"The 10th Art" Collection


"Model Railroading with John Allen"

The English version, formerly available from Kalmbach Publishing (USA), is now out of print.

The only version still available as first-hand book at reasonable price is the French version published under official license of Kalmbach Publishing:



"En train avec John Allen" by Linn Westcott, translated into French by J. Le Plat, 
148 pages size 235 x 285 mm, soft-bound, 222 illustrations amongst which 75
John Allen's own color photos and 23 drawings.
Print films and lay-out identical to the American soft-bound version.



  The H0 scale Gorre & Daphetid Railroad is one of the most famous miniature layouts of all times. This is due to its rare magnificience and to the diversified talents of its builder John Allen who, as a professional photographer, could promote his work through breathtaking photos. The GD-line has been an inspiration to English speaking modellers worldwide. My aim in translating Linn Westcott's book into French was to also allow French amateurs to benefit from John's teaching.

   The overall layout size was 24' x 33'. The main line developped a total 370 feet length, serving about 10 stations and more than 60 industries. The trains were set in the middle of a dramatic mountain country crossed by 130 spectacular bridges. A complete aisle was also occupied by a busy river city hosting passengers and engine terminals, harbour docks, tall tower buildings and a trolley line. John invented several scenic features to make his layout even more impressive such as mirrors to expand perspectives or mountains extending from the floor up to the ceiling.


   Realistic operation was one of John's main goals and the way he accomplished it, together with a crew of 5 to 10 operators is fully described. He developped quite a number of surprising methods to make the game more interesting such as a flywheel momentum throttle, a smart car forwarding tab-on-car system, accelerated 24 hours sessions with day-and-night light effects and many other. All these are duly reported by Linn Westcott.


   This book is also the human story of the GD creator, a complex and fascinating personality. He invented many technics and methods which changed totally the way model railroads are seen, built and operated nowadays. He passed away in 1973 but his influence is still strongly active today. Thanks to Linn Westcott's book John and his work are far from being forgotten.



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Updated December 10, 2008