Narrow Gauge North

2021

Franklin

A On2 layout by Bob Harper & Frank Deakin
Size 15' x 2'6"

Franklin is the latest part of my foray into North American narrow gauge modelling, and is the portable terminus of a small 2ft gauge branch line up the Kettle River Valley. At home this feeds into my 220ft long 3ft gauge main line, depicting narrow gauge operation in the Rockies of British Columbia.

This new section is based on the 2ft lines in Maine, USA, and was originally inspired by the exquisite Bachmann models of the typical Maine Forney tank engines. The station is mainly based on Bridgton, on the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad, but some of the buildings are from the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad, both in Maine.

I agonised for some time as to whether I should stick with the Bachmann 00 gauge track gauge of 16.5mm, or rebuild the locos and stock to true 2ft gauge, and the masochist in me finally won. Built to American 1/4inch to the foot scale, i.e. 1:48, the track is all hand built to ½ inch gauge. Some of the locos are re-gauged Bachmann, whilst the rest are brass imports from the Far East. Originally I also relied on re-gauged Bachmann for the rolling stock as well, but now I have replaced most of it by kit or scratch-built models of genuine Maine vehicles. These all have the correct long, narrow and "hunkered-down" look of the prototype.

Operation is from the front of the layout, and uses the Lenz DCC system with sound and lights in the locos.