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Monday, April 27, 2020

Determining the Content of the Fleet

This is part 2 of the "Determining the Basic Fleet Series". In part 1 I estimated that 16 cars would be required to fill the layout. Now the question is:

Just Which 16 Cars Should I Model Anyway?

Browsing though the history books of the San Diego Electric Railway and seeing the variety of cars, it is so easy to just want them all!

But that's not practical.

So what is practical? Build models that are commercially available now. Scratch build later.

So using that parameter, here is my breakdown of the 16 cars:

Pacific Traction
400 Series Class 5
Andrew Chier
Unannounced project
NJ Custom/Orion
3rd Ave Railway 400 Series

Suydam Niles, Pacific Traction 400, WP PCC, Orion 3rd Ave Car, Ken Kidder Birney

You know, seeing this list, suddenly building a fleet doesn't seem like too huge of a project. 
This actually feels downright doable.

Yes Sir! Downright doable!


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Estimating the Size of the Fleet

Just How Many Cars Are Required To Populate This Layout Anyway?

Considering the time and expense that goes into completing just one single car, I would like to focus on building a basic fleet.

Suydam Niles, Pacific Traction 400, WP PCC, 3rd Ave Car, Ken Kidder Birney

The Maths:

The layout is designed for automated operation. Given that there are 4 city blocks each divided into 8 detection blocks, this makes for a total 32 detection blocks (the main intersection is the 33rd block and is undetected- once a car is cleared to enter the intersection it does not stop.).

I estimate that for maximum traffic and yet smooth operation* only half the 32 blocks should be occupied by a car. That way generally each car has an empty block ahead of it. 

So a car on every other detected block makes for 16 cars.

The Answer:

16 cars:  motored, poled, painted, decaled, decodered, and detailed, to make for a maximum traffic operating session (though it might be fun to add that 17th car to see what happens with congestion ;) ).

Yes Sir! It might be fun!


* Theoretically, the layout could "run" a maximum of 31 cars, but only one car would be moving at any given time. Basically it would be moving that one empty block around the layout.