up to the celing, was hand painted and also curved in the corners.   What I liked  was how staggering the height of different portions of a layout can provide different viewing angles for pics and video like this one.  There is actually an aisleway and another level of layout between the the backdrop and the curve that the coal train in running on, yet all you see is scenery and backdrop because of the height of that portion of the layout.

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

We had a great time. I could have spent hours at Mr. Holmes' layout. His track plan for his space is truely perfect. I couldn't agree with you more Alan, use of backdrops and the way the peninsulas are positioned made railfaning the layout a joy. All I did was point and shoot. Mr. Holmes and his crew did all the work. Really a wonderful layout.

Originally Posted by jonnyspeed:

We had a great time. I could have spent hours at Mr. Holmes' layout. His track plan for his space is truely perfect. I couldn't agree with you more Alan, use of backdrops and the way the peninsulas are positioned made raifaning the layout a joy. All I did was point and shoot. Mr. Holmes did all the work. Really a wonderful layout.

 

His trackplan was genius.  He had about 2.5 - 2.7 scale miles of track wrapped around that room and most of the main ailes were about 30" - 36".  He also ran the mainline through the wall of his layout room and into his garage where he suspended a cantilevered return loop that fit under his garage door when it was raised up!!! 

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:

Demonstrates what can be accomplished in the smaller scales ...

I would not call "S" a smaller scale. Save that for N-Z-T.

We have a lot of undersize items in O gauge which are actually closer to S scale.

And O gauge often uses tighter curves than S scale.

Originally Posted by Ace:
Originally Posted by Allan Miller:

Demonstrates what can be accomplished in the smaller scales ...

I would not call "S" a smaller scale. Save that for N-Z-T.

 

Well, one can't argue that it is smaller than O scale.  1:64 scale is most definitely smaller than 1:48 scale.  Thus, it is one of the smaller popular scales that also encompass TT, HO, N, and Z.

 

Nobody should see my reference as in any way disparaging S gauge or any of the scales smaller than O.  I have modeled in, and thoroughly enjoyed, most all of them at one time or another, and I respect them all.

What impressed me was the lack of train noise; no whistles, very little horn, no chuffs or bells.....just perfect.  Also no track jammed in every available space and plenty of natural scenery.  Yer sir,  that's just about as perfect a layout as I've ever seen.  The land was there first then they built a railroad.

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

Originally Posted by Ace:
Originally Posted by Allan Miller:

Demonstrates what can be accomplished in the smaller scales ...

I would not call "S" a smaller scale. Save that for N-Z-T.

We have a lot of undersize items in O gauge which are actually closer to S scale.

And O gauge often uses tighter curves than S scale.

I'd say that "Zero Gauge" is the biggest of the "smaller scales."  S "scale" -- emphasis on "scale" -- is the largest size Gilbert managed after rejecting the larger "0" since it required so much more room.  Lionel's compressed 0 & 0-27 served an important purpose in that they allowed operation in an area large enough only for that ridiculously tiny Half-Zero.

Originally Posted by wild mary:

...Also no track jammed in every available space and plenty of natural scenery.  Yer sir,  that's just about as perfect a layout as I've ever seen.  The land was there first then they built a railroad.

That is what impressed me as well!  Though it's always a case of different strokes for different folks--and always should be that way as far as a hobby is concerned--I must admit that I'm a big fan of layouts where the scenery dominates, when possible.

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:
Originally Posted by wild mary:

...Also no track jammed in every available space and plenty of natural scenery.  Yer sir,  that's just about as perfect a layout as I've ever seen.  The land was there first then they built a railroad.

That is what impressed me as well!  Though it's always a case of different strokes for different folks--and always should be that way as far as a hobby is concerned--I must admit that I'm a big fan of layouts where the scenery dominates, when possible.


Guys,

 

This was one of my primary take-aways as well.  It seemed to me that S offered just the right amount of track side scenery while allowing for a big train.  Depots, a foreground building or two and some building flats all fit and still allow for several tracks.  Hmmmm...it seems as though S could very well be the "perfect size".

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

This railroad impressed me as well.  Not every builder can have the right circumstances to build such a system due to constraints, but whenever one can have the room for dominating scenery and backgrounds to re-create real-life railroading, then you now have far greater realism.  Infinite-looking horizons not only impress the visitor, but it also becomes the world we strive to create.

Originally Posted by Seacoast:

Regardless of the O and S debate. An Outstanding layout! 

To my way of thinking, there should be no debate at all regarding the modeling potential of the various scales from Z through Large Scale.  All have their own set of strengths and weaknesses, and one should ultimately go with whatever gives one the most personal satisfaction.

 

It's way too late for me now, but if I was starting over again, and assuming that product that appealed to me was available, I would certainly be willing to give S some serious consideration.  And if I had seen Jerry Holmes layout, I surely would have been persuaded to look even harder.

Originally Posted by CSX Troy:
Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:

Thanks for posting.

 

These pictures and video's are good "Ambassadors" if you will, showing that S isn't just a backwater scale and it can hold it's own vs. the other scales.

 

Rusty


Rusty,

 

Old Jonnyspeed has a good eye!  This is why I keep him around....

 

Seriously though, I think this layout truly represents why I switched from 2r O over to S.  You still get big trains, but everything (even big articulated locomotives and passenger cars) under the sun will run AND look good on much smaller curves, instead of squeezing in #6 TO's you can use a #8 or a #10 and the stuff runs GREAT!

 

JIC anyone is interested, the locomotives in the pics are:

 

 River Rasin Models Berkshire and H-8 Allegheny

 

 SHS 2-8-0 consolidation

 

 American Models GP 9's

 

 American Models E8's w/ Titan Sound decoders (Everthing had sound, but this was

   the only one I thought to ask about)

 

One of the more interesting aspects for me was inspecting the benchwork.  Mr. Holmes used 3/4 plywood ripped to dimensional width for most of his L griders and supports.  I was very impressed with approach.  I had read about it, but had never seen it applied on a pike....very cool.  

 

I was also impressed with the quality of his Shinohara code 100 track and TO's and, IIRC, he used homasote sub-bed under just about everything.

 

Lastly, as you can see in the pics, the carved rocks used in his scenery were outstanding.  I think he really captured the stratified rock seen in the Appalachian mountains.

 

 


 (Everthing had sound, but this was

   the only one I thought to ask about)........

 

Greetings all! I do quite a bit of work with Jerry on the layout, including all the motive power work. The Decoders are mostly QSI. Some have the older Revolution decoders and a few (the E-8's) have the new Titan.. a really nice decoder.. and all have high base speakers installed with warm white LED lighting. The steam locos have combo decoders with a 1A Lenz motor decoder and Soundtraxx sound. This was done because of the Amp rating of decoders. If you blow a motor decoder, it isn't as costly as a combo sound unit. The H-8's weigh in at almost 5 lbs each so any bind or stall places you at risk. The Berkshire is has two decoders also. The 2-8-0 consolidation is from SHS and has factory DCC & Sound and runs as well as any of the diesels.... it is really sweet!

 

Thanks for all the positive comments. I will be passing them along to Jerry. A lot of work has gone into the railroad over the past few months to be ready for the NASG.

 

Mark



OGR Publishing, Inc.
33 Sheridan Road, Poland, OH 44514
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
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