The December 2019/January 2020 issue (Run 309) of “O Gauge Railroading” magazine has an article “O Gauge Version of John Allen’s Iconic G&D” by Ken Hoganson.
I thought a little info about this might be interesting. It is nice to see the G&D appear again.
I didn’t think it would appropriate to copy the plans from the magazine (especially one still on sale), so I redrew them. If you do get the magazine, you will find there are at least several errors with the particular track pieces called out. But it’s not hard to figure out what is correct (especially things like a left hand switch being noted as right hand). He also mixes both Lionel Fastrack (plastic roadbed) and Atlas track (no roadbed) pointing out that the Atlas is good for bridges and such.
First, here is the original for reference:
Here is my redrawing of the magazine track plan. I used the program AnyRail and I think I got it pretty close. The author points out, “As an O gauge plan, a number of features been added or revised form the original HO plan to meet O gauge enthusiast expectations. Three new spurs have been added, along with an interchange track to a connecting railroad, hidden staging tracks, more structures, and some operating accessories.”
The turntable is an Atlas 24 incher and substantially larger, proportionally, than what John used. The author acknowledges that it eats up a lot of space on the right wide of the layout.
There is a drawing in the magazine with suggested building locations and the result is MUCH more crowded than the original. It is much closer to the spaghetti bowl trackage we so often see, especially in O gauge. The bucolic nature seems completely lost. But there is more railroading possible. John had maybe six structures including water tanks, and they were small. This O gauge plan has about 15 structures and quite a few are fairly large.
The radius isn’t as tight as John’s and the minimum is “O-60” which is 60” diameter or 30” radius. (The original Lionel curves we had in our childhood were O-27 or O-31 for 27 and 31 inch diameters – really sharp curves – O-36 is what comes in most train sets now).
I think the O Gauge plan manages to lose original’s character, but the changes seem to have been carefully considered with reasons.
The layout size is 7”6” x 12’. 12” grid lines in my drawings.
The plan in the magazine has a bite taken out of the top right corner called “open access and viewing”. Not sure it is needed depending on what sides of the layout are accessible. Also, the lake (he calls it a pond) is designed to be removable for access. Also, unlike the original plan the lower level tracks to are not hidden at the upper right and the trestle carries the branch line over the now visible trackage.
The original plan has 6 switches, this plan increases that to 13.
Here it is after undoing all of those changes but still using the same pieces for most of the basic design that the author used. I put a switch in about the right place for the spur along the front edge at Gorre. I also tried to set up the turn table tracks closer to what the original was. Due to how the space is, it might be better to deviate from the original design and perhaps put the engine house where you can have the longest tracks. Finally, I made the tracks at the upper right of the plan hidden like the original.
Note that in this sort of track layout program it attempts to “lock” the pieces together and that is indicated by the little white circles. Often, you can’t get things quite perfect and there may be a very small gap or misalignment on the CAD plan. But if such errors are small, everything will connect fine in real life. Track ha a little give and take. This has two such minor issues: The end of the track for what is the long straight bridge near Gorre doesn’t quite align with the switch to the branch line. Also, the siding at the front edge as draw has all the track “locked” nicely, but it is at a slight angle and I meant it to be parallel. But looking at the plan, perhaps I could just rotate the whole shebang a little to correct that. Again, the track will easily give enough to allow a little realignment in real life.
Charles E. “Chuck” Kinzer
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