In the upcoming December/January issue of OGR, a layout and track plan article on John Allen's famous Gorre & Daphetid layout will appear, revised for O gauge:
JohnAllensGorre&DaphitedRRv1c

G&D_V7b_image

O-Gauge Gorre & Daphetid RR

John Allen’s famous classic benchmark HO RR design has entertained and instructed model RR enthusiasts since it’s 1946 design.  The layout illustration is artfully composed and detailed, in a blue-print style with formal notations and notes for a 3’7” by 6’8” space.  Inspection of John’s plan reveals its basis as an up-and-over twice-around mainline, with a branch-line diverging at the highest point and climbing even further to cross over the mainlines to reach Daphited.   Near the pond, the town of Gorre has a small turntable, a passing track, and one siding.  The minimum curve radius is very tight for HO, at 14”.   As a professional photographer, John’s layout plan emphasizes scenery and viewing angles, but only basic operating possibilities.

THE O-GAUGE GORRE & DAPHETID TRACK PLAN

This O-gauge interpretation of the G&D is just short of double the size of John’s “Half-O” plan, coming-in at 7’6”x12’.  As an O-gauge plan, a number of features have been added or revised from the original HO plan to meet O-gauge enthusiast expectations.  Three new spurs have been added, and an interchange track to a connecting RR and hidden staging tracks, more structures and operating accessories.

Please see the Dec/Jan issue for the full article, track section diagram, and other information!

--Ken Hoganson

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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Ken, I sure do remember seeing lots of John Allen material in print when I was growing up.  His may be one reason I started out in HO instead of Lionel O gauge.  The book Linn Westcott wrote on John a few years after his passing is one I have read more than once.  Your layout plan certainly does John's original G&D good justice.  I'll be looking forward to reading the article!!

I too have read the Wescott book about the G&D more than once.  A few years ago, I loaned my original one to a guy, and (surprise!!) he never returned it and I have since moved away.  So in September, I bought another copy, used of course, in pretty good shape.

I have incorporated a few of John Allen's ideas in my layout, including the use of mirrors to fool the eye into "seeing" more depth in a scene than is really there.  He was a genius, and really turned the "train set" into the model railroading hobby we have today.     

When I first heard of this railroad, back in the 1970s, I could not figure out how to pronounce the name or why John chose this weird name. It was not until many years later that a fellow model railroader clued me in to John's wicked sense of humor.

Who would have thought it was pronounced "Gory and Defeated?" 

Rich Melvin

Looking forward to the complete article Ken. Loved that you took the time to show this in O scale. Great work as always. I now have to find John's book along with finding out why he chose the name.

Railway and Locomotive Historical Society

New York Central System Historical Society

NNY (No Name Yet) Railroad - Owner and Operator

 

The Linn Westcott book was first printed in the early '80s.  I had my copy by at least 1984.  It was there where I learned why he picked the name.  I had been reading Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman since about 1968, but I also mispronounced it in my mind until reading an article in Model Railroader a while after John's passing in 1973 .  That is where I learned it was pronounced as Rich mentioned above.

I might add that John Allen was the Frank Ellison of my formative years.

Can't wait to see this article in OGR! I recall reading about the Gorre & Daphetid in MR when I began with O gauge trains in the 1950s. I used to think it was pronounced "Gorry and Daf-a-tid" (emphasis on first syllable) until seeing it "translated" only a few years ago. This surely brings back memories of my model railroading as a youngster.

MELGAR

Rich Melvin posted:

When I first heard of this railroad, back in the 1970s, I could not figure out how to pronounce the name  ...snip...

I had always pronounced it  "GORE and DAFFY TED".

Later Gator,

  Dave

 

Here comes a Yankee with a blackened soul,
Heading to Gatow with a load of coal.
......Anonymous U. S. pilot during the Berlin Airlift

thanks to Ken for updating this classic and I am looking forward to the article too. 

 Joe is looking but Unless I missed  it, no one has explained the origin of the name...Civil war?

Hokie 71

Chief of Operations, Free Union, Blacksburg, and Albemarle Railroad (FUBAR)

ChiloquinRuss posted:

I've never outgrown my need for some 'John' in my modeling.  Here's the famous John Allen Timesaver, this time done in 7 1/2 inch gauge outdoors!  Russ

Timesaver

Wow, can you imagine having this in your backyard?! Sitting up there in a bedroom window (the yard tower), contemplating all the moves (popcorn for the family room, flour for the kitchen...) - pretty cool!

Tuscan Jim

Probably the strangest model railroad in history. Left this world ten days after its builder. Linn Westcott died while writing "Model Railroading with John Allen". Spooky. I look forward to the issue.

There is always something new to learn and greater understanding in the quest for wisdom.

Allin, You are right about the layout being destroyed by fire right after John Allen's passing and that Linn Westcott hadn't finished the book before he died.  Two of those things where the truth is stranger than fiction.

John Allen was also my inspiration for pursuing model trains. I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA and was fortunate to visit John Allen's G&D in the early 1970s, shortly before he passed away. I'll always be grateful to my dad, who had little interest in trains, for cold-calling John to see if our family could visit the layout. John invited us over to his home in Monterey; he was a gracious host and spent several hours with us in his amazing basement. Periodic readings of Linn Westcott's book bring me right back to that visit.

Regarding O scale G&D rolling stock, the only one I've seen is a G&D boxcar offered some years ago by Intermountain. Occasionally one shows up on eBay in the $20-$40 range.

TWebSP posted:

J

Regarding O scale G&D rolling stock, the only one I've seen is a G&D boxcar offered some years ago by Intermountain. Occasionally one shows up on eBay in the $20-$40 range.

The Intermountain G&D boxcar kit was part of the NMRA's Historic Heralds (or something similar in name) series, available at the time only to NMRA members.  It was available in N, HO, S, O and G scales.

This is the S scale version, the O scale version was identical:

KGB 100817 019

Rusty

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TWebSP posted:

John Allen was also my inspiration for pursuing model trains. I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA and was fortunate to visit John Allen's G&D in the early 1970s, shortly before he passed away. I'll always be grateful to my dad, who had little interest in trains, for cold-calling John to see if our family could visit the layout. John invited us over to his home in Monterey; he was a gracious host and spent several hours with us in his amazing basement. Periodic readings of Linn Westcott's book bring me right back to that visit.

Regarding O scale G&D rolling stock, the only one I've seen is a G&D boxcar offered some years ago by Intermountain. Occasionally one shows up on eBay in the $20-$40 range.

What a great opportunity!  Your dad really did well calling John Allen to take the family!  Thank you for sharing!

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