When I started to add track and scenery to the baseboards that became George Street II, my N Gauge BR Blue era layout, I soon realised that this was going to be my biggest modelling project to date and I wanted it be really good. My previous incarnation of George Street – a small terminus, had been successful in many respects. I had learned some new card building skills as well welcoming DCC with a tentative hand. The layout was changed from DC to digital during its lifetime to improve its functionality and it certainly got plenty of praise from forums such as the NGF. However, its operation was limited still and it was very ‘square’ – an issue I had spoken about frequently on the couple of forums I participated in. Another layout would have to come along. And so George Street II grew up from many sketches to a large continuous run layout. As it developed from bare boards to a fully scenic layout, I was constantly amazed by how many people liked the layout on the N gauge forums. I was even more surprised and delighted when I realised it had caught the eye of modeller and photographer Chris Nevard. After a lot of preparation and sleepless nights finishing many little cameos and scenic sections, the layout was photographed and had its moment of fame in February 2017 when it graced the pages of Model Rail.
A Class 101 pulls away from George Street – my old N Gauge layout
I guess I fell for the charms of the Dapol 08 shunter like many people and the seeds were sown. A chat with SWMBO soon established that there was no way two layouts could exist in the garage, which, should have a car in it. Or so I was told!
And so with a deep breath, I decided that my layout, George Street II, should be broken up. I had no problems with N gauge modelling, in fact it was and has been getting better year after year. However, in hindsight, I should have made George Street II sectional. Its baseboards certainly allowed for that at the start, but foolishly I laid track across the boards and left it un-cut and as the scenery got added, that too, became larger and larger and it became one unmovable layout. There was no way it could be sold off so the tools came out and George Street II was broken up.
O Gauge was on its way…