Many years ago I was in Georgetown, Colo., watching the Georgetown Loop being reinstated. As usual, my eyes looked up towards Mount McClellan and followed the scars of the switchback route of the long gone Argentine Central Railroad. This very short lived railroad served a few mines but extended to the summit of the mountain for what must have been one of the most spectacular tourist rides ever built. The route included a stop at the Ice Palace which rather sadly collapsed! The trains were hauled by a fleet of 3ft gauge Shay locomotives which added to the allure.

McClellan summit. A view to die for.

In my mind, I could see a vertical model railway, built from the floor to the ceiling. This was, of course, never built but when I was considering one more layout on the County Gate theme, the image came back to my mind and the Cliffhanger concept was born. The switchbacks are replaced with a funicular but somewhere, deep in my imagination, I can hear frantic Shays toiling up McClellan for those few short years at the beginning of the last century. If only for a time machine!

Health issues are beginning to overwhelm me and Cliffhanger is very definitely my last effort. I owe a huge thanks to my friend Kevin Mason RA who completed most of the baseboard construction and many other things that I am now unable to do. I can honestly say that we did not have one cross word during the entire process.

So there you are. Cliffhanger is now finished and beginning its life on the exhibition circuit. I hope you will all enjoy it.