The OGR Digital Library

Run 265 - August/September 2013

O gauge model trains

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Run 265_Features_BRD_Layout 2 5/23/13 3:45 PM Page 47 Switching fun for everyone A Timesaver Training Tool Article by Tom Gilsdorf T Photos by the River City 3 Railers he original "timesaver" switching layout was inspired, designed, and built in HO by model railroading legend John Allen (1913–1973). His layout, the Gorre & Daphetid Railroad, was featured in numerous publications from the late 1940s through the 1960s. John intended his timesaver layout to be used as an activity for operators after running sessions on the G&D. The prototype timesaver layout was typically set up in his kitchen, and operators would take turns running trains on the timesaver layout in a friendly competition to see who could accomplish spotting various freight cars at designated spots in the shortest amount of time or with the fewest number of moves. Two timesaver layouts were built and used for this activity. John built the first, and the second was constructed by Bill Corsa. These two timesaver layouts were connected by left-hand turnouts. This turnout can be seen at the top edge of the board, now residing at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in California (Photo 1). The earlier timesaver layouts most often used hand-laid track. They were built to run trains and were not intended to be pretty. As a result, they were Spartan and had no ballast, scenery, or buildings. Turnouts were all manually operated, and uncoupler mag- nets were used to spot cars on sidings. Locomotives were run at fixed speeds and were controlled by simple switches. In order to minimize the required space, wyes were used rather than the usual turnouts. Tragically, the G&D was destroyed by fire shortly after John's death. The prototype timesaver, while damaged by the fire, was saved. I am an active O gauge hobbyist, so the timesaver switching layout interested me. I discussed the feasibility of an O gauge version with other members of our modular club, the River City 3 R a i l e r s ( RC 3 R ) o f t h e Richmond, Virginia, area. We decided to give it a try with the goal of providing an 1 interactive attraction that could stimulate interest in the hobby. The timesaver layout is not specific to any gauge, and ours is certainly not the first to be constructed in O gauge. The key to getting a timesaver layout right is sizing the sidings for the rolling stock and motive power that will be used. Car lengths are critical for determining the length of these sidings. For our layout, we based the siding lengths on 40´ scale cars and a RailKing F3 diesel. There are five sidings on our timesaver layout. Sidings can contain either two or three pieces of equipment, such as locomotive and O GAUGE RAILROADING AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2013 47

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