White River & Northern VI

Layout Summary


Southwestern US, steam era




16 by 24 inches


handlaid narrow gauge


not selected




Scultpamold over Gatorfoam




~10% complete



Facing New Limitations

After my complete burnout with Z Scale, I yearned to return to N, so in late 2012 I drafted a few different plans for the White River and Northern VI. I'd first thought about recreating the White River & Northern I, with a glass top to be used as a coffee table, as was originally planned back in my youth. But the condo living room was big enough for a larger layout, so I developed a four-foot diameter adaptation; the extra foot allowed me to double-track the outer loop so I could run two trains continuously, and have room for additional sidings, buildings and so forth.

However, my significant other objected to the idea of having a layout in the living room, so I dropped it and started planning a small narrow-gauge layout based loosely on John Allen's original Gorre and Daphetid, which I'd keep in the basement with me.

The plan went through several revisions before I settled on it.

As usual, I made a base from half-inch Gatorfoam, using the same material for the subroadbed. I also began experimenting with 3M's VHB (Very High Bond) double-sided tape for tracklaying. The results were very promising: the tape held the PC board ties firmly in place.

My intention was to hand-lay Nn3 track using the Code 25 rail I had custom manufactured for the James River Branch. But as I got to work, I found that old age, exacerbated by Sarcoidosis, was beginning to rob me of the fine motor control needed to lay the track. This was alarming since, not long before, I was hand-laying Zn3 track, and even T Gauge track, with a mind-bending gauge of 3mm. It was a terrible blow.

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