LAYOUTS & VARIATIONS
As you are using a computer to browse and read this website, it's quite fitting to start with a virtual Timesaver layout. Ron Paludan (RailwayStation.com) has created a faithful reproduction of the original layout as a route for the Microsoft Train Simulator.
View of the general layout (above) and industries being served on this Timesaver layout (below)
Screenshots are © Roy Paludan. Reproduced with kind permission.
Looking at the vast number of layouts built by model railroaders following in the footsteps of John Allen and his Timesaver, one quickly finds that there are three types of "Timesaver layouts": First of all, we have layouts which follow the original very closely, displaying the original trackplan and no scenery - ready for a game of pure model railroad chess. Then, there are those layouts which follow the original trackplan on a scenicked layout. And finally, there's those layouts which are usually described as being "based on the Timesaver", very often meaning that the trackplan has been modified one way or the other while keeping the operational concept of moving stock to sidings which have limited storage capacity.
Today, you will find quite a variety of Timesaver layouts or Timesaver variations featured on the web (If you have one too, let me know, and I'll add it to the list).
New material is published on the internet daily, but there's also a fair number of webpages which disappear at the same time. I have decided to flag links rather than just deleting them if there is a problem, because not all access problems are permanent. However, if the problems persist, you can try to access the link through the Internet Archive. If that doesn't help, well - sic transit gloria mundi.
Non-scenicked Timesaver layouts
- The Prince William County Model Railroad Club probably holds the record for building the largest number of original Timesaver layouts in one go - 25 of 'em, for a Boys Scout Jamboree; lots of pictures and interesting notes here
- A German N scale Timesaver layout which, like the original, is tracks only on a bare piece of wood - good notes on operation too (in German)
- Dale Burnett has kept some records of his experiences with a non-scenicked Timesaver layout
Scenicked Timesaver layouts
- Charlie Comstock's Southern Pacific Timesaver module features great scenery and model photography
- The Radum & East Pleasanton features some operational notes regarding equipment used [original URL defunct, link is through the internet archive]
- Chris Gilbert's Canadian Pacific Much Chattering & Little Work Shortline is a BIG timesaver - small wonder, it's large scale, running in his garden, and lovely to look at [original URL defunct, link is through the internet archive, but not all pages have been archived]
- Galen Gallimore's Murdock's Landing is a superb example of how you can coat the operational potential of the Timesaver in beautiful scenery - and end up with a layout which is also great to ljust ook at
Timesaver layout variations
- The Stockholm Modelljaernvaegsklubb has a nice webpage on two Timesaver layout variations very close to the original trackplan - if you don't mind having to exercise your Swedish. This is a good example to show that the timesaver need by no means be restricted to US prototype modelling
- Scot Osterweil's NYC Highland Terminal switching layout is a variation of the timesaver, with lots of useful figures and information
- Bill Rutherford's Rose Industrial Park is an NTRAK module featuring the timesaver
An interesting variation is to combine the two classic shunting puzzles, i.e. Inglenook Sidings and the Timesaver. Straightforward as this may sound, it's not that easy to come up with a really working combination. Paul Van Hove not only managed to do this with his trackplan for an N scale layout he is currently building, he also gave the whole layout a credible industrial background: the Timesaver layout is a paper mill, and the Inglenook Sidings layout becomes a yard serving this paper mill.
(copyright Paul Van Hove, used with kind permission)
- Kato USA has a (double) Timesaver layout plan, but they have blocked any direct links to individual pages on their website, which keeps throwing you back to the main index page... great models, but their website is definitely something else :-(
- Brandy Bruce-Sharp has two Timesaver layout variations for large scale trains
- Carlos Carreter has a Timesaver trackplan for a project layout modelling Spanish Railways prototype as well as some operating notes (in Spanish)
Obviously this kind of "game" is an ideal candidate for the computer, and that's just the way I personally first came across the "Timesaver" when I read a review in Model Railroader of a software product called "RR Switch", which basically is a variation of John Allen's original concept. It sounded so interesting I ordered my copy from the author, Fred Miller, straight away. As a result, I not only got hooked on the computer game, but also on the general idea of the "Timesaver".
This screenshot of "RR Switch" v 4.5 (if you think it looks slightly odd, remember the year was 1989 and computers ran on DOS 3.1 with glorious 16 colour EGA...) nicely illustrates what the "Timesaver" and its variations are all about and how they work. The example illustrated here is a fairly easy switching order, with no new cars to be spotted and just a reshuffle of what's already there. (v 5.0 of RR Switch can be downloaded here, while v 8.5 is available directly from Fred Miller at Challenge Products)
Back to the Model Railways Shunting Puzzles Website main page
Page created: 18/OCT/2002
Last revised: 14/SEP/2005