Farewell to Grandt Line

Grandt Line has been a major supplier of injection moulded parts for US Outline Railroad modelers in various scales for nearly sixty years, but is now in the process of closing and transferring the production of parts to another company. This post will focus on Grandt Lines activities and parts to support O scale Maine Two Foot modeling.

The company was started some 60 years ago by Cliff Grandt, an exceptional modeler as well as a toolmaker, who had a hankering for narrow gauge prototypes. From a recent search through the early issues of Finelines and Slim Gauge News, it seems  that one of Cliff’s first Maine Two Foot items was the SR&RL Railcar pedestal axlebox introduced in 1968.

In 1972 following the exit of a previous supplier a couple of years earlier, Grandt Line plugged a major gap in vital materials when they introduced their Two Foot wheel sets to ¼AAR standards, shown below.

Note the Boston lettering on the face of the wheel.

Whilst the majority of the items produced by Grandt Line for retail sales were injection moulded plastic, the company also produced some items in brass mainly for trade customers, such as the door and window sets some of which are illustrated below, which were commissioned by Custom Brass for use in the manufacture of their imported  brass passenger car models in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have subsequently been offered to the retail market in both brass and plastic.

 

In 1982 Grandt Line produced a generic Maine Two Foot freight car truck, moulded in Delrin, and which is still available – one of the staples for many Maine On2 modellers over the years.

 

Other parts produced specifically for the Maine Two Foot rolling stock modeler were the 4 rung ladders for the B&SR boxcars, stake pockets suitable for two foot flat cars and the large nut and square washers used on the ends of truss rods by the SR&RL and WW&FR with scale reproductions of the company lettering.

 

In addition, the company acquired the tooling of the Hetch Hetchy Scale Models concern and re-introduced a number of Maine Two Foot specific doors, windows and other architectural details.

 

The company employed a number of family members and they decided that on their impending retirement that they would prefer to close the business as Grandt Line and offer the tooling and production rights for sale to another supplier. It is only recently (Fall/Autumn of 2018) that the family have announced that the production rights and tooling have been acquired by The San Juan Company in Colorado, and they have made a general announcement of intending to continue to supply parts in the future. In a message posted to the Maine On2 group on the 14th November, Doug Junda (one of the owners of The San Juan Company) stated that they were currently building inventory in California prior to moving equipment to Colorado.

 

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Hetch Hetchy Scale Models – a work in progress

Hetch Hetchy Scale Models were based in Hamden, Connecticut and appear to have been a specialist supplier of injection moulded plastic parts for minor railroads way back in the 1970’s. According to a post to the Yahoo group board the company was run by Andy Miller.

An idea of what Hetch Hetchy offered is given by the listings from the Hobby Barn catalog of the late 1970’s;-


Note that doors 8605 & 8606 are shown upside down in their frames.

Hetch Hetchy Scale Models were a major supplier of parts to SRCS for their Strong Station and similar kits. A selection of the Hetch Hetchy parts from the SRCS O scale Strong Station kit is shown below.

Most Hetch Hetchy parts are noted for their fine detail and the sharpness of their moulding, but the Strong Chimney part is unique for representing an old weathered stack with uneven surfaces as seen in close up below.

 

In the early 2000’s, after a fairly long period of parts not being available, the moulds were acquired by the Grandt Line company and many parts were re-introduced, a few of which are shown below.

 

Here is a partial listing of the Maine Two Foots originally produced by Hetch Hetchy which were listed by Grandt Line.

O scale Maine Windows

 

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8401 6 pane 30” x 28” 3761 Kingfield Station
8402 12 pane 30” x 56” 3763 Kingfield Station
8403 12 pane 38” x 86” 3762 Kingfield Station
8404 2 pane 28” x 26” 3764
8405 3 pane 28” x 48” 3765
8406 3 pane 28” x 64” 3766
8407 2 pane 18” x 78” 3767 Strong Station
8408 4 pane 38” x 78” 3768 Strong Station
8409 Double 4 pane 78” x 78” 3769 Strong Station
8410 Pool Hall Window 56” x 82” 5 pane 3779

O scale Maine Doors

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8601 4 panel 34” x 7’ 6” 3629
8602 4 panel w/window 34” x 6’ 10” 3629 Kingfield
8605 7 panel 39” x 7’ 3” 3630 Strong Station
8606 7 panel 49” x 7’ 3” 3631 Strong Station

O scale Maine Details

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8801 Chimney ???? Strong Station
8802 Eaves Braces 3558 Strong Station
8803 Cupola Louvres 3570 Strong Station

 

Rev 2; 05 December 2018

Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module goes West …..to New England

Our regular viewers will know Bob Harper and his travels with his Maine style sections of his home layout. His most recent adventure has been to attend The Amherst Railway Show at the Great Eastern Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts, in January 2018. In this post Bob has written and taken photographs showing how the module is packed to withstand the rigours of airfreight and other travels. Bob’s brother, Gerald, also a keen model railroader lives in Toronto, so it is natural for Bob to travel to Toronto, and then drive down to the US venues.

Before the Amherst show, Bob & Gerald took the opportunity to visit Trevor Marshall to view his home layout Port Rowan in Toronto;-

Bob Harper watches as a freight extra rolls out of Port Rowan, and later commented
“beautiful work, and very British in concept, but sadly not portable of course.”


Gerald Harper captures a CNR gas electric arriving at Port Rowan on train M233’s schedule.

Click here to view Bob’s Franklin module and here to view Bob’s Megantic module on new browser pages.

Click here to visit Trevor’s Port Rowan blog on a new browser page.

Click here to view the Amherst Railway show website on a new browser page.

 

FRANKLIN GOES TO AMHERST

After the relative ease of taking Franklin to the Narrow gauge Convention in Augusta, Maine in 2016, I got over-ambitious and planned to do it again, but on a larger scale.

There is an enormous general railway show at West Springfield, Massachusetts, every January, put on by the Amherst Railway Society; probably the biggest show in the US, with 8 acres of hall space and around 20-25000 attendees each year. I got cheeky and asked if I could come, and was welcomed with open arms! Fans of The Simpsons will know that they live in W. Springfield! So I arranged for the layout to come with me to Toronto in late January, and we headed off again over the border (a very tedious experience this time) in my brothers truck.

There was a mighty difference this time compared to the Augusta trip in August 2016; the temperature was -10 degrees Celsius and the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers were piles of ice – great blocks built up along both banks, and the whole way across in places. That said, we were very lucky with the weather generally, given how bad it could have been. Everything generally went smoothly at the show, the layout in particular running perfectly, though we had some difficulty with general arrangements and information. Nearly all the layouts and trade stands come every year, and they all know exactly what to do; so information for new exhibitors was very sparse. As a result, we never found the Saturday evening show dinner, though we didn’t go hungry! Packing up on Sunday evening went smoothly, and then another long drive back to Toronto.

This time, rather than bringing the layout straight back to the UK with me, I decided I would leave it, and the rolling stock, in my brothers workshop in Toronto. This means that I can also take it to the Canadian Narrow Gauge Exhibition at Schomberg, 30 miles or so north of Toronto, on Saturday 21st April, and the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Minneapolis in early September.  Obviously this saves 2 round trips for the layout, and an awful lot of hassle, though I did have a bit more formality with Canadian Customs this time given that it was staying in the country for 9 months rather than 10 days. So now I’m back in the UK, with only exhibition appearances for my Great Western standard and broad gauge layouts until the Autumn.

Is it worth doing? Financially obviously not, but as an experience of a type of show completely different from a British one, then definitely yes. Although there were thousands of people there, the interest seems to be in the trade stands rather than the layouts. There were rarely more than 1 or 2 people watching any of the layouts, but those who did watch Franklin were usually engrossed for a long time. In particular, everybody was fascinated by my full turntable fiddle yard, where complete trains are turned ready for their next trip. Some people use a simple traverser, but a full rotating yard is a completely new experience. There were a good number of people manning the Maine preservation societies stands, and they made up a large part of my audience. It seemed wonderful to them that their favourite lines could actually be modelled in a meaningful way, with smooth and reliable operation and many of the features of the Maine 2 footers modelled in such a small space. So it was greatly rewarding to present such a novel way of modelling in the land of the actual prototype.

Bob Harper, February 2018.

One of the scenic boards being boxed up

Boxing up the fiddle yard, lighting fascia, and curtains

A snug fit in the Ford Mondeo Estate for the trip to the airport.

The whole layout after collection from Canadian Customs on the other side of the pond.

The layout unpacked and set up in one of the 4 halls of the Amherst Railway Show at the Great Eastern Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Note that most photographs have not been cropped and edited purposely in order to show the vast amount of space at this show and venue.

A local New Englander has a go operating my New England layout!

Although there were 17000 people at the show, it was never crowded in our hall, but there was a steady trickle of Maine 2 foot fans from the WW&FR and SR&RL Museum stands coming round to see, and all seemed amazed that such an interesting layout could be fitted in so small a space, and that everything ran so well, with smooth, slow shunting. They were also all amazed by the fiddle yard, especially when they realised that it could turn the whole trains round 180 degrees ready to go out again! So while a lot of cost, work and stress was invested getting Franklin there, it seems to have been a worthwhile educational effort, as it was a completely different concept from all the other layouts there.

One of the many modular layouts in the show; this one shows the fairly common scenic mismatch of adjoining boards.

However this vast layout has a properly planned gradation from scene to scene. Any Exhibition Manager would be envious of the space available!

A general shot showing the staggering size of the show. Remember that this is only one of four halls, though two of them were smaller.

Scenes from an On30 modular layout. The standard of scenic modelling was exceptionally high, though some of the physical details are a little unlikely! Sadly this layout suffered from a seeming inability to run any actual trains reliably, a common fault with this type of communal project.

 

This 0-4-0 2ft gauge loco from the Edaville Railway was in steam outside the main hall, though restricted its action to regular whistle blasts.

Click here to view a short YouTube segment showing this loco at the Amherst Railway show on a new browser page.

I was surprised how quickly we were able to get the layout dismantled and boxed up again ready for the open air trip back to Toronto. Normally it travels in the back of my car, with no extra protection. I’m glad we did not try that this time, as we ran into a blizzard just after we re-crossed the border into Canada.

All the rolling stock and ancillaries came in these crates, which also braved the elements in the back of the truck. The crucial piece of equipment is the power converter, which I bought in Canada. This converts European 230 volts to N. American 115 volts, or vice versa in my case. So everything on the layout (lighting, for example) was operated at its normal 230 volts. This seemed easier than trying to rig up temporary 115 volt lighting, power transformer etc. It worked very well, though got pretty warm after a full days operation. None of my UK light bulbs got broken on the flight either, though I had taken several spares just in case.

The next trips;-

The baseboard boxes and most of the rolling stock have been left in Toronto, so I can go back and do the Canadian Narrow gauge show at Schomberg on April 21st, and Narrow gauge Convention in Minneapolis, 5-8 September. I will then bring everything back finally.

Click here to view the Schomberg show and here to visit the 2018 Minneapolis Convention site on new browser pages.

Top posts for 2017

The editors would like to wish all the contributors a Happy New Year and thank them for their material used in the past year during which the blog received its 100,000th viewing.

The most viewed posts (*) during the calendar year 2017 were;-

#1- MaineOn2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#2- MaineOn2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL.

#3- Moe Example – a password protected example showing Moe Mechling’s inimitable styles for drawings and letters.

#4- MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL.

#5– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module.

#6- Couplers.

Click on the blue lettering to visit the topic on another browser page.

The Moe page was posted to the blog in support of a then current discussion on the Maine On2 Yahoo! group board at the end of June 2017. For copyright and other reasons, it was posted under password protection, with the password being posted to members of that group on June 29 2017.

Yet again, this is a rather different listing compared to those of previous calendar years, with three of the top placings being taken by new topics posted this year, and four of the top placings being taken by layouts, although regrettably only two still exist.

Activity this year has generally been down on last years record numbers, in terms of lower numbers of new topics posted, slightly lower viewing numbers and lower numbers of specific topic viewings which are used to produce these end of year rankings. The number of visitors was up by nearly 5% on last years total.

The nationality of viewers was pretty stable, with some 72% of the 2017 total viewings coming from the USA, the United Kingdom came in second with 7% and Canada placed third with 4%. Next came Australia (3.3%), France(2.8%), Germany (2.1%) and Japan (2.0%). The blog has recorded visits from 56 different countries around the globe this year.

We hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year.
We have more topics and content in-process and may well find errors to correct and additional information to add to existing postings, so keep coming back in the coming year.

 

Terry,

on behalf of the editorial team (Trevor, Matt & Terry).

(*) as recorded by WordPress, using direct visits to the topic/posting.

Maine Industries in the Two Foot Era (1880 – 1940) – some resources by Tom Hoermann

Tom Hoermann gave a clinic titled “Maine Industries in the Two Foot Era (1880 – 1940)” at the 36th National Narrow Gauge Convention held in Augusta, Maine in September 2016. To accompany this clinic, Tom gave out a hard copy document listing some of the resources that he used to develop the clinic, and has given us a copy and permission to publish on the FAQ’s for those persons who were unable to attend the Convention. Thanks Tom!   

Picture of the Portland Company building located at 58 Fore Street, Portland added for the FAQ’s.

The purpose of every railroad is to move people, raw materials, and/or finished goods from place to place. This clinic will examine the inter-relationship between various industries and the railroads in Maine during the period 1880 – 1940, using lots of photographs.  Topics include: farming and fishing; logging, lumber, wood and paper; mineral extraction and processing; light and heavy manufacturing; recreation and tourism; construction and transportation.  Information on interesting and unusual prototypes will provide plenty of ideas for your layout, modules, and mini-scenes!

There are an increasing number of resources to prospect when looking for information on a prototype, its history, and images of it. Here are the major printed references I used for this clinic:

A Day’s Work: A Sampler of Historic Maine Photographs, 1860 – 1920, Parts I & II

Annotated and Compiled by W. H. Bunting, Tilbury House, Publishers, Gardiner, Maine; and Maine Preservation, Portland, Maine

Part I, October 1997, ISBN 0-88448-188-3 Part II, August 2000, ISBN 0-88448-206-5

All Aboard for Yesterday! A Nostalgic History of Railroading in Maine

Malcolm Barter, Editor, Down East Books, Camden, Maine, 1979. ISBN 0-89272-053-0

A Pictorial History of Maine

Thomas M. Griffiths & Arthur M. Griffiths, A Monmouth Press Edition, printed by Twin City Printery, Lewiston, Maine

(date and ISBN unknown)

Books from the Images of America Series

Arcadia Publishing, an imprint of Tempus Publishing, Inc., Charleston, SC

This series continues to expand; check their website ( www.arcadiapublishing.com ) for current titles. Note that since these books are authored by many different individuals and local historical societies, the quality of text and photographs varies from book to book.  But they all provide a lot of photographs with captions on their title subject all in one volume.

Logging and Lumbering in Maine

Donald A. Wilson, 2001, ISBN 0-7385-0521-8

Maine Life at the Turn of the Century, through the Photographs of Nettie Cummings Maxim

Diane and Jack Barnes, 1995, ISBN 0-7524-0240-4

Maine’s Steamboating Past

Donald A. Wilson, 2007, ISBN 0-7385-4964-4

The Portland Company, 1846 – 1982

David H. Fletcher, 2002, ISBN 0-7385-1140-4

Togus, Down in Maine: The First National Veterans Home

Timothy L. Smith, 1998, ISBN 0-7254-0998-0

Online Resources

The internet fulfills its promise as a means of accessing and sharing information on historical topics. Search engines enable us to find museums, historical societies, libraries, and other institutions; and then to virtually wander through their archives and collections of photographs.  But if you have the opportunity to visit these brick-and-mortar facilities, I encourage you to do so.  Virtual reality has its benefits; but in my opinion, nothing compares to standing next to an actual object that has seen years of actual use, be it a hand-made berry basket, a quilt, a painting, a carpenter’s plane, or a Portland Forney.

The following list includes the websites that I used to develop this clinic:

Maine Memory Network; a project of the Maine Historical Society
www.mainememory.net

Maine Historical Society, Portland
www.mainehistory.org

Maine History Online
https://www.mainememory.net/mho/

Vintage Maine Images, Portland
www.vintagemaineimages.com

Maine State Museum, Augusta
www.mainestatemuseum.org

Maine Maritime Museum, Bath
www.mainemaritimemuseum.org

Maine Forest & Logging Museum, Bradley
www.maineforestandloggingmuseum.org

Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport
www.trolleymuseum.org

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum, Portland
www.mainenarrowgauge.org

Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum, Alna
www.wwfry.org

Boothbay Railway Village, Boothbay
www.railwayvillage.org

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railway Museum, Phillips
www.srrl-rr.org

The Stanley Museum, Kingfield
www.stanleymuseum.org

Maine Granite Industry Museum, Mt. Desert
www.mainegraniteindustry.org

Maine Folklife Center, University of Maine, Orono
www.mainefolklife.mainememory.net

Owl’s Head Transportation Museum, Owl’s Head, Portland
www.owlshead.org

Patten Lumbermen’s Museum, Patten
www.lumbermensmuseum.org

Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport
www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org

The American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA (Chace Catalogue)
www.athm.org

Of course, there are many more online resources, including the websites of the many historical societies and libraries throughout Maine, the US, and the world. Also, check out media websites such as YouTube to see videos of operating machines and models.

I hope this clinic has provided some useful information and entertainment. But if you have been inspired to do some research on subjects close to your own home, interests, and hobbies (especially your railroad!), then we have really accomplished something!

If you do incorporate your research into your models, I hope that you will share your work and inspire the rest of us. And most importantly, please consider making a contribution of your time, your expertise, and/or your financial support to your favorite historical society, museum, or library.

 

Maine On2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL

The first set of pictures following appear here by courtesy of Koji Yuen of Okayama, Japan and Peter Barney, who also supplied the captions. They were taken by Koji when Peter’s home layout featured in the Layout Tours of the 22nd National Narrow Gauge Convention of Warwick, RI in 2002.

Peter’s On2 layout almost fills the basement of his home in southern Massachusetts. The line is a point to point reproduction of the SR&RL from Farmington to Phillips, Strong and Rangeley. The line is wrapped around and threaded through the walls in the basement which support the house above, presenting the line as a series of vignettes and operating areas, and not offering any one viewpoint which shows the complete extent of the line.

Peter advises that much of the line, except the Farmington area has been rebuilt since these pictures were taken, and an example is shown at the end of the 2002 pictures.

The author’s own recollection of his visit to the line (in the late 1980’s) is that many of the mills were built large enough to correctly dwarf the trains.

 

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Farmington yard. While shorter than the original does have the feel and the standard gauge lines crossing two foot gauge lines.

 

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Looking north toward Phillips. The model yard was a mirror image of the real Phillips yard.

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Phillips yard; the roundhouse had three full stalls, then 7 fake stalls against the wall.

 

pbtpm04c

# 18 switching Phillips yard.

 

pbtpm05d

The International Mill in Phillips made from plastic engine house walls.

 

pbtpm03c

Freight train going through Dead River.

 

Peter’s modeling was not limited to the SR&RL in On2, but extended to the other Maine Two Footers being given running rights over the SR&RL layout; the basement also housed Peter’s Kennebec Central layout which was featured in Railroad Model Craftsman. The picture below shows the Sandy River being invaded from trains from Fiji. Peter made the locomotives from Mantua/Tyco 0-6-0 mechanisms narrowed to On2. …………..Sweet!

pbtpm07c

Like many On2 modelers, Peter also models in the large scales in his garden.

 

To visit Koji Yuen’s website showing his railroad models click here. An English language page is available.

Some more of Peter Barney’s modeling.

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This picture shows the latest section of the layout that Peter has re-built – the Clary Mill with Wiscasset #6. Click on the picture to view at a larger scale.

 

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Peter built this module of Bridgton for the Bridgton Historical Society, where it is now on display.

 

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In 2015, the WW&FR Museum of Alna, Maine commissioned Peter to build this module to show visitors what the Wiscasset water front looked like when the line ran down that far in the 1900’s.

 

 

 

 

Track standards- parallel track spacing for Maine On2

Parallel track spacing can be a problem for Maine On2 (and other scales) layout builders at the design stage, particularly if they need to shoehorn a design into restricted space, as there is not a lot of information around for guidance, but here’s what we have found.

The NMRA Standard for model railroad parallel track spacing is S-8 which can be viewed here. The general view of the Maine Two Foot modellers is that this standard is not particularly helpful as it depends upon interpretation and interpolation, but still does not give clear results for On2. This was so eloquently put by Yahoo! group member Hilary Smith very many moons ago:-

In my reading so far, I have either not come across spacing discussions or have overlooked them. Looking at NMRA S-8 Track Center Standards for Class II (small four-wheel truck diesels; small steam; old-time, logging, branch line rolling stocking stock) O scale standard gauge puts tangent track at 3.75″ (or 15 scale feet) apart, and for a curve of 41.5″ radius, 3.8125″ apart. For On3, tangents are 2.75″ and for 41.5″ radius, 3.375″, proportionally much wider spacing in curves relative to tangents than in standard gauge. Comparing On3 tangent spacing with standard gauge shows that the track centerlines are a full 1″ or four feet closer together, but on curves only 0.4375″ (or 1.75 feet) closer together. So, are On2 cars no skinnier or longer than their On3 counterparts meaning that On3 spacing standards are a good choice? Or should the centerlines be closer still? Thanks for any observations, experience, or advice.

Hilary Smith,  Northern Virginia

 

The post got two replies;-

Terry Smith: The Maine two foot passenger cars can be longer than was common on three foot gauges, meaning that models of Maine cars “cut the corners” more than the equivalent three foot lines. The controlling dimension is the truck centres. I think that three foot narrow gauge cars are slightly wider in general than two foot, but not sufficiently different to make a difference modelling wise for track centres. ie using the On3 data will be OK for On2.

Trevor Marshall:  
You asked about spacing between tracks on tangents and curves for On2 layouts. I think it’s safe to say, as Terry Smith suggested in his reply, that passenger cars are the critical equipment for curves. Therefore, if you have such a car (SR&RL – not, say, Monson, whose lone passenger car was much shorter), you could do your own testing:

1 – lay a minimum radius curve on a surface on which you can draw with a pencil. You can either spike down a piece of On2 flex, or just a pair of rails, directly onto, say, a 1×6 piece of pine.

2 – put the car on the track.

3 – holding a pencil at each end of the car on the outside of the curve, roll the car along the track so the pencil draws a line on your surface

4 – repeat holding a pencil at the midpoint of the car on the inside of the curve.

5 – measure the offset between the track centerline and each line you’ve drawn.

Note that the pencil line will be slightly offset from the edge of the car – that’s built-in clearance for you. If you don’t yet have a passenger car – or don’t want to use that nicely painted model as a marking device – you could always cut a passenger-car-sized piece from styrene or wood (doesn’t have to be exact, but should be at least as large as the car is, corner to corner), add some bolsters from styrene strip under it at the proper locations, and screw some On2 trucks to it. You could even add pencil holders at each corner and in the middle if you like. Build two of them and you can check clearance on the layout before running your real models through. Heck, even add vertical pieces at the ends and in the center to turn one into a clearance car for bridges, buildings, holes in the backdrop, etc.

That’s curves for you. For straights, I have two standards: For transfer tracks, freight platforms, or other places where cars will be spotted adjacent to each other or adjacent to a structure with the intent that plates be dropped between them for the transfer of goods via hand-trucks or strong backs, I use my widest pieces of equipment to lay the tracks as close together as possible without sideswiping. For other places, I’ve spaced tangent track on 3″ centers. This is way more than the minimum spacing required, but it looks right to me – narrow gauge yards tend to have a spare, open feeling to them, and 3″ spacing allows for an O scale figure to stand between cars on adjacent tracks without getting sideswiped. Remember, the minimum is not always the best.

Hope this helps. – Trevor in Toronto

Some time later, the question was asked again, and this time the replies included references to the Maine Two Foot prototypes and other modellers’ experience.  

sizecomp01a

Bob Schlechter: Scaling from the prototype photo above, taken at Bridgton Junction, gives approximately 8′ 7″ to 8′ 9″ as the center to center distance of the two foot trackage to the standard gauge trackage. The photo was taken from the roof of a standard gauge box car looking downward at the trains and trackage giving a good vantage point.

bob02pt01

Bob Schlechter: on my Kennebec Central diorama (above) I used 8 1/2 scale feet center to center. Looks good for prototype spacing but if one is going to do lots of operation and switching you may want it wider to allow for full size fingers to be able to reach in between cars!

 

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Terry Smith: “I used 2½” spacing for straight parallel tracks widening to 2¾” around the curved sections (36” radius) on the Reading iteration of my P&SR (pictured above). I added the extra bit of clearance around the curves because I had a passing loop cum staging tracks that were bent round a 90 degree corner in parallel.
I do not recall having problems with access for manual uncoupling (using a Rix wand for my Kadee’s) or with interfering overhangs/underhangs with the longer rolling stock (coaching stock and Bridgton 34 foot freight stock) or locomotives like the large Forney’s, (B&SR/B&HR #7 & #8), or SR&RL #24 using these values.

 

Bob Harper: I use 3″ spacing on my On3 tracks and 2½” on my On2,  which reflects the difference in width of the real rolling stock – 8′ on the 3′ and 6′ on the 2′ lines. Looking at Franklin on the FAQ’s will show how this looks.

Editor: see the picture above of Bob’s Franklin module where the slight out of focus plus lighting highlight the tracks. To view more pictures of Bob’s Franklin module on another browser page, click here.

Bob Harper continues: Obviously the throw-over of the long On2 coaches is important, but I have found that the critical dimension is the cab on SR&RL #23. This is far wider than anything else (apart from a snow plow?), and my mistake of having the driver leaning out of the side window made clearances even worse! He has since been repositioned.

But another factor to bear in mind is the sense of proportion of the whole scene. Unless we are very fortunate with the space available, we inevitably have to fore-shorten out scenes, and trying to keep a prototypical width while losing the prototypical length can lead to the eye perceiving the track spacing to be too wide. In order to keep the overall scene in proportion, it may be necessary to slightly reduce the track spacing from prototypical standards.

 

Trevor Marshall: I like the generously spaced look of the Maine Two Foot yards, like in the picture below of Bridgton on the B&SR/B&HR;-

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Trevor continues: I’ve used 3″ centers on my On2 layouts. I find it gives that appropriately “NG” look.

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Above is a picture showing Enoch Pond station area under construction in the first iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR, which captures the spaced out look between the tracks.

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This is a rare overhead shot of the Hebron Pond Slate Company sheds and passenger depot on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

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Trevor continues: – I built a test track board that included both 2′ and standard gauge tracks, side by side, like a transfer yard (illustrated above by the interchange yard at Monson Junction). I lined things up visually – used a standard gauge and 2′ boxcar and double checked my spacing with an engine. I think I left a scale 6″ between the equipment, and raised the 2′ gauge line so that the floors of the cars were level.

What I did NOT do was check the spacing with a 2′ gauge plow. ……..Guess what? They’re a lot wider than other equipment. So, if you can get a plow or mock up the width of one (a block of balsa would do), it’s a good idea for checking clearances.

I think I’d still build the transfer tracks close like I did. Crews will just have to shovel the tracks by hand, or plow when there are no standard gauge cars in the yard.

Editor (18-12-2016): I’ve just found my plans of the Bridgton snow plow #2, which measures 8ft 10ins wide at its maximum – a lot different from the normal 6ft 6in to 6ft 9ins width of Bridgton freight cars and coaches. The model snow plow that Trevor acquired was built from a SRCS kit for SR&RL #513, which measures 8ft 4ins wide at its maximum.

Editor: Here’s a picture of the interchange yard at Snowdon on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

tpmpt03a

For more pictures of Trevor’s layouts click here. Well worth a browse!

If you have different suggestions and/or experience and would care to share it with us then please contact us.