PAGE 49 – MAY 2006
Once again it’s time for our semi-annual roundup of Pizza layouts–
those delightful little circular creations that look like they could be
packed into a square box and delivered to your door! As pizza designs are
the world’s most popular layout pattern, this publication keeps track (no pun)
of what’s happening in the realm of round railways, and here’s the latest news!
PROTO PIZZA — Starting off in1:1 scale, here’s a full-sized pizza layout spotted by Dudley Hubbard at a train show in Sussex, England. Although this carnival (fun fair) ride defies description, Dudley describes it this way; “Though I didn’t measure the gauge it looks to be about 2-2.5ft. There is a central motor which draws around a rotor arm fixed to the front inner running board of the ‘steam’ loco. The coaches are shaped like segments, and the sides are curved to match the track. All of this is mounted on a road trailer; at the end of the day the sides can be folded up and the contraption hauled off site.” The ultimate portable pizza! Truth sometimes far outstrips our fictions!
FLEXI-PIZZA — One of the most imaginative pizza layouts I’ve seen comes from François Meunier, from Fosseuse, just north of Paris, France. This remarkable plan features a perfectly circular mainline that contains not one but two sector tables! Each table rotates to give access to a spur — one hidden behind the scenes for train storage (allowing two-way traffic), the other onstage and serving an hotel named Les Cimes (The Peaks). Measuring 45x45cm (18x18in) in HO, this little layout provides considerably more operating possibilities than the average pizza layout. François’ engineering is meticulous, and the tiny layout runs as well as it looks!
“The tram is an LGB Gnomy San Francisco cable car (originally green) which was a kids’ push-and-go toy. The wheels and friction motor were removed from the bottom and a N gauge mechanism fitted. The N gauge track is mounted on a custom wood oval so it can be lifted on and off the wheel barrow as required.”
|SHOEBOX PIZZA — Another tram (trolley) layout complete with overhead wire was built by Ian Bareham, from Ipswich, England. Called Coquimbo Traction, this shoebox-sized layout represents a section of a Chilean city served by an HO scale tram modeled after cars in Oporto, Portugal. There’s even a length of standard gauge line on the elevated trestle!|
ENCIRCLING SCENERY — In this unusual layout the train moves steadily clockwise along the track, while the entire platform revolves counter-clockwise at the same speed. The uncanny result is that the train appears to stand still while the scenery moves by! Roger Humbert, from Nice, France, created this 20in-diameter display in HOe (HO scale running on 9mm gauge). Except for the Eggerbahn locomotive, which was a gift, all the rolling stock is scratchbuilt by Roger.
PRIZE WINNER — Joe Lockhart, from Indianapolis, Indiana USA, made this layout in a briefcase he acquired at a garage sale. Then he saw a notice for a crafts competition at the county fair coming up in one week! So Joe spent a busy week, night and day, building a little N scale layout in the briefcase, inspired by examples of layouts from this website! On Deadline Sunday he was still painting and gluing on the way to the fair grounds — and after entering the contest he warned the fair workers not to touch the layout because of “wet paint, glue, and epoxy”!
Then a few days later, after the fair had opened, Joe learned that he had won the “Best of Show” award. Congratulations, Joe! And what a good advertisement for model railroading!
BOTTOMS UP — Another briefcase layout (left) is this HOn30 line built by James McMillin, from Saint John, New Brunswick Canada. It’s built in the top of a 18x13in (45x33cm) briefcase and called the Topdown Short Line because you have to put the briefcase upside down on the table before you open it to show the railroad. James’s son, Shamus, enjoys running this little pizza, and was inspired to build his own “layout in a box” (right). Another pizza line is born!
|MENS SANA IN MONTE SANO — John Hubbard, from Huntsville, Alabama USA, built this 11x17in (28x43cm) HOn30 pizza line to model some features of the Monte Sano Railroad which some years ago ran nearby in Alabama. He modeled several local scenes along the line, including O’Brien’s Buttonhole Cut and trestle (below, left) and a hard-working stone crusher (below, right). The overall layout is shown at right. John’s website provides antique photos of the original prototype scenes, as well as showing his modeled versions in more detail.|
NARROW GAUGE MADNESS is the name of the group who recently sponsored a layout exhibition in Schomberg (near Toronto), Ontario Canada. The show had the distinction of exhibiting the largest single collection of Gn15 layouts (G scale on 16.5mm tracks) ever displayed.
This pizza line, Burchell’s Directional Signal Fluid Factory, is a fantasy creation of Jim Burchell and was among the layouts shown. For more on this singular exhibition, take a peek at Brian Fayle’s illustrative website showing all these very small layouts that run large-scale trains!
PIZZA FINDS A HOME — This little Z-scale pizza layout was built in an actual pizza box by Tony Phillips, an English native now living in Fort Bragg, California USA. Though retired, Tony and his wife decided to operate the ice cream stand at the local botanical gardens … where Tony became a scooper of (he says) little reknown. But between scoops he discovered this website and got the idea to build a layout in a 12x12in (30x30cm) pizza box, using some old Z scale trains he had acquired years before in Geneva, Switzerland!
The result is on display daily at the botanical gardens’ ice cream stand, and Tony is justifiably proud of his first more-or-less finished layout! He offers this tip to people contemplating building a layout in a real pizza box — “Don’t use papier-mache in a pizza box -– it warps the box!”
IRISH TIMES IN YORKSHIRE — Finnegan’s Crossing is a 4x4ft depiction of a small Irish three-foot narrow gauge station in the unusual scale the British refer to as TT9 — 1:100 scale (3mm to the foot) on 9mm gauge. Mark Fisher, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire England, modeled it after the Cavan & Leitrim Railway, though he runs stock from various Irish lines both north and south of the border. Though it’s perhaps stretching things a bit to consider Finnegan’s Crossing a pizza layout, I wanted to share it with you because of both its interesting prototype and its unusual scale/gauge combination. For more information on the scale, see the 3mm Scale Society website.
SPEAKING OF Z SCALE, here’s a Z scale pizza layout designed by Carsten Weye Jensen, who lives in Holstebro, Denmark. It’s a mining layout called Red Hill Mining Town. and includes an interchange within the mountain.
Carsten points out that the this Z scale design could also be used for N scale narrow gauge (Nn3, for example). Diameter of the pizza is 677mm (27in). I think something much like this could be worked into the same space in a 9mm gauge design.
AN N-SCALE OVAL PIZZA? — Built in 15x26in (38x66cm), the Foote Valley Railroad is an N-scale pizza layout built on foam board by Ryan Adams, from Hamilton, Ontario Canada. Minimum radius is 7in (18cm), and Ryan hauls 12 car trains around the circuit. Construction is chronicled at the All Model Railroading Forum for N-Z scale.
A MODEL OF A MODEL — To check out grades and clearances on his proposed HOn30 mining layout, Don Cooley built a 1/4 scale model of the layout. Pictured here is the model, showing the evolution and framing of Don’s twice-around plan in a very limited space. We’ll keep you posted on his progress as the reports come in. Meantime, have a look at his space-conserving plan, Shamrock Mining Company.
SUPERQUICK SPECIAL — John Maughan, from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada, built this pioneering pizza in the early 1960’s and exhibited it at Greater Vancouver train shows from 1962-1985. The revolving HO layout shows off the English Superquick range of 4mm-scale, low-relief card buildings which were avant-garde efforts at that time and still are found on many a layout on both sides of the Atlantic. I have a kit of that wonderful art deco ABC movie theatre that’s been waiting to be built for nearly 25 years now!
Many thanks to Emil Ferry from Vancouver who sent this material to me, with John’s permission.
PORTER PIZZA — This nifty little pizza layout under way by Rich Brungard, from Wernersville Pennsylvania USA, was built to provide running room for Rich’s HOn30 Porter locomotive (at right).
The details of the construction, and lots of photos are being tracked on a thread at Paul Templar’s All Model Railroading Site.
SEASONED PIZZAS — The latter part of December seems to bring out the pizza plans from model rails. Here are two good examples. (Left) Dick Kuepper, from Aurora, Ohio USA, built an N-scale trolley circuit in a 12in (30cm) diameter bucket. (Above) This battery operated toy-train under the Christmas tree was assembled by Andrew Smith, from Chelmsford, Essex England.
DOUBLE ENTRY PIZZA — Tad Dowdy is building a pizza layout with a different face on each side. One side depicts a wild jungle area with a river crossing, while the other shows a more urban waterfront scene. The scale is 1/35, using 16.5mm track to represent a prototype 24in (600mm) gauge.
There’s more information about Tad’s ongoing project posted at the FS32NGModelRail group on Yahoo.