The Origin of Portable Model Railroads: Or the Preservation of Favoured Techniques in the Struggle for Acceptance

There are a few other Model Railroaders that I exchange emails with on a regular basis. Sometimes the most innocent remarks lead in interesting new directions.

We were having a discussion about buss wire size and feed wire size relative to layout size and control system. In other words we were re-hashing the old “how big should my wires be” debate. Now, all of us are of the “bigger is better” camp but the question comes up “How much bigger?” If you talk to different groups or even different control system manufacturers (read DCC for all our discussions), you will get several different answers.

Anyway, one of the guys decided to offer the tongue-in-cheek idea of using code 125 rail for the feeders brazed to a copper pipe filled with 10 gauge wire. Things digressed rapidly until one of the members offered that the idea was not as ridiculous as it first seemed. By using a pipe between the interfaces with fittings for the legs you could have truly free-form scenery.

So, a new thought to ponder in the never-ending quest for portability: should we build invertebrate or vertebrate units? Most (all?) of the portable units/modules I have seen have an exoskeleton. What about units with an internal skeleton and a flexible epidermis?

Darwin would be proud.

One thought on “The Origin of Portable Model Railroads: Or the Preservation of Favoured Techniques in the Struggle for Acceptance

  1. Pingback: Trains of Thought » Blog Archive » Fairbank AZ ? - Part 3 of many

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