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El Tortuga


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I was always deeply impressed by the super-portable layout El Tortuga, built by Don Sibley, when I saw it in reality and in print (mentioned here https://www.carendt.com/small-layout-scrapbook/page-61a-may-2007/ ).

 

Does anyone have more photos of it that they could share here, or a copy of the article (Continental Modeller???) describing it that they might be able to PM to me?

 

Why? I am beginning to form a cunning plan, involving my latent 45mm gauge NG stock and track, and the small patio outside of a friend’s retirement flat.

 

EDIT: actually, there’s a very good photo here from last time I asked about this layout - five years ago! https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/109856-on-looking-into-old-railway-modellers/page/2/

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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12 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

I was always deeply impressed by the super-portable layout El Tortuga, built by Don Sibley, when I saw it in reality and in print (mentioned here https://www.carendt.com/small-layout-scrapbook/page-61a-may-2007/ ).

 

Does anyone have more photos of it that they could share here, or a copy of the article (Continental Modeller???) describing it that they might be able to PM to me?

 

Why? I am beginning to form a cunning plan, involving my latent 45mm gauge NG stock and track, and the small patio outside of a friend’s retirement flat.

 

EDIT: actually, there’s a very good photo here from last time I asked about this layout - five years ago! https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/109856-on-looking-into-old-railway-modellers/page/2/

 

So is your cunning plan (as a certain Edmund might ask), be a variation of Don Sibley's layout, "El Inglesa Tortuga", if you will?

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Delving a bit, tortuga and galapago seem to be alternative spanish words for tortoise, the islands taking their name from the latter, so perhaps it just needs to be called El (or is it La?) Galapago.

 

The idea, which is not at all thought out yet, is to effectively reproduce Mr Sibley's layout at about four or five times the scale, outdoors. I have suitable locomotives and rolling stock, some kit or scratch built, some adapted LGB Feldbahn items, plenty of LGB track, and even a little turntable ........ everything necessary really, apart from buildings. Trees could be encouraged to grow in pots.

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10 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Delving a bit, tortuga and galapago seem to be alternative spanish words for tortoise, the islands taking their name from the latter, so perhaps it just needs to be called El (or is it La?) Galapago.

 

The idea, which is not at all thought out yet, is to effectively reproduce Mr Sibley's layout at about four or five times the scale, outdoors. I have suitable locomotives and rolling stock, some kit or scratch built, some adapted LGB Feldbahn items, plenty of LGB track, and even a little turntable ........ everything necessary really, apart from buildings. Trees could be encouraged to grow in pots.


I think El Tortuga can be translated either Tortoise or Turtle, too?
 

It’s a lovely little layout, really helped by nicely proportioned scenery and a ‘relaxed’ (ie: well-spaced) station design.  Really works well - I can see it is is the sort of layout that would remain in the memory for all the right reasons.


What intrigues me about the layout design is the deliberate way it was planned to avoid creating a long run for the small motors.  At the same time the layout sidesteps the common solution whereby passengers could step from the end of the platform into the fiddle yard - that can mean exhibition operators spend more time driving the fiddle yard than the trains.

 

I suspect the ‘suspension of disbelief’ involved in the concept may work best as a NG / Feldbahn subject.  Nice one, Keith.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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Great pics Nh,

 

I really like the one of the 'station' with the train shed. I thought straightaway about Bob Hughes and his enormous thread on the MTI Mag forum.

 

Thanks for the memory (as they say) Cheers - Jim

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The photo I like is the one of the loco with the tiny 4W coach. The loco itself is small, and the coach is truly tiny, getting down to Festiniog size.

 

Off at a tangent, but another industrial-turned-common-carrier railway with ridiculously tiny coaches etc was the Kiso Forest in Japan. Herewith one of their brake vans.

 

 

F85B30AD-F85E-40C6-966F-A751AE970C93.jpeg

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Hi @Nearholmer

When I saw this I also remembered an O16.5 out and back, welsh NG based. I couldn't find it for the life of me last night. Just thought it could be another version of a very similar track plan to add to your thoughts. Maybe someone remembers it? 

Cheers

 

Andy 

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11 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

The photo I like is the one of the loco with the tiny 4W coach. The loco itself is small, and the coach is truly tiny, getting down to Festiniog size.

 

Off at a tangent, but another industrial-turned-common-carrier railway with ridiculously tiny coaches etc was the Kiso Forest in Japan. Herewith one of their brake vans.

 

 

F85B30AD-F85E-40C6-966F-A751AE970C93.jpeg


Minitrains do an H0e Brake Van like this in Green (#5119) or red (#5128) - not sure if it’s currently available, but I’ll admit I hadn’t realised it was prototype based.

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3 hours ago, harris0169 said:

Hi @Nearholmer

When I saw this I also remembered an O16.5 out and back, welsh NG based. I couldn't find it for the life of me last night. Just thought it could be another version of a very similar track plan to add to your thoughts. Maybe someone remembers it? 

Cheers

 

Andy 

 

It was Gordon Gravett's Llandyref.

Out and back in 8 x 2 (feet) in O16.5

@NearholmerTell me if you would like a track plan

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3 hours ago, Nick_Burman said:

The Kiso coaches were normal-sized


Depends upon what you call ‘normal’ I suppose - the 4W ones were comparable with GVT coach size I should reckon.

Edited by Nearholmer
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43 minutes ago, harris0169 said:

It was Gordon Gravett's Llandyref.


I vaguely recall that layout, or maybe I’m conflating it with something similar that Don Boreham built in a scale unusually small for him, 10mm/ft, rather than 7mm/ft? 
 

All rather long ago!
 

 

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