Our new N gauge American front “Lake Havnaklu” was exhibited at our show in September ’07 for the first time.
This layout was intended from the start as an American layout unlike “Kelninjo/Redwood Junction” which has been displayed as both a Japanese layout or an North American station. Viewers may have noticed a subtle difference with our other N gauge fronts in that there is no station on it and trains ran both ways on each track. A selection of diesel and steam stock ran well at realistic speeds for the type of track and stock being used.
You will now see a variety of stock being run both steam to diesel hauled as the operators can’t agree on a common theme.
Some of the younger members of the public enjoyed looking through the tunnel at each end or round the back to see where the next train was coming from. We also had serveral enquiries as to how the rock faces were made and what how the lake was made.
Again our tried and trusted fiddle yard boards boards were pressed into use for the storage yard.
History of the line.
In the late 1880’s, a railway company was expanding its line to west through the American North West / Appalachians when they came across a river flowing to into “Lake Havnaklu”, which in the local Indian dialect means “water of lost souls”.
The easiest way to cross the lake was across the river flowing into the northern edge of the lake. Here they built a wooden trestle bridge which is still in use today.
This company mainly handled timber and a small yard can be seen to the east of the lake where the forest has been stripped back behind the yard. Consequently the yard is now little used.
After a few years, the tunnels were double when another company built their line through from the west. They managed to agree to share the bridge and the two tracks joined just to the east of the western tunnel, where the remains of the point can still be seen.
However, the traffic on the second company increased with more heavy freight being handled than the wooden bridge could handle so they decided to build their own bridge across the top of the lake and eventually separated the lines. This bridge has been rebuilt several times until it is the modern steel girder bridge which you see today.
The original track work where the two tracks split again at the east end has long since been lost when the new bridge was built and the track re-laid.
The original company has decided to keep the original wooden style bridge due to being a shower of skinflints.
So much for the history of the line!
Pictures will follow.
This layout can be run with only 2 operators although one operator can manage easily with the trains being run at low speed.
Track Plan & Exhibition Floor Space Requirements
The layout’s overall measurements are either 11ft x 3ft. An extra 2 ft is required along the front of the layout to allow for barrier space with a minimum of 4ft at the rear for operator space.