Pete's Pumpkins

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The trackplan for Pete’s Pumpkins railroad is loosely based on Chuck Yungkurth's Gum Stump & Snowshoe model railroad – a small 1’x6’ switching layout published in Model Railroader in the 60’s. The hallmark feature of the Gum Stump & Snowshoe was the switchback arrangement that allowed for the mainline to cross over itself. I decided to reverse the elevations, eliminate the sidings, and join the original east and west tracks to create a continuous loop. The finished plan bears little resemblance to the original GS&S, however the essence is still there.

In an attempt to add some plausibility to the railroad's design, I envisioned that Pete runs a roadside vegetable stand offering pumpkins to would-be halloweeners. In order to keep up with demand, Pete installed a make-shift narrow gave railway to transport pumpkins from the neighbouring fields to his barn. As demand is high, Pete is constantly transporting goods from the barn to the roadside stand via the ‘pumpkin pit’ – the underground access to the barn’s cellar.

The overall plan size is 18”x24” – just 3 square feet – which easily qualifies it as a micro layout (micro layouts categorically are those model railroads that are 4 square feet or less). The elevations will undoubtedly be steep, and the curves are tight, so creative scenicing will be paramount in order to create relative believability. Likewise, pumpkin season dictates that the layout be modeled in late fall, requiring autumn colours and withering vegetation.

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