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White Pass and Yukon in TTn9

James Hilton

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About six years ago I started pondering building a White Pass and Yukon project. My initial thoughts were using N gauge mechanisms in 3mm scale, and hoped to build one of the Alcos as I thought it would be an easier project...


Then a few weeks ago I noticed Rails of Sheffield were selling Arnold N gauge RENFE Alco units for just under £60, reduced from £150. These are superbly made models that run like the proverbial Swiss watch, so I picked one up and whilst waiting for it to arrive dug out some of the drawings I had of both the Alco and GE shovel nose units. 


Once it arrived I tested it - and once happy that it was a keeper (a great performer) I stripped off the body. The width of the motor unit would make the Alco a non-starter, and measuring up showed it might work in the GE. However this would be a challenge with the sloping curved front and snow plough! Well I thought I wonder if I can do a 3D printed body? Measuring and re-scaling the drawing a few times I found 3mm scale was out of the question, the chassis was just too small. I tried 2.3, 2.5 and 2.6mm to the foot - and although the Alco worked well in 2.5mm, the GE was better in 2.6mm. As I don't plan to run these with anything else and I will scratchbuild the whole project, this didn't seem to be a problem so 2.6mm to the foot it is! This is very close to continental TT scale (2.5mm) and I will use 9mm track, giving a gauge of about 3'5" which is obviously too wide for the prototype, but a compromise I'm happy with... the bodywork of course is now re-scaleable, so I could theoretically drop it down if I can source a smaller chassis.


After messing around for a day I've put together this, the plan will be to etch some of the grills, and other details and add a lot of other parts in styrene and wire - but the basic profile is correct. The corners and cab front roof will need sanding by hand, they were too complex for me to work on in Sketchup. It's coming out about £45 in Frosted Ultra Detail for a prototype print, so I'll probably get one ordered after Christmas.


I've also dug out some old N gauge bogies and couplers and I think I've the starting of the train in the photo at the top, although I will probably do a flat wagon, container, and one of the steel bodied caboose as well as a coach...


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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...
On 14/04/2021 at 12:35, SGP said:

I'm looking for plans to build a GE90 in G scale. 

Are there scale plans available anywhere?

James , any progress on the White Pass and Yukon ? 
I have very happy memories of a trip in 2017- still have the baseball hat !

Your book on Small Layout  Design is excellent… we met at Warley .

Best .


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  • 10 months later...
1 hour ago, James Hilton said:

I never did build a layout for her Ken, but I’ve recently been building another narrow gauge Canadian diesel, a GMD G8 from Newfoundland! Same scale! It will be interesting to compare them!

Assuming you are doing this in HO, WP&Y is 3’ gauge, Newfoundland was 3’6” gauge what mechanism are you going to use?





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