The Sn3 Symposium hosted operating sessions. Each participant had the opportunity to sign up and operate on one layout. This is a great opportunity and a hard choice for us guests. I was torn between operating on Dale Kruetzer’s Sn3 RGS and Roger Nulton’s S-scale Monon. The “pull” to operate on S-scale was just too great and Roger’s layout is one of the best S-scale layouts.
Quite honestly, the only significant S-scale I’d ever scene is S-gauge/Hi-Rail or Flyer layouts at shows. I guess there was some S-scale at the NMRA National X2011 show. So, I really wanted to see the best S-scale had to offer and could it be competitive to HO or Sn3/Sn2 to my actual eyes (not in a mag or blog). I’ll just say, that I was blown away by S-scale as Roger has done it….It look great, and operated great. Take a look at the photos and make your own impression.
An RS3 on Roger’s layout
Roger giving the pre-session instructions. The layout currently operates on a sequence and uses CC&WB. He is standing behind the Shops and staging is behind him.
Roger provides a “J” channel to slip CC&WB’s in while doing switching along the route. It worked quite nicely. When cards are not present the viewer is not distracted by the channel.
Roger employed 2-man crews. I was the conductor on a local, and here is the engineer. I my suggestion, we used hand signals. I think using hand signals is more appropriate for the time, as radios were not yet used. My engineer said he enjoyed it or maybe he was just being kind.
At Gosport, IN we encountered another crew switching and had to wait to get through
Railfanning our caboose as it crosses a bridge
Road crossing. Glad the buss stopped safely back from the crossing. My engineer blew the whistle in time. No S-scale students killed today!
Newcastle is a hot spot on Roger’s layout
An SW1 in the yard
Interchange is a significant element of Roger’s operating scheme. He has plans to have NYC and PRR jobs
The size of this structure blew me away. It is big. It made me think that Maine 2-foot structures are a bit smaller, closer to HO. Why, the industries and towns are smaller so the structures that serve them are smaller. Anyone modeling S-scale will have to deal with the larger size. O-scale has to be worse.
One of the branch staging yards is under the layout. I did not notice it until I was about to leave. It is effective and I like the blue backdrop. My hand is there for “scale” so you can see how small the space is.
This 0-6-0 sitting on a display shelf caught my attention as it is a Rex model (similar to an old HO Mantua Kit). Roger did a nice job finishing it, but I’d guess it does not operate as well as the SHS SW1 so became a display item.
The quarry branch is in the garage.
The quarry branch is up high, requiring steps to operate. A PRR interchange yard is on the right. We did not operate either this day
In the end, Roger has done a wonderful job. His layout may not be equal to the best HO has to offer, but it would be well above average. S-scale is not quite as “ready-made” as HO. But the size/mass of the trains is fun. They operate well, are easy to couple/uncouple. S-scale is worth consideration for those willing to compromise and or willing to build a bit on their own.
If you’d like more information about S-scale consider the NASG website and/or the S-scale SIG website or S-scale Resource.