The switchback – a long run in a little space

Reading the Freeonrail blog – a European site looking at “How to squeeze big trains into tiny spaces”, I was reminded how good the “Gum Stump & Snowshoe Railroad, conceived by the recently deceased Chuck Yungkurth (also an expert on NE USA anthracite railroads) was…..

Early in the 60th Chuck Yungkurth created the “Gum Stump & Snowshoe Railroad“. I copied this ingenious micro layout using some stock of “Märklin-M-Tracks” and renamed it as “Sanspareil” Ok, please connive the old-fashioned trackwork…just have a look on the trackplan. And yes…that´s a switchback. The train – starting front right – has to change direction twice before reaching it´s destination one level higher on the left hand side. In this way we are able to add a distance of approximately five (!) meters. Not bad for a plank with a total length of 2, 10 m!

switchback

The author goes on to say….

The problem of gumstumping are steep grades. Nearly 10 % are challenging even for short trains. If you forget about the railroad flyover in the foreground you will come to a plan like below. My “Darjeeling & Himalaya RR” (0n30) zigzags through an indian landscape using Peco 0n30 trackwork.

And presents a nice version of the original without the bridge causing the steep grades…

darj

Then another example of the switchback – but all on one level – comes in another post.  This layout is similar to one I have seen in an Iain Rice plan book, and also in two exhibition layouts in recent years…..

Compact bookshelf layouts have one problem in common. If you are not satisfied with a naked switching puzzle, you will need a track leading your trains into the big, wide world. Hmm…not an easy desire to fullfill, espacially on less than one squaremeter. Anyway…let´s try it. Our first approach is “Mainlände” (speak: Minelanda) in H0. The shelf measures 165 x 35 cm (meanwhile you are familiar with that, probably), the trackwork ist PECO Code 175. “Mainlände” is a small terminus near by a small river port in Bavaria. The line disappears under an elevated street. To protect you from switching in the dark tunnel (what may be really uncomfortable) I added a track from which you can reach every other track. Ok…if a train disappears under the bridge there is no possibilty to form a new one in the backstage area…sometime you have to restore it

switch

A very practical layout, and with some interesting pointwork.  And it’s about the size of an N-club standard module…..

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About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Layout design, N Club International and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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