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Steaming in the Caribbean:

Gauge 1 layout construction - old and new / page 2

Here are the vital statistics for the new track work and steam pavilion of the Gare du Nord in Blanchisseuse anticipated to be completed and fully operational by end April 2007. 

·                                Height above sea level – 40'  

·                                Hall area 60' x 40' 

·                                Deck/Terrace area (facing north) - 12' x 40' 

·                                Track height off ground - 3¼' 

·                                Track support spacing - 4¼' 

·                                Siding space (double siding) - 90' total 

This new double circuit layout offers 145 running feet on the outer circuit with a radius of 16.34' and on the inner circuit 140 running feet with a radius of 15.91' permitting a Daylight or Big Boy to negotiate corners with absolutely no problem.  Sunset Valley track with brass (code 250) rail is being used throughout. Sunset Valley switches or turnouts:  4 x SW 10 (2 RH and 2LH), and 6 SW x 8 (2 RH and 4 LH).

click on thumbnails to enlarge



Concrete Roadbeds were supplied by Louis Vidal Engineering in France. The total order for roadbeds consisted of 22 circular, 8 straight, 4 transitional (curves are super elevated) with an additional 11 straight sections for sidings. At its base each concrete roadbed is attached to 1" marine ply (fiber glassed) having exactly the same dimension as the roadbed. The roadbeds are in turn supported every four feet with 8 x 8 concrete blocks covered with ceramic tile. Angled fiber glass brackets hold each roadbed securely (from the underside) to the tiled 8 x 8 supports.  The cream colored tile work matches the floor with dark brown borders.  This surface can be easily cleaned with a water hose. 


Due to favorable scenic and climate conditions of the location, maximum ventilation and lighting has been artistically maintained.  The pavilion’s “Saw Tooth” roof was used because of its conduciveness in the presentation of these natural elements for which Blanchiessuse is noted.


Providing shelter from the sun, this spacious pavilion offers an inviting place of hospitality.  An extension of the pavilion facing the water presents a 180 degree panoramic view and refreshing ocean breeze.   Architect Ken Holder’s drawings illustrate the drama and scope of this spectacular structure.  


With ample lighting and little or no wind after sunset, visiting alcohol fired locomotives should be able to run without problems.   It is truly a tropical sanctuary for live steam both day and night. 

Gare du Nord in Blanchisseuse is built to withstand tropical winds and rains and recently withstood an earthquake of 5.80 on the Richter scale. Beneath the Saw Tooth roof line is a socializing and view area allowing adequate room for those wanting to see live steaming activity in the main hall. The view facing south is enhanced by pleasantries of the lush Northern Mountain Range.


Thanks to a good physician’s suggestion, Gare du Nord in Blanchisseuse was created.  Following doctor’s orders to stay out of the mid-day sun, as you can see, has produced amazing results.  So to quote King Arthur in Tennyson’s poem, Morte D’Arthur, “The old order changeth, yielding place to the new.”

Steaming in the Caribbean - Page 1 <  Page 2 > Page 3



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