Category Archives: UK

Site Seeing – the “I love the Yard” edition

Imagine an industrial 7mm narrow and standard gauge model railway with radio controlled crane and lorries. Then look at a great video and see it in action.


The Yard

Built by a group of four during a three-month period for a club exhibition. This layout is in 7mm scale and uses both 16.5mm (3.5mm HO standard gauge) and 32mm (7mm O scale gauge) track. Scenic area is only 2’2” x 6’, with an overall size of 2’2” x 9’ including fiddle yard.

Of particular note are the working features of the layout including:

  • standard and narrow gauge trains
  • working gantry crane, and
  • radio controlled lorries

The gantry crane had apparently been on another layout and manually controlled. When moved to the yard it was converted to radio control. The lorries, which I believe are the work of Mr Giles Favell, (see the resources section below for more) were in use on other layouts. The rolling stock came from other layouts also.

Control of trains is by DCC, while point control uses MERG canbus.


Resources

See more about the wonders of Giles Favell’s radio control 7mm scale lorries and his layouts at:

Site Seeing – April 11 – Small O scale layouts 6

Whether you model the US, UK, Australian, Canadian, South American or European scene one thing that O scale requires is imagination. As much as I would like to have a very large garden and shed layout, the reality is that is not going to happen due to constraints with money and time. I have not enough of either and so the scope of what I model has to be within my reach, simple to achieve and quick to build and ready to a credible level of detail and where possible use what I have to hand. On to today’s site of interest.

Site 1: Pick Purse Halt O scale in 9′ by 2′  by Richard and Sue Andrews

When space is tight using imagination allows you to find and define the layout’s place within the wider railway network; Pick Purse Halt does this admirably. Let’s take a look at the track plan first and see why.

Pick Purse Halt’s track plan

On first look, there’s not much to the track plan. One turnout and a couple of sidings. The layout portrays a small passenger halt along a GWR Country branch. So we’re set in time during the 1930s with steam railmotors and Auto Coaches on passenger work and pannier tanks working the freight trains. Let’s assume though that the line did not close during the 1960s and the Beeching cuts; where would that take us?

Single car DMUs such as RDCs, Gloucester RC&W Class 122 Bubble Cars, Tokyo abounds with types, as does Europe and I think you may now get the idea. All we’ve talked about though is the passenger service on the through line. There is also the short freight passing by and reversing into the sidings. Or coming in direct from stage left; this is where the operational potential of the layout really comes into its own.

The freight area can be worked differently in many ways both visually and conceptually:

  • As described in the plan for UK mid-1930s
  • As a factory dock during the 1950s through the 1970s and 1980s
  • As a simple team track arrangement for literally any time you like
  • As a small transload point with a Y and a platform for unloading two rail cars by pallet truck and forklift

As a small layout Pick Purse Halt punches way above its weight. So much to be done with the design and the scenic treatment depending on the era and location you model. Your choice could come down to using what you have on hand to set the location.

With controlled lines of sight, and the feeling of the rest of the railway just beyond the board, this could well prove to be the best idea of the month.

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Site Seeing – April 9 – Small O scale layouts 5

While tooling around the Broadford MRC’s site looking for information on Glen Bogle mentioned earlier this month I found our next contestant for a small O scale layout well within the reach of anyone interested in the larger scale.

Site 1: Chard Creamery O gauge  8′ by 2′ (Richard and Sue Andrews)

Chard Creamery layout (8′ x 2′) – Richard and Sue Andrews

When it came time to build a new layout Richard Andrew’s thoughts turned to his boyhood memories of the S&D Railway to Basinbridge Milk Factory. Andrew says that “as I love small shunting layouts I decided to see if I could build a O Gauge layout representing a milk factory with either a river or as it turns out a canal running beside it in a 4′ x 22″ wide baseboard”.

With mock ups made Andrew decided he could put three tracks on the board without turnouts to give a loading/unloading bay for the milk, a centre road for coal and other goods, and a front siding which went to another loading/unloading bay for dry goods, butter, cheese, etc. He stresses that the layout is not a copy of Basinbridge, and chose to make the buildings of similar but freelance design.

Chard Creamery – O Gauge in a small space

The name Chard came about because of the canal that used to run from Taunton to Chard. While that canal is now long gone and Andrew had a Skytrex Barge built and painted in need of a home this seemed the ideal situation.

Skytrex Building Flats fill in the background while all main buildings are scratchbuilt out of card with a Slater’s brick overlay. The pub scene replaced a former building now relegated to the background and helps to block the view of the fiddle yard.

 

Site Seeing – April 7 – Small O scale layouts 4

Ian Futers’ layouts seem to get around more than the builder himself. Probably because he manages to build great small layouts with plenty of operating potential that remain popular year after year.

Site 1: Glen Bogle

Ian Atkinson and Chris Towers’ of Broadford Model Railway Club own the layout presently. The layout, built originally in basic form by Ian Futers, is in the process of being enhanced by the present owners. A Scottish 1950-1970s era layout with a station, goods facilities and just four turnouts comprises two 4′ 6″ scenic boards and a 4′ 6″ fiddle yard with a three road traverser board.

Operation of the line is in the late steam early diesel period. Coal, Timber and fish traffic somehow still survive along with a mediocre passenger service.

Glen Bogle - as designed by Ian Futers
Glen Bogle – as designed by Ian Futers

You can gather further information on this layout from the club’s website as a PDF download.

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Site Seeing – April 5 – Small O scale layouts 3

With many thanks to David Bromage for sharing photos of his visit to the 2016 Bendigo Model Railway exhibition let’s take a look at a new O scale layout on the Australian exhibition circuit: Filching Road Yard.

Site 1: Filching Road Yard (courtesy of David Bromage)

Photo courtesy of David Bromage
Photo courtesy of David Bromage

New on the Victoria model railway scene is Filching Road Yard. A simple and not overly large O scale of 8 feet (2400mm) by 18″(450mm) wide. The layout is a budget build and was designed to fit into the back of the owner’s car (a station wagon).

With only two turnouts and a cassette fiddle yard this could be the ideal O scale starter layout. To keep your costs down you could also build your own trackwork, a project that I’ll be undertaking later this year as I attempt to increase my modelling skills into trackwork.

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Site Seeing – April 1 – Small O scale layouts 1

O scale, whether 1:48 US scale or UK scale 1:43, are outstanding in small spaces. With DCC operation, and the ability to run locomotives with sound has made a complete difference to the displaying and exhibition of layouts in recent years. In this first post in this unfortunately short series we’ll look at one of my favourite small UK O scale layouts: Oldham King Street

Now owned by David Hampson the layout was originally built as Percy Street by Ian Futers.It was later modified by David to become Oldham King Street.

Image 1: In its original guise as Percy Street

Enjoy the videos of the operation of Oldham King Street. I hope they give you ideas for your own small layout. Don’t forget to visit the layout pages on this site too. There are many small layout designs there for you to use.

In this video note the smoke generators (which first attracted me to the layout many years ago:

In this second video, an open wagon has split the points and needs re-railing…

Finally watch this video for ideas of the operation available in this small space…

There are plenty more on YouTube, just search “Oldham King Street”.

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Heads Up!

April is now and forever more deemed to be the ‘O scale’ small layout month.

Overall layout - outstanding

Throughout April I’ll be posting layout plans, and information, on small and achievable layouts that have already been built in O scale, or that could be up-sized from the smaller scales to fit in a maximum visible space of 8 feet x 2 feet (2400 x 600 mm).

The only requirement is that it must be based on the recognised scales of:

  • 1:43.5 (UK & Australian Standard gauge)
  • 1:45 (European)
  • 1:48 (US & Australian Broad gauge)

So this includes 0n30, Metre gauge, standard, broad, and anything else that you can imagine. Traction can be steam, diesel and, or electric. If you have an industrial track plan or layout that is small in nature I’d be really interested in seeing more information or links to your website especially.

I’ll still be posting the usual informative and layout focused information as normal, this is simply something special I’ve wanted to do for some time.

If you have any ideas or layouts that you’d like to share during April drop me a line through the comment field and I’ll work with you to get that information into a post!

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Dapol 08 in 7mm scale

While I cannot find anything of use (at all) on the Dapol site on the new UK Class 08 shunter they’re releasing sometime during 2016. You can read more about it on Tower Model’s website: http://www.tower-models.com/towermodels/ogauge/dapol/dapolloco/class08/index.htm

The nuts and bolts of the model are as follows:

  • Fine cast metal coupling hooks and chains.
  • Finely moulded body with many separately added fine details.
  • Etched name plates where applicable.
  • DCC ready with PluX 22 pin socket for control of all aspects of running.
  • Cast wheels with fine relief and appropriate colouring.
  • Tungsten chassis and all wheel pick-up.
  • Tooling designed to allow production of alternate models in the future.
  • Powerful 5 pole skew wound motor and flywheel for superior running and performance
  • Accessory bag with spares and other added detail.

Surprisingly, the model will be reasonably affordable for those of us overseas (not in old Blighty). Considering that we don’t have to pay the VAT, even with shipping, the base cost is only about the $AU355 dollar mark – depending on the currency fluctuation. And that is not that bad. Anyone interested in helping “The Andrew Martin Inaugural O Scale Loco Conservation and Operating Fund”? This will make sure that I can properly curate and run one of these little beauties for all time! And you will get your name engraved on a scale sized plate on the side of the locomotive; And you’ll get to come over and run the loco too on running days! You may have to pay your own airfare, although you can sleep on the couch for free!

While I’m waiting for the money to arrive zip on over to the Albion Yard blog to see the images. Outstanding stuff Dapol. But should I have to go to Tower Model’s website to see more about your model? Really?

Albion Yard

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Albion Yard in 7mm next?

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