Re: from September 1968 British magazine Railway Modeller

David Thomas

Hi Keith
That's interesting. Do you have any idea whether this was drawn before John built the very first G&D or whether it was an early plan for its extension. I had an idea that his new interest in 3ft gauge railways had an effect on his planning from the first front locomotive depot extension of the original layout, so  I wonder whether this was an early idea for extending it before that interest developed. .

In his article in the March 1948 Model Railway News John does say that "The GD line is far from complete, as over a third of the area is not yet landscaped. Later this area will contain a turntable, engine house and facilities for servicing locomotives"  so he was clearly stlll working to his original plan. After listing the rolling stock and giving some technical information about electrics (standard N.M.R.A. 12V D.C.) track etc.and that the layout is portable he goes on to say "I am fortunate in now having a great deal more space available than when I planned and started this road, so a larger, more modern railroad is being planned which this one will connect on to, making this a true "branch line".

What we don't know is when he actually wrote the notes accompanying his photos but the editorial for that edition does say "In this issue will be found some very striking photographs recently sent us by Mr. John Allen, of Monterey, California, U.S.A" so I don't think the editor, John Maskelyne, sat on them for very long so we're probably looking at late 1947 or very early 1948. After complimenting John Allen's scenic effects "we very seldom see anything of this kind even attempted on English layouts" (though that was about to change largely following the work of John Ahern) he ends by adding that "his original photographic prints are of the brilliant, lustrous quality which is the anser to a block-makers prayer."

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