I’m no model railroader (I wish!), but I am going to try my hand at an N scale layout.
I’m a big fan of Walt Disney, and of trains.. and Walt built a backyard railroad called the Carolwood Pacific Railroad – named so because he lived on Carolwood Drive in Los Angeles. The railroad that Walt built was a 1/8th scale railroad for his miniature live steam engine called the Lilly Belle. There was about 2600 feet of track (that’s actual feet – not scale feet!) It’s tracks covered a lot of the 5 acres of land he had there, and the track even went around his house!
Well.. having volunteered at the Walt’s Barn for so long, and loving trains, I started asking around if anyone had ever built an N scale version of Walt’s layout. I’ve asked A LOT of people.. and no one has ever even heard of one being built. So… I’ve began work.
I started with the easiest thing of all – to track down an N scale version of Walt’s engine. Walt built the Lilly Belle based on the famous Central Pacific 173 engine. It’s a pretty standard American style locomotive, and Bachman does make an N scale American locomotive, lettered as the "Jupiter", for one of the two engines that met at Promontory Summit, UT at the meeting of the west and east railroads.
So, I found the engine and cars.. the next part was to figure out the track map that Walt had laid. Luckily, Michael Broggie sells copies of the plot plan for the railroad, and I got a copy. Seems pretty simple now, right? MMmmm… no… You see.. I’m trying to build a MODEL of a MODEL. Right. Walt’s 1/8th scale MODEL was big enough to sit on, but still much smaller than the barn, and the track was laid for the small engine.
What I essentially want to do is to take the plot plan I got from Broggie, enlarge it to the proportional size to fit an N scale layout, print that out, and lay it on a piece of plywood, then tack down the track on top of the "actual" layout. But, trying to do the conversion of a model railroad to another model railroad has not been as easy as I’d hoped. I’ve asked several "model railroaders" to help with the math, but we still get stuck. The key is that the plot plan has a scale on it, but when I enlarge it to the determined size, it just doesn’t fit.
Well… I’m working on that, and will get it figured out. I’ll post more, along with pictures, as it transforms into an actual model railroad.