The GDRP proudly presents…


The photos are presented in counter-clockwise order, starting at Port and ending at Andrews

Go to the GALLERY!!!


Once again, Randy “Sherlock Holmes” Decker has uncovered some wonderful content for the GDRP. Through his “Great Divide” G&D re-creation project, he made contact with Ken, who had the opportunity to visit the G&D and take photos. Here’s the story, in Ken’s words


“John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but there was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.

“My locomotive was a little 0-4-0, and because it was short I was able to get it and 2 short cars on the center left siding and pull both back onto the run around track at once, saving 2 moves.  You should have heard the roar when I cleared the switch points!  John decided we needed to use an 0-6-0 from then on, or eliminate the short ore and tank cars.

“I think he was secretly pleased that I had out-witted the puzzle’s limits.  We all knew it was luck of the draw.

“I was there every Tuesday evening (I think it was Tuesday) for 3 months.  The initiation was a test on the switching puzzle, which I completed in under 4 minutes, to everyone's surprise and my financial gain of $5, one from every attendee, and one more from John for being under 5 minutes.  It was pure luck, as I proved many times after.

“I operated the Andrews Peddler, and I was always behind schedule.  John ran a busy op session, and rarely was anyone without cars to move.  It was my favorite military service experience, both the language school, and the weekly op sessions.

On the Timesaver:

Ahh... The timesaver!  I remember that name.  Yes, that's my note Randy was quoting.  And yes, the kibitzing was always heavy, and yes, John was vocal in his opinions, which is probably one of the reasons he wrote so many articles.

On Operations:

“My switching experience was limited by my age and exposure to switching, but I'd rather switch a peddler than watch trains run around the room, so the GandD was perfect fit for me.  It was a great learning experience in many ways.

“I operated on the GandD March-May 1969.  Over speed would immediately incur wrath and derision when that booby-trapped boxcar lit up!

“John worked hard at getting smooth slow moving locos.  He didn't appreciate them being over speed.  He would most assuredly been enamored to see a dockside switcher and a 4-10-0 walking together at 1 smph.

On John:

“I seem to recall John was sure to stay out of any pics taken.  I don't remember if he wanted to show the layout or avoid the camera...