Narrow Gauge

The track we use is standard G-gauge – 45 mm between the rails. Virtually all out locomotives and diesels are 1:22.5 which means that what they are running on is really narrow gauge (approx. three feet) track. Our 1:29 locomotives (we have a few) do see our track as standard gauge. We try to be prototypically accurate but ……… The problem is that, as far as we know, there were no narrow gauge railroads from Gualala to Rockport – they were all standard gauge (4 feet 8 1/2 inches) or bigger (five feet siux inches in Gualala).

Bothersome but not tragic and we haven’t been caught out yet! Help is at hand though. The book, Redwood Railways, tells the story of the North Pacific Coast Railroad (NPC) which was one of the forty predecessor railroads of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. The NPC at its zenith ran from Sausalito to Duncan Mills at the mouth of the Russian River – see map. And, very important, it was narrow gauge – three feet to be exact.

NPC Railroad Map

Duncan Mills is in Sonoma County and not Mendocino County, which is the area we model. But, but, but, the next biggish community down the coast from Gualala (which is in Mendocino County) is Duncan Mills so by stretching the “truth” a bit we can say there was a narrow gauge logging railroad nearby – which is good enough to “legitimize” our layout!


One thought on “Narrow Gauge

  1. Thanks for the history lesson .. really. And such a relief, as I have several 1:20.3 steam locos here, even including the elusive Heisler. The “purists” need to go out and start investing in rolling stock, before they are so quick to get pedantic. So the track gauge is 45mm, and the scales can run from 1:20.3 up to 1:29 as I recall. Ya just can’t please everybody I guess. Thanks for posting. Cheers!

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