Friday, 27 October 2017

Shunting Layout Engine Shed

I'm going to try out a downloadable card kit from Scalescenes for the single road engine shed on my proposed OO Inglenook shunting layout. The design is perfect for the job and can be modified quite a lot to fit the space on the layout. It's only a fiver too, so if I muck it up I can always print another one!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Northumbrian Lineside Industry

Fourstones Quarry, Lime Works and Colliery

I've been thinking about a lineside industrial focus for my British Railways era North Eastern region layout. A possibility is a quarry and limekiln served by a siding or yard. There are lots of lime kilns in the area and some were linked to the local railway system including some very large multiple kiln structures and some quite small individual kilns.

Amberley Lime Works in Sussex

I think this would make an excellent focus for the layout and would be a very interesting scenic feature, perhaps combined with quarry traffic and general goods wagons serving the rural area. Anyway, it's just a thought at the moment and so I will do some more research to find suitable examples on which to base my plans.

There's a really good website too, which has loads of photographs and information from which to work out ideas:

Friday, 8 September 2017

Mainline 56XX 0-6-2

This is the latest addition to the GWR locomotive collection, a second hand Mainline 56XX in pretty good condition and ready to run. I suppose a 45XX would have made more sense but the Bachmann model is priced way above my wallet and will have to wait until Xmas. I really like the 56XX and can justify one on the grounds that my proposed layout will be situated in West Wales, a little off the beaten path for one of these but not totally out of the question!

Thursday, 31 August 2017

N Gauge Dead Engine

I had a test track set up today to see if the ancient N gauge Wrenn Ivatt 2MT I inherited still works. The answer is a qualified no, although it did try very hard to get going. I think it needs a good overhaul and a lubrication but even then will probably only do either zero or one hundred scale miles an hour full speed ahead, in proper 1980's model train set style. Other than that I don't know what I can do to revive it or to get it to behave itself in proper shunting fashion?

I think I will need to get myself a new and or good second hand N gauge locomotive of some description before I can even think about building a layout. As this will be expensive, it will have to wait until Father Christmas can deliver something down the chimney, perhaps even a starter set of some sort, ready to be used as the basis of an N gauge branch line layout. Oh well, best laid plans and all that! At least I can crack on with my plans in OO.

Northumbrian Branch Line Halt

The second old Mainline J72 that I found on eBay turned out to have seen better days, so has been relegated to the spares box, although it only cost me a bit over a tenner so I'm not too bothered. However, the first one I managed to acquire is a lovely runner and virtually new, so I can still crack on with my plans for a small and minimalist branch line halt layout in Northumberland. This will be set in the early 50's, so will have a mixture of old LNER rolling stock and new or refurbished British Railways wagons, vans and brake vans.

Fontburn Halt on the Rothbury Branch Line

I'm in no rush to get started on this project, in fact I don't intend to do anything until the start of next year, so in the meantime I can continue gathering bits and bobs to build the layout. I will also be thinking up some variations on track plans and scenery to make the layout as interesting as possible, if perhaps a little less than exciting to operate as a pure 'Inglenook' shunting layout. I have some prototypes to use as  a basis for the layout design and appearance, so will have no shortage of ideas when it comes to working things out in greater detail.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Soldering On

I've just bought myself a cheap, entry level, no whistles or bells soldering iron from the local hardware shop to use on my model railway track and wiring projects. I haven't used one of these in years, so I'll need to practice my soldering skills before I have a go at the real thing. It should be either lots of fun or incredibly frustrating either way!

Monday, 28 August 2017

Mainline J72 69001

I won a second J72 in good running condition on eBay today, this time in the 'lion on a unicycle' post-1950 variant of early British Railways livery. I can now run both tank engines on the NE Region Inglenook branch shunting line that I'm planning to build before I move onto the larger and more complicated GWR layout. I am keeping these plans to a simple theme but still have room for a bit of development, perhaps away from an Inglenook design to a very small, through branch line station or remote rural halt.

I've been thinking about this and have been reading up on the old Rothbury Branchline in Northumberland, which has several features that would be a good basis for a fictional rural layout in the area. I particularly like the idea of a lime works, small colliery or quarry as a focus for the goods traffic on the layout, all of which are features of the local landscape. I also like the idea of a more scenic layout rather than one which concentrates on just shunting operations.