Gorre & Daphetid
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The Gorre & Daphetid, also known as "The Gorre" or just "The G&D," was actually three successive model railroads. The first two small versions were built at Allen's home in Monterey. The final version of the G&D, which incorporated the earliest layout, was much larger and built over a period of twenty years at his new 9 Cielo Vista Terrace home in Monterey, where he excavated part of the basement to build the railroad. Mr. Allen was a pioneer in the field of model railroading - as a professional photographer he had the artistic talent and attention to detail to create and document incredibly realistic scenes, and did so in numerous articles featured in Model Railroader, the NMRA's Scale Rails and Railroad Model Craftsman magazines. He developed a wonderful story of origin, including humor and numerous references to his friends in the model railroading and model railroading publishing industry. He designed and built numerous buildings and people. The final layout is considered one of the greatest layouts of all time, and has several fan websites and a devoted Yahoo discussion groups.
The basement of the house was severely damaged by fire just ten days after John Allen suffered a fatal heart attack in January 1973. Most of the layout was destroyed in the fire. However, one of the locomotives, No. 34, a 4-10-0 that John kitbashed from parts, resided in the office of the late former Model Railroader magazine executive editor Andy Sperandeo. Sperandeo was a frequent visitor to the G&D, being stationed in California while serving in the United States Army.
Kalmbach Publishing published a book entitled Model Railroading with John Allen written by Allen's longtime friend, Linn Westcott. The book is currently out of print and used copies can fetch a premium price at booksellers and online auction sites. There is a new edition available through a different source, check out the yahoo G ^ D website for the location.
Allen was a professional photographer by trade, and numerous boxes of his slides and prints are in storage at Kalmbach Publishing's corporate building in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Some of the boxes were singed by the flames of the fire that destroyed the G&D, and the smell of smoke from the blaze still lingers when one opens a box for a look at unpublished photos of the G&D.
- Model Railroading With John Allen: The Story of the Fabulous HO Scale Gorre & Daphetid Railroad (Paperback) Linn H. Westcott Kalmbach Pub Co.(July 1981) ISBN 978-0-89024-559-0
- Model Railroading With John Allen: The Story of the Fabulous HO Scale Gorre & Daphetid Railroad (Paperback) Linn H. Westcott Kalmbach Pub Co.(1982) ASIN B0032AW8BE
- Model Railroading With John Allen: The Story of the Fabulous HO Scale Gorre & Daphetid Railroad (Hardcover) Linn H. Westcott Kalmbach Pub Co.(July 1996) ISBN 978-0-89024-298-8
- Model Railroading With John Allen: Expanded Edition (Hardcover) Linn H. Westcott Benchmark Publications (2011) ASIN B004L18IN0