THE CLASSIC SWITCHING PUZZLE
about switching (the use of American railroad terminology
seems more than appropriate when discussing the
"Timesaver") and it won't be long before
someone mentions the "Timesaver". This small
layout, conceived by famous US modeller John Allen and
introduced in the November 1972 issue of Model
Railroader (the last article John Allen wrote) is a
truly classic switching puzzle and probably the most
important layout concept of this type. The layout's
operating philosophy became even more of a household name
in model railroading after Russ Cain, a member of John
Allen's Gorre & Daphetid operating crew,
published an article in the October1976 issue of Model
Railroader on building the "Timesaver"
using easily available standard components and Kadee
Most people are introduced to this aspect of model railroading by the "Timesaver", and the underlying ideas of how to create and sustain operating interest on a minimum-space layout have influenced innumerable layouts.
|While it is also true that the
"Timesaver" concept has largely been restricted
to American prototype modelling, it certainly ranks among
the very small number of model railroading milestones
which have stood the test of time without the slightest
sign of becoming stale - the "Timesaver"
continues to inspire modellers to build small layouts and
provides as much fun as it did 30 years ago.
Here's the original "Timesaver" layout built by John Allen (together with its duplicate twin, built by Bill Corsa shortly after the original miraculously survived the fire which destroyed so much of Allen's modelling) and seen on working display at the NMRA Convention 2000 in San Jose. It was owned by one of the original Gorre & Daphetid operators, the late Allan Fenton (right).
The original layout was donated to the NMRA Howell Day Museum in Chattanooga TN for display, whilst the copy twin of the original is currently on display at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.