moonscape?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by roch, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. roch

    roch Member

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    I just was wondering if anyone has ever thought of or done a layout based on a colonized moon?
    At first I thought that doing a plain moon landscape would be cool for beginers because of the limited color sceme. Than I thought that with a lot of imagination it could turn into something way cool. :thumb:

    roch
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    Wouldnt your trains be floating off the track?:mrgreen:
  3. engineshop

    engineshop Member

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    A colonized moon proberbly would have a subway stystem (Maglev or similar) before the would run tracks on the surface inside a glass tube.
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Yep, somebody on here had that idea already. It was several years ago and if memory serves me correctly, not much was done with the idea.
  5. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    With enough initiative and some practical research it could be done. I envision a maglev bullet type train which is already in use on Earth. The track would be elevated above the terrrain. The loco and cars would be airtight and have on board environmental systems. Also for all your "industries" and stops the loco would have to enter into an airlock. I like the tube idea too as it would eliminate said airlock idea, however having your "trains" running thru tubes could be frustrating to clean and maintain.

    I think if you were to build a layout like that it would have to be from the ground up. Also, to be believable it would have to almost look like it was designed for the harsh and deadly environment of space.

    Going back to the airlock idea...You wouldn't be able to run trains that were no more then a few cars long. Otherwise your airlock would need to be as long as your stops...at both ends!!! Or you could play all Star Trek TNG and say that there are forcefields over the entrances thus eliminating the whole need for an airlock. Eitherway...your train size would be limited to size of your largest stop along the way.

    I think it would be kinda neat to have a Shuttle type vehicle parked nearby delivering goods from Earth. Like an Uber Team Track set up. The good would be stored in containers which would be loaded on to special cars that train would pick up and deliver. Kinda like an Intermodel Train.

    Or you could have everyone wearing their own personal space suit...that would take care of that problem and still be "believable" by today's technology stand point.

    I dunno. It could be fun however a lot of work at the same time. As a novelty layout it would be neat to see. However...it might get old after awhile. But that's just my 2 cents.
  6. roch

    roch Member

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    I think that if we were able to colonize the moon we sure could figure out how to give it gravity like by getting it to spin or something of that nature. And we could figure how to give it an oxygen rich environment. :mrgreen:

    I guess it would be more like earth than and that would be boring when coming up with a new railroad to model after. :eek:

    roch
  7. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    Well you didn't mention you wanted to terra-form the moon and give it artifical gravity! :grin:
  8. ozzman

    ozzman New Member

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    Tetters wrote: "I envision a maglev bullet type train".

    How difficult WOULD it be to build a model Mag Lev train? I'm just curious....
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    A high-speed train on the Moon wouldn't look like a high-speed train on Earth - no streamlining!
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    I have absolutely no idea. I suppose you could scratch build one using a frame from an existing loco and make it "look" like a maglev...when really its on rails. I see a lot of kitbashing and scratch building for a project like this. I'd be motivated to use a ton of artistic licence and try to make it look nothing like what is used on Earth if you will.

    Triplex makes a good point too. You wouldn't need to make it aero or streamlined. It could look like a cube or a cylinder.
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Well, at least you wouldn't have to do any weathering ! :mrgreen: Rob
  12. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    There was an article in Model Railroader (I think in the early 1980s), in one of their April issues, on just this subject. The idea was to model more of an industrial-railway type of project than a high-speed one: something to carry goods from a spaceport to industrial sites on a lunar colony. It was a pretty cute idea, with a couple of small models.

    There is little need to provide a pressurized tube for the train to run in, or giant train-sized airlocks at the station. All you need are pressurized cars, and an airlock the size of the door of the car at each station. For large bulk loads of raw materials or other things not requiring atmosphere (like girders or electric motors or specialized technological equipment) you can just set it on a flatcar in vacuum, strap it down and you're off. For large containers of vacuum-sensitive goods (shipments of food, for instance) a pressurized modular container could be lifted off of the cars via robot and unloaded via airlock doors, or in the case of things like liquids (water, fuels) the tank could just be connected directly to hoses on the colony structure and the empty tanks returned to the train.

    There is gravity on the moon, it is about one-sixth Earth gravity. This means you can carry big, big loads, but momentum is unchanged--braking becomes a real difficulty, as does wheel slippage.

    A maglev would be simpler than on Earth, because of the reduced gravity you'd only need one-sixth as much lifting power from the magnets. During the lunar night (14 days long) you'd have no problem keeping superconducting magnets cool, but during the day heat would become a problem. And, as mentioned above, you wouldn't have to worry about aerodynamic streamlining.

    How to model a maglev? Build a model maglev! It would cost a lot in rare-earth magnets and electromagnet assemblies, but it should be possible to build a working maglev model and run around a train. Or you could just put hidden wheels under it!

    Weathering would still be an issue: there's plenty of lunar dust, and human activities would kick up that dust and get it into things. The color scheme would be pretty monochromatic--blacks, grays and white.

    Here's a link you might find interesting:
    Micro Layout Design Gallery
    (Scroll down to "Copernichaum XXIV.")
  13. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    I hate to shoot you down roch, but you've taken on quite a project here. First, gravity is a product of mass, so to give the moon a gravitational field somewhat like the Earth's you would have to increase it's mass about six times what it is. In other words make it the same size as the Earth. Of course then you run into tidal forces, creating 60 to 80 foot tides. Coastal areas probably wouldn't appreciate that. :mrgreen: Next the reason the moon doesn't have an atmosphere is that there isn't enough gravity to hold one, so more mass more gravity more tides.....
    Something no one has mentioned is a little problem with meteorites. If you look at the moon those big round circle things are craters where big @$$ed rocks hit it. not somewhere you'd want to be when that happened. :eek:
    I saw a documentary on maglevs and the first one built was a model, roughly the size of a G scale train. It ran around an outdoor track that looked to be about the size that would fit in a good sized back yard. This was done back in the 60's I believe, so no superconductors. I don't remember if it mentioned any specifics but with some research it should be recreatable.
    One of the things that I remember from the Apollo missions (I'm dating myself here :mrgreen: )was that the astronauts complained about how the moon dust stuck to everything. Guess you'd need car washes too. :mrgreen:
  14. roch

    roch Member

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    I hate to shoot you down roch, but you've taken on quite a project here. First, gravity is a product of mass, so to give the moon a gravitational field somewhat like the Earth's you would have to increase it's mass about six times what it is. In other words make it the same size as the Earth. Of course then you run into tidal forces, creating 60 to 80 foot tides. Coastal areas probably wouldn't appreciate that. :mrgreen: Next the reason the moon doesn't have an atmosphere is that there isn't enough gravity to hold one, so more mass more gravity more tides.....
    Something no one has mentioned is a little problem with meteorites. If you look at the moon those big round circle things are craters where big @$$ed rocks hit it. not somewhere you'd want to be when that happened. :shock:


    sign1

    Darn and I was packing for my trip there. :twisted:

    Roch
  15. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    I've decided to vacation on Mars next year. I asked my employer for the time off however I got mixed reactions when I mentioned I'd need at least two years. Gotta include travel time for the return trip ya know.
  16. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    Two years travel for a two week stay. :| But as they say, getting there is half the fun. :cry: :mrgreen: :grin: tooth1 :p