This week, Alan sent in this superb write-upand an equally superb set of photos of his rather wonderful OO scale model railway layout! There’s no need for my waffle first… I’ll just let Alan tell you all about it!…
“It all started after I retired in 2008 when I lived in Chipping Sodbury. I wanted a layout based in South Wales in the late 1950’s/1960. It was to be a small branch line, terminus to fiddle yard in some fictitious backwater. I found the ideal station plan in a PECO settrack plan book. It was Watlington in Oxfordshire. It had a single platform, carriage shed, loco shed, Goods shed & a couple of sidings.
The line then ran along the walls of the largest bedroom to a turntable fiddle yard. On the way it passed over a 6 arch viaduct, through a cutting then over an embankment and small halt to the fiddle yard.
4 years later I decided to move 70 miles away and converted the garage to a railway room by insulating and having double glazed windows and door. It is a little smaller than before but is adequate.
Most of the scenery had to be scrapped as it would not fit, but the board with the station did, and also another board with the brewery & mill. With some careful planning I found I could join the two up to form the nucleus of goods yard. A new board was used for the new two-platform terminus station. A later addition has been the canal basin.
The layout as it is today…
As you enter the railway room there is a canal bridge and canal basin. This is ‘The South Wales Union Canal’. The local coal merchant has a loading
facility there and a timber merchant has deliveries made by barge and rail.
Parallel to the wharf is Canal St. with shops etc. which runs into Station Rd.
The station forecourt is off Station Rd. and there is a level crossing which runs on to the wharf from the goods yard. Lorries also load up at the timber merchant’s.
The station is Metcalfe’s country station based on Bradford on Avon which I know very well. The signal box was a freebie which I have re covered to match the station stonework.
I get most enjoyment from the shunting movements, and have a pannier tank & shunters truck to this end. I deliberately did not include a run-round facility at the station. This allows me to operate another shunt. As the layout is DC I have an isolating section on each platform track near the buffers with an uncoupling ramp.
So when the train stops (over the ramp) the loco runs forward & is isolated. The shunter then takes the coaches to the carriage siding, allowing the loco to run to shed.
Most of the uncoupling is done remotely. I will explain how at a later date.
The goods yard has two goods sheds, one next to the station forecourt the other towards the loco shed which is accessed from Railway Terrace, a row of metcalfe houses and shops. The loco shed is a Prototype kit (I think).
A 3 way point leads to the loco shed, one track to the shed itself, one to the coaling stage (home made) and one spare, the water tower between them. The 3 way point was put in fairly recently and as it was impossible to fit point motors under the baseboard , I fitted surface mounted ones which are hidden by the goods yard sig. box.
From the station and goods yard one line curves round past a pub and through a small station called Rhos then over a level crossing where the line splits, one running on to the Fid yard (8 roads), the other to a short spur, used for storing a railcar or auto train.
Both pass under a bridge which acts as a scenic break.
There is another track leaving the station which follows the the other to the pub which then decends passing a small halt called Alltwen Road. It then enters a tunnel which was until recently a dead end ( railcar & auto train storeage) but now runs down to a lower fid yard. This has two short sidings and a longer one which runs on to a cassette capable of holding a goods train of 4 vans & guards van. I can then turn the cassette for the train to run back.
It is purely a fictitious railway, but the place names are real, – where I spent the first 16 years of my life. My loco fleet consists of 2 Panniers, 2 Prairies, An 0-6-2 South Wales tank, a standard class 3 tank a Standard class 5 4-6-0, a Collet 0-6-0 goods and a S&D 2-8-0 7F (I was going to build an S&D layout) also an ex GWR railcar.