This blog follows my attempts at modeling the former Great Northern Railway’s line over Stevens Pass during the early autumn of 1964 in my own variant of 1:160 finescale. Originally I had intended to use the international FS 160 standards, but over time the desire for closer to scale trackwork has made me change path. After trialling home-made Proto:120 components narrowed to N gauge I’ve decided to take the next step and construct in Proto:160 as laid out by the Model Railway Study Group some five decades ago.
To date a small 5X8 foot layout has be constructed and subsequently decommissioned. That layout used a folded loop to express some fairly compressed vignettes representing the helper town of Skykomish in the west up to the 8 mile long Cascade tunnel at Scenic (west portal) and Berne (east portal) before disappearing into the west portal of Gaynor tunnel. This early take on the pass formed my education in handlaying N gauge track and is the layout seen in the header image.
Although I still miss the continuous running that the 5X8 provided the temptation to experiment in moulding scenes without compression proved too great. Today’s project is the result. From West to East, work is progressing on Grotto, Scenic and Merritt. The plan was eventually to build a home for them and include more involved scenes such as Monroe, Skykomish, Berne, Leavenworth and Cashmere. Not sure if I’ll live long enough for that sort of thing but it sounds better than saying I’ve modelled a siding a wye and a cement plant.