Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A New Proposal for an NWX club Free-MoN layout

The (unattached) diamond-shaped corner module is supposed to have the general outline of all corner modules and is helpful for seeing the correct dimensions of the mitered pieces whose overall length is twelve inches times the square root of two. Perhaps, though, due to space limitations, I should be thinking of 12" wide modules for the entire return loop to the interchange.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Nevertheless, I have always been fond of this track plan.

I suppose one would have to learn how to hand lay turnouts to have this track plan.  One wonders if there are enough ready-made Code 55 Atlas switches left in the world to make it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And now for something completely different ...

One can find the route map for the ATSF in 1891 at,_Topeka_and_Santa_Fe_Railway:

With this as my guide, I produced a Free-MoN version this morning:

This is probably the first of (hopefully) many attempts at prototype modeling.  Sometimes the spelling of the smaller towns (junctions) wasn't clear.

Here is an expanded version with Galveston on main line and a branch to Houston as in the prototype.

And, with the benchwork drawn in roughly.  It has to be legitimized in accord with Free-MoN standards: main line in the exact center, at least four inches of straight track at right angles to and ending at the end plates, etc.

I want to have many industrial sidings to create operating interest.  Despite the additional challenge of servicing a single track, most operators will appreciate both incoming and outgoing tracks, that is, at least a two-track siding.  The following diagram shows the general idea; however, the sidings are not "regularized" to adhere to the Free-MoN standards.  But that is easily done.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Suppose we are given a large rectangular area for a Free-Mo N layout at a show.

The tables can be simple or complex depending upon what has been built by this far-future date.  It just seems to me that our Free-Mo N effort should be an operations-oriented point(s)-to-point(s) layout.

Here is a later drawing.  I think we might anticipate as many as eight ship-channel modules with as much as 32 feet of shoreline for boats and barges.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

This module completes a 180 degree turn and completes the hill too.

Here is  the text of the letter I sent to the Northwest Crossing Yahoo group:

This is principally for Mark Wilcox who rendered invaluable aid yesterday (Saturday).  He was wondering why I was going to so much trouble to turn the Free-MoN modules back in the direction from which they came and to make them useful for running trains until such time as we figure out what to do with them.  I understand that Will is contemplating a yard.  I placed a stand-in for Will’s yard at the extreme left-hand side of the drawing (below) to give myself and others an idea of what sort of operation should be considered – temporarily, of course.  Following the drawing are a few photos of what we added yesterday.  If they don’t come out, you can find them at .  (Yahoo doesn’t like in-line photos.)  The return loops on the left-hand side of the Yard are removable.  The Southwest branch of the interchange is an open question.   This is not a run-around-and-around layout.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Recent Letter to John Hunt with Heads-Up to Will Gage

I sent the following letter to my friend the great modeler John Hunt who is currently searching for a viable property on which he can live and build his once-in-a-lifetime dream model railroad layout.  This may be the first Will Gage has heard about the rearrangements of Free-MoN modules I have commenced - principally because Carl Wappel and others objected to the obstruction to access the N-Trak layout in the former arrangement necessitating a difficult moving job last Saturday but one.  I hope Dr. Gage approves of the new arrangement and will lend his genius to future planning.  Here is the letter with photo inserts:

Hi John,

How goes the search for new quarters and a site for dream layout?   I have re-arranged Free-Mo N  modules and made two more.

 Will Gage hasn’t seen what I have done yet and he may not like it.  Mark Wilcox likes it though.  Lately, I have prepared for the home layout I must perforce build to accommodate the modules if they want me to take them home:

Or, if I continue modifying the modules at NWX, I must regularize the square module on the end with the neighborhood, thus:

I guess I picture something like this:

The boat is so hard to see that I include the original copy J (original copy ha, ha, ha)

This may be hard to download; but, it was hard to compile as well.

Tom W.