Timesaver is a well-knownmodel railroad switching puzzle (U.K. English: shunting puzzle) created by John Allen. It consists of a specific track layout, a set of initial conditions, a defined goal, and rules which must be obeyed while performing the shunting operations.
The standard layout consists of a simple yard, with five switches (three lefthand, two righthand), five spurs, and a runaround track at the center.Power is supplied to the track, sufficient to run a locomotive at a fixed slow speed, controlled by a simple center-off reversing switch. Several freight cars are placed on the track, and the object is to move all of them to clearly marked destination positions.
Timesaver can be played as a game, with the object to complete a given puzzle in the shortest amount of time. (Time spent thinking counts the same as time spent actually moving cars, and the number of moves is irrelevant.) The switching game became a contest at National Model Railroad Association conventions.
Optionally, two Timesaver layouts can be connected with an unpowered interchange track (adding a sixth switch to each), with space for a single car. In this configuration, each player must (typically) exchange two "outbound" cars with the other. In this form, it becomes a cooperative board game. Because it can provide complex switching challenges in a small space, it has also been incorporated into a number of larger layouts.
Timesaver was first published in the November 1972 issue of Model Railroader , in what would be Allen's last article; he died the following year.
Railway modelling or model railroading is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale.
A funicular is a type of cable railway system that connects points along a railway track laid on a steep slope. The system is characterized by two counterbalanced carriages permanently attached to opposite ends of a haulage cable, which is looped over a pulley at the upper end of the track. The result of such a configuration is that the two carriages move synchronously: as one ascends, the other descends at an equal speed. This feature distinguishes funiculars from inclined elevators, which have a single car that is hauled uphill.
A classification yard, marshalling yard or shunting yard is a railway yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railway cars onto one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill. From there the cars are sent through a series of switches called a ladder onto the classification tracks. Larger yards tend to put the lead on an artificially built hill called a hump to use the force of gravity to propel the cars through the ladder.
In railroad structures, and rail terminology, a wye or triangular junction is a triangular joining arrangement of three rail lines with a railroad switch at each corner connecting to the incoming lines. A turning wye is a specific case.
HO or H0 is a rail transport modelling scale using a 1:87 scale. It is the most popular scale of model railway in the world. The rails are spaced 16.5 millimetres (0.650 in) apart for modelling 1,435 mm standard gauge tracks and trains in HO.
N scale is a popular model railway scale. Depending upon the manufacturer, the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. Effectively the scale is 1:159, 9 mm to 1,435 mm, which is the width of standard gauge railway. However the scale may vary to simulate wide or narrow gauge rail. In all cases, the gauge is 9 mm or 0.354 in. The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the United Kingdom in particular British N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with 1:160 track gauge modelling. The terms N scale and N gauge are often inaccurately used interchangeably, as scale is defined as ratio or proportion of the model, and gauge only as a distance between rails. The scale 1:148 defines the rail-to-rail gauge equal to 9 mm exactly, so when calculating the rail or track use 1:160 and for engines and car wheel base use 1:148.
Z scale is one of the smallest commercially available model railway scales (1:220), with a track gauge of 6.5 mm / 0.256 in. Introduced by Märklin in 1972, Z scale trains operate on 0–10 volts DC and offer the same operating characteristics as all other two-rail, direct-current, analog model railways. Locomotives can be fitted with digital decoders for independent control. Model trains, track, structures, and human/animal figures are readily available in European, North American, and Japanese styles from a variety of manufacturers.
Trainz is a series of 3D train simulator video games. The Australian studio Auran released the first game in 2001.
A train simulator is a computer based simulation of rail transport operations. They are generally large complicated software packages modeling a 3D virtual reality world implemented both as commercial trainers, and consumer computer game software with 'play modes' which lets the user interact by stepping inside the virtual world. Because of the near view modeling, often at speed, train simulator software is generally far more complicated software to write and implement than flight simulator programs.
John Whitby Allen was an American model railroader who created the HO scale Gorre & Daphetid model railroad in Monterey, California, and wrote numerous magazine articles on model railroading starting in the 1940s. Allen was renowned for his skill at scratch building and creating scenery. He also pioneered the technique of weathering his models for a more realistic appearance. In addition to his superdetailing of locomotives, rolling stock, structures, and scenery, Allen was known for populating his model world with scale figures in humorous scenes. Other techniques Allen promoted were realistic train operation and the use of forced perspective to create the illusion of a model railroad layout larger than it really was.
A rail yard, railway yard, railroad yard (US) or simply yard, is a series of tracks in a rail network for storing, sorting, or loading and unloading rail vehicles and locomotives. Yards have many tracks in parallel for keeping rolling stock or unused locomotives stored off the main line, so that they do not obstruct the flow of traffic. Cars or wagons are moved around by specially designed yard switcher locomotives (US) or shunter locomotives (UK), a type of locomotive. Cars or wagons in a yard may be sorted by numerous categories, including railway company, loaded or unloaded, destination, car type, or whether they need repairs. Yards are normally built where there is a need to store rail vehicles while they are not being loaded or unloaded, or are waiting to be assembled into trains. Large yards may have a tower to control operations.
A backyard railroad is a privately owned, outdoor railroad, most often in miniature, but large enough for one or several persons to ride on. The rail gauge can be anything from 2+1⁄2 in to 7+1⁄2 in or more. Smaller backyard or outdoor railroads that cannot be ridden are called garden railroads. Some backyard railroads use full-size rolling stock, such as the former 3 ft narrow gauge Grizzly Flats Railroad owned by railfan and Disney animator Ward Kimball.
Shunting, in railway operations, is the process of sorting items of rolling stock into complete trains, or the reverse. In the United States this activity is known as switching.
A fiddle yard or staging yard is a collection of model railway tracks that are hidden from view and allow trains to be stored and manipulated by the operators. These tracks are used to allow most model railways to be operated in a realistic manner. Whilst it is possible to have a realistic shunting yard in view, its operation is generally unreliable with models.
Train shunting puzzles, also often called railway shunting puzzles or railroad switching puzzles, are a type of puzzle.
Inglenook Sidings, created by Alan Wright, is a model railway train shunting puzzle. It consists of a specific track layout, a set of initial conditions, a defined goal, and rules which must be obeyed while performing the shunting operations.
In model railroading, a layout is a diorama containing scale track for operating trains. The size of a layout varies, from small shelf-top designs to ones that fill entire rooms, basements, or whole buildings.
The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre is a rail transport museum located in the community of Capreol in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The museum's mandate states it is, "focused on the preservation of historical artifacts that pay tribute to the heritage of Northern Ontario and the history of the lumber, mining and railroading industries."
V-scale, Vscale, or V scale is a scale of model railroading utilizing self-defining three-dimensional models and a compatible graphics engine to create an alternative modeled world. Though it has not been classified or recognized by either the NMRA or MOROP, the term Vscale has gradually taken on widescale de facto use in railfan and model railroading circles. V-scale model railroading was created when Japanese game developer Artdink released A-Train in 1985, but it was not widely popularized until Microsoft released Microsoft Train Simulator and Australia's Auran/N3V Games released the successful family of Trainz railroad simulators, both in 2001. With the ability to enter into the cab of a modeled train consist in a modeled landscape and track system, the 'play' modes of the two simulators gradually established a following among rail enthusiasts.