About my latest model Trainz route.


Active member
It is based upon the notion of a fantasy physical model railroad layout of the most technologically advanced nature humanly possible. It is theoretically 1/10 scale and covers a theoretical area of about 422 acres. It is an outdoor layout. It would in theory take everything mother nature would dish out at it: all kinds of real-world weather. It is imagined to have hidden cameras all over to broadcast images of layout action to one or more TV monitors. The fantasy layout of mine has full autonomous operation in theory. There are all kinds of road vehicles, trains, working aircraft and working boats. There are carriages drawn by robotic animals, horses. There are power boats, automobiles, trucks, buses, road-rail trucks, railroad speeders, handcars, railroad trains and helicopters all of which would work fully under autonomous technology. There are buildings, outdoor light fixtures, streets, trees, hills, mountains, canyons, rivers, lakes, dams, dairies, ranches and farms. I wonder if the trees might be real plants or artificial models. A hemlock tree at this scale might be actual 7 to 10 feet tall. I even if one had a trillion American dollars, I doubt if a scale model world of this magnitude and sophistication would ever be possible or feasible. This is certainly something that might tickle Walt Disney's fancy. He was a pioneer in animatronics. It would be very difficult to build and maintain. It would requires masters of model railroading, scale model construction, draftsmen, architects, electrical engineers, carpenters, project mangers, artists, machinists, robotics specialists, welders, founders, information technology geeks, civil engineering, building trades workers, electricians, plumbing, painting, sheet metal workers, horticulture, landscaping, gardening, masonry and etc. I imagine tracks to be laid with precision of dial indicators or laser instruments. I imagine such sophistication as people and animal figures that can appear or disappear as by the use of mechanized panels in the ground. I imagine this layout to have ten thousand hemlock and pine tress or even more. The amount of sheer human manpower to design, build and maintain this whole thing seems phenomenal. I imagine to have train station platforms that disappear down into the ground and to be replaced by other platforms to reflect changes in the number of people standing on the platforms or how they are dressed for a specific season. People figures during snow season would be dressed like eskimos while people in warm weather would be dressed in summer clothes. People standing in the rain would have raincoats and umbrellas and most would be seated inside shelters along the platforms. Through mechanized panels in the ground, static objects as people and animals could be changed for various scenarios as time of day or time of year. At night, cows should be in the barn and children should not be on the playground at school. Only during the daytime would I have a figure of a person walking his dog in to the scale-model vet's office.

I also have this wild notion of special cranes to help build and maintain this layout and special touring vehicles that carry observers around the edges of the benchwork of this layout. The autonomous observation vehicles would have hydraulic platforms that raise up so people can getter a better view of the layout in parts of the layout that are higher in elevation.

Until then, TRAINZ helps me enjoy this fantasy at the paltry price of a copy of Trainz software and months or years of work in Surveyor.

It is possible that Trainz may someday have greater levels of sophistication so that scenery accurately changes with time of day and time of year. Example: static people in eskimo clothes during snow season and summer clothes wearers during the summertime. People in rain gear while it is raining. People figures at train stations that change their numbers depending upon time of day. I would want fewer automobiles parked at the train station during the nighttime and fewer people on the platforms.
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Here is the Route description, a video to follow:

Scale model layout began July 2021. Completed June 2022.

Layout Scale: 1:10

Horn Sequence for AI at Crossings = 31.20 seconds.

Location: fictitious place in Pacific Northwest, United States of America. Squatch County, Mondaho (Idaho and Montana combined).

Attractions: Hemlock and pine forests, boating lake, dam and river. Mountains. Canyons. Mesa. Rolling hills. Farm lands. Ranch. Dairy. Sawmill. Logging operations. Rural setting. Small fictitious incorporated town, Prestonville. Recreational camping facility. Hunting scenes. Fishing scenes. Wildlife scenes. Excursion trains through timber country. Horse-drawn carriage rides. Helicopter. Long spiral railroad tunnel through fictitious Pine Mountain Range. Drivable semi trucks.
A few road and railway bridges and trestles. A few surprises.

Fictitious Railroad: Prestonville District, Squatch County Division, Preston Railroad Company

Benchwork Height: 1 meter

Model Transportation Layout: Outdoors, 1/10th scale

Route Actual Area: 422.73 acres, 0.661 sq. miles, 0.661 sections (0.0183 US survey townships)

Length of One Complete Loop of Main Line about the Perimeter of the Benchwork: 1.832 miles, actual

Length of Mesa Branch Line including Extension: 1.375 miles, actual

Pine Mountains RR Tunnel Length, Portal to Portal: 1.898 scale miles, 1002.144 feet (actual)

Prestonville Yard Length: 7,078.50 feet

Yard Lead Length (on each end): 7,295 feet

Yard Wye Capacity: End Bumper to Switch Lever Length - 346.50 feet, doubleheader UP Big Boy locomotives, 2 such engines with tenders coupled back to back

Footnotes: Squatch is short for Sasquatch or Bigfoot, an ape-like animal reputed to have been commonly sighted in these northwestern parts of North America. A 'spiral' tunnel is both graded and curved. A long spiral tunnel is much more exciting and challenging to construct than a short, straight and level one. The perimeter of the benchwork is about the main area of the layout where human spectators observe the attractions of the layout as opposed to staging areas where vehicles and trains are kept hidden for purposes of timed holding and release for occasional travel about the visible spectator area of the layout. The benchwork is the border about the elevated part of the layout with the essential model scenery as opposed to the lower open floor area where human observers walk and stand.