Point to Point Layout

Model railroading in all scales and gauges. HO talk welcome :)

Point to Point Layout

Unread postby Crow T Robot » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:28 am

I was thinking of putting my layout back together and was considering a point to point option can they be entertaining or does it get old fast? The circular option is not off the table but overall scope might be a bit much right now.
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Crow T Robot
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Re: Point to Point Layout

Unread postby Atkinson_Railroad » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:56 am

The Atlas "Custom-Line" Layouts for HO Scale Railroads written by John Armstrong
(published 1957) provided plenty of different views on the subject.
In the book, he writes that the only real purpose of your model railroad layout is to
"...give you, yourself pleasure."

Here was his assessment of a Point-to-Point layout:

Since a real railroad extends from one point to another and runs its trains back and forth,
the point-to-point arrangement is the most "correct" model possible.

He goes on to say:

If you like the switching involved in getting the train turned around for its next trip
and want to model shortline or branch equipment and operation, the point-to-point is excellent.

From an [entertainment] verses a [boring] aspect of a point-to-point operation?

It's often struck me as boring to turn the power supply on, move the throttle to the desired speed,
and watch a repetitive "thang" go round and round. Perhaps while it's running, one returns to
work on a different portion of the layout.

A point-to-point operation certainly means having to pay attention, and to actually be
engaged with what you are doing when operating the railroad.

Yes, I'm a point-to-point railroader having publicly admitted to it for a Traverse City
Record Eagle newspaper article in 1988. The reporter wrote, "... the train goes back and forth,
because he says, 'only toy trains go in circles'..."

Economics ultimately determines what you end up doing. By all means, do it the way you can and want to.


Post Script: Ironically, just yesterday I finished the first phase of a plan stretching just 288 feet.
Photo of plan attached.
I'm looking forward to all the fun of making something "boring" ; )
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Re: Point to Point Layout

Unread postby Crow T Robot » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:59 am

Thanks never thought of it that way. Got to look at what I have and see if what I got is workable. Thanks again for the article.
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Re: Point to Point Layout

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:10 am

My layout incorporates both. Large loop on the outside (almost exactly one scale mile in HO), and a long spur within which is about one scale mile from beginning to end, plus another quarter mile spur coming off the first one at a wye. Lots of end-to-end operation, with the loop providing settings for a few towns served by wayfreight, and the option to simulate mileage from the yard on the long spur to the other end of the branch. Running a train on the loop can still have purpose if there are customers at intermediate points that require service, and/or keeping track of the number of times around the loop are necessary to rack up the mileage to another off-layout "destination".
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Re: Point to Point Layout

Unread postby Ypsi » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:16 pm

I like the idea of having the option to run in circles when you want, and switch when you want. Like stated above it is ultimately what you want. If you are considering a round the room layout it is feisable to include a lift bridge or duck under to complete a circuit or access staging from both directions. In my experience sometimes you just want to run pretty trains in a circle.
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Re: Point to Point Layout

Unread postby SD80MAC » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:15 am

My layout will be operated as point to point, but I will have it set up in a way that continuous run will be option so I can just run a train and let it go for my own amusement, when I'm working on other projects or when I have guests over.
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Re: Point to Point Layout

Unread postby MIGN-Bill » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:14 pm

My layout is an around the walls type with continuous running possible.
But When I operate, it is run as a point to point operation.
I rarely use the continuous running option.
There have been a few times when I am operating solo that I have added an extra loop or two to add miles between towns - enjoyable lazy operation!
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