"Cokerville Central RR" by Carl ArendtPosted on December 29th, 2002
“The CCRR was designed for a friend who plans to build a portable layout in a very large scale — namely 7/8″ to the foot, about 1:13.7. These are BIG trains and he plans to take them to schools for kids to have fun and learn about the model railroading hobby.
“The layout is built on three 2×4 foot panels that can be connected to form a 2×12 foot layout. Two unconnected levels are both built from G-scale track (1-3/4″ gauge, representing a prototype two-foot narrow gauge line in this scale). The upper level is a back-and-forth shuttle line, under automatic control, that ducks through the Candy Factory on its way from the Lollipop Mine to the Gnomy Station (serving all of Gnome Land). Trackwork on the upper level is standard G sectional track (designed around Aristo-Craft geometry). The push-pull train will include both passenger and freight stock.
“The lower level represents a hard working industrial railroad, hauling candy-making ingredients to the Candy Factory, and bringing finished candies to the tip, where they’re poured out into a myriad of waiting hands. Hand-bent 10-inch-radius end curves (about the minimum possible for small 7/8″ scale rolling stock) form a continuous oval, joined at the back where cars are reloaded and replaced with surreptitious finesse (much to the glee of the children who figure out the trick!). Lots of different trains are seen running on the lower level, and every so often one of them backs up to the tip….
“There’s lots of fun to be had in a layout like this! Not the least of it is the fact that ALL the railroading activities — from coupling and uncoupling to throwing the switches (points) and tipping the candy cars — will be done by hand, just as it is on full-sized railroads. When the models are this big, it’s natural that the train crew does the same chores as the real-life crews. And some of those crew members could even be young (and carefully selected) members of the audience!
Although this plan was designed for 7/8 scale, it would also be ideal for a small, narrow gauge line (though its attraction to its intended audience might diminish in the size also!).