The 3-rail O gauge hobby traces its roots back to Joshua Lionel Cowen and an oval of track under a Christmas tree. Because of those roots, track planning for larger O gauge layouts has often consisted of fitting as many concentric loops of track as possible into the available space. OGR author and contributor Dr. Bill Bramlage coined the phrase "Loop Runner" for this type of railroad, and it's a good name to describe the operation of this kind of layout. While Loop Running can certainly be enjoyable, for some it can get boring after a time.
This forum is not about Loop Running. The purpose of this forum is to show you how the "Fun Factor" of the O Gauge hobby can be enhanced when you start thinking about your model railroad as miniature transportation system. When a model railroad is designed so it can be operated like the real thing, it becomes a lot more fun. The use of staging yards, switching leads, passing sidings, producing and consuming industries, line-side industries and many other tricks of the trade can add a whole new level of enjoyment beyond running your trains in circles.
Many of you that decide to post on this forum will be using RR-Track to illustrate your layout designs. On this forum you can ATTACH A FILE, so if you want to share your layout designs, you can attach your RR-Track file right to your post! Other forum viewers can then download that file and see for themselves how your layout is designed, and perhaps even tweak it for their own use.
We understand that designing an O Gauge layout that mimics a real railroad will not appeal to everyone.
For many of you, the enjoyment of the hobby is centered around Loop Running because it is the ultimate expression of that little oval under the Christmas tree. It probably brings back many fond memories, too! If that's the way you enjoy the O Gauge hobby, that's perfectly fine. By the same token, because we have so many wide-ranging differences in how we all enjoy the hobby, let's not get into the old mind-set that says, "My way is better than your way, and you are all wrong." There are hundreds of ways to enjoy the O Gauge railroading hobby and NONE of them is wrong!
We hope you enjoy this new Layout Design Forum.