Sometimes I think it’s good to get back to basics. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with a good model railroad track plan for a 4 x 8 Sn42 layout. I want kind of a western theme with some mountains (or at least hills), a tunnel or trestle (or both), and good operation and scenery potential. It turns out the right layout was in front of me all the time – John Allen’s Gorre & Daphetid. The Gorre & Daphetid is a compact model railroad that fits into my space and has all the visual and operational elements that I want. There were actually 2 versions of the original track plan published – the “original” original had an engine terminal inside the loop of track, while the “as built” original moved the engine terminal outside the loop and replaced it with an industrial siding. This modification makes the Gorre & Daphetid take up more than 4 feet in width, so I’m still working on trying to decide whether to put the engine terminal inside the loop or just leave it off all together.
The Gorre & Daphetid is considered a small model railroad by HO scale standards, so how will it work when building to 1:64 scale? I think it will work out fine. I’m modeling in Sn42, not S standard guage. My Sn42 locomotives are built on small HO scale mechanisms that can easily go around a 15 inch radius curve. All my cars are the equivelent of HO scale 40 footers or shorter. The original Gorre & Daphetid fit onto a table that was only 3’7″ wide by 6’8″ long. My table is 4 x 8 so I can use the extra space to stretch things out a bit. I’ll use the extra 5″ of width to add my main line across the front of the layout. In this scheme, the G&D will be a mining branch off of the main line, served by one of my Sn42 “critters.” The main line (for now at least) will be a place for me to display some of my larger Sn42 projects like a Roundhouse 2-8-0 I just got. The extra length will be used to spread things out a little so the 1:64 scenery and buildings don’t look so jammed together. I’ve got 11 days off over Christmas break so hopefully I can get a train table built and start laying track.
My railroad won’t be called the Gorre & Daphetid, of course. I’m naming it the Owens River Valley Railroad. That was the name of a real narrow guage railroad that was to be built between Bishop and Laws, CA to interchange with Southern Pacific’s Slim Princess narrow guage railroad.