Lin Westcott's 1958 Switchman's Nightmare

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jorge, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Jorge

    Jorge Member

    Helllo again.

    Has any member of The Gauge ever built the Switchman's Nightmare layout? The reason I want to build it is because I just dont have the space, time or money to invest in a large layout right now :cry: . Does this layout have the potential to hold anybodys interest for a long time? If I dont build this one I will build the switching layout featured in the 2005 edition of MRP.

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One of the local clubs here has a TimeSaver-based module used for publicity at shows, etc. Holds interest for lots of visitors, who line up to operate it for 5 minutes or so. Don't know how much it would interest one person. If you are the kind that likes logic puzzles and would "play" it as such, then it would probably do. But if you are a "real" operations person, you might find it either tedious or you'd figure it out quickly.

  3. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    I was thinking about integrating the TimeSaver into my layout and came across this site, which may have saved me... You might want to read his opinions about the timesaver, it might help you make up your mind.

    I don't know all of the possibilites with the TimeSaver, but if it is like other puzzles...once it is solved, it really isn't as much fun to use again.

  4. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Personally, I absolutely agree with the article posted above about the timesaver. It's a game, not something you put on a layout (or do as a layout). I've not built one, but a friend of mine has one, gathering dust as it happens. As Freelancer points out, once you've "done" it a few times the interest is gone.
  5. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    PS - The very best analogy I've seen is to one of those number puzzles - the 4x4 grids with sliding numbers from 1-15 and one blank space to allow movement. Either it's maddening and you give up, or you discover the limited number of "moves" available to do a task - e.g. to shift a tile one up and one over you do this... Then it becomes rote.
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Given that you are a railroader (saw your post about working for the NYS&W) I'm not sure how much of a challenge the puzzle will present, but yes, anyone running it more than several times will know the best way to approach it and the solving part will be over. However, it still represents a lot of moves to finish the "chores" and if space is limited, it's hard to beat. What's the option for a small space? BTW, pm me if you'd be interested in visiting, Boonton isn't too far from the NYS&W.

  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    My advance to anybody that wants a switching layout should design and build one serving industries and forget the time saver or as I call it the time waster.

    My thoughts on the reason this awful design keeps coming up is because if one mentions he/she needs help designing a small switching layout that awful word comes up--TIME SAVER ughhh! IMHO to many modelers fail to see that the TIME WASTER is NOT a true switching layout but,a switching game. :(
  8. Raildog

    Raildog Member

    This link came to me via another forum and it shows quite a few variations of the timesaver and just how far some people are willing to go to enjoy this hobby. There are some very clever ideas here.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I think that the TimeSaver/Waster is a good idea, if it is approached as a puzzle or game. I think you are right in that if you think it is going to be a great operational, prototype inspired layout, you will probably be disappointed.

  10. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I made a switching puzzle as my first layout (I think it was Atlas' southside connecting?) I had a great time building it and learning tracklaying, scenery technics and other model railroading skills. When it was done I stil had a good time running trains, pretending that the front track was the mainline and breaking apart and building trains up that way. For those who think that it isn't a real layout I think it's as real as the builder wants it to be, after all it's their layout.
  11. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    A friend was over the other day while I was working on layout plans on the computer. One section of it is an industrial park with several different industries all using the railroad to bring in raw materials, and empty cars for loading as well as taking the loaded outgoing cars to the major yard on a different part of the projected layout to be set out for the mainline. "Oh," he said, "You're building a switching puzzel." of the variety mentioned as time savers/wasters. I got to thinking about it later and started wondering, Isn't almost any industry other than an empty in/full out on any layout a "Time Saver"? Even if you are running a mine or logging camp, materials and cars have to be positioned effectivly, and require empties to be placed to load and loaded cars hauled away. So basicly, unless all you do is run a train around in a circle, aren't you running a switching puzzle? :confused: :confused:
  12. Jorge

    Jorge Member

    Well guys thanks for the help but I am strapped for space and I thought it would be a nice idea.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    So what is your plan? Are you going with the Timesaver/Switchman's Nightmare type puzzle layout? It is your RR after all, and you have to be happy with it...

    Let us know what your plans are...!

  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Jorge,Don't give up so easily..How much space are we talking about? A modified time saver might be a good solution.. :D
  15. Raildog

    Raildog Member

    Please check out the link I provided!
    There are tons of possibilities using the tiniest of spaces!

  16. Jorge

    Jorge Member

    Dont worry, I dont give up easily. I am just going to continue looking for a plan that supports realistic operation. :thumb:
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the biggest problem with the "time saver" isn't so much a bad design as too much compression. A train won't fit on it. You are limited to a small switch engine and one or two cars at a time on any spur including the runaround track. If it was made larger, it might work. That said, how much space do you have? If you don't have anymore space than the time saver would take, it might be a more interresting layout to play with than just a single track going back and forth with a passing siding.
  18. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Great!! Here have a look see at these small layouts... :D

    I especially like the third one down because it has possiblities...Of course to make this layout workable a run around track is needed.
  19. shortliner

    shortliner Member Layouts smaller than 2 x 4 - the third one up from the bottom of the page It is in N - Great fun - I've built it in HO in 6.5' x 1'
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  20. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Jerry,I check that site out AFTER I check Thor's site...
    I really like this layout! :D :thumb:

    It has a lot of switching and has a busy industrial look!
    Heck I might use this as part of my round the walls layout.. :D

    Wasn't this layout feature in a magazine? :confused:

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