Layout History


Nothing is more discouraging than not finishing a project and not getting anything to work properly. This was certainly true about my early modelling activities when pocket money determined what I could do and was a definite restriction on success. Ambitions beyond my means probably sums it all up better. When I approached retirement I just knew what the majority of my time would be spent on and I was determined that this time it would work. I was also very keen to adopt the new DCC approach. Now, it should be said that I am never short of projects but like the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival I saw this as the ‘Last Great Event’ and one which would keep me busy on those cold winter nights when the idea of rebuilding MG engines does not appeal.

Anyway, eighteen years previously I had made a garden layout with the main part in a 20 x 6 foot shed but problems were emerging mainly with the back wall that was rotting away at ground level. Something had to be done and I decided to replace the shed with a new structure that could house an entire layout dispensing with the outside line. The baseboard and its scenery were salvaged for possible future use but this was not easy as it had to be carefully cut and taken out in two pieces.

A scale model was made for the new shed as it was an irregular shape purposely designed to minimize loss of sunlight on the adjoining house. The construction was in the form of ‘ring’ frames that were tied together by the wall panelling and to avoid a repeat of the side, which is close to an old garden wall, from rotting the whole edifice is mounted on treated 6×3 inch beams above concrete blocks giving plenty of ground clearance. It is fully insulated including the floor, has double glazing and as a purpose made railway shed performs admirably throughout the year with minimal heating costs.

Key features -

  • Previous baseboard reused but treated for minor worm infestation. The trackwork was too good to throw away.
  • All track is code 100 as I had so much to recycle I could not justify anything else.
  • The trackplan is a circuit. One side represents a section of ECML (Greatford) and the other a busy through station. This is not Peterborough but does have features familiar to the area such as a Crescent bridge, a brickyard and scenery showing parts of the city. Not necessarily in the right order!
  • The mainline side represents Greatford crossing and the mainline between Banthorpe bridge to the north (just south of Essendine) and Casewick bridge to the south near Uffington.
  • The track circuit is completed when a swing gate disguised as a girder bridge is closed.
  • DCC is used for loco control but an analogue system controls points and (in future) signals. I just like playing with switches and levers!
  • Scenery and structures as far as possible are to be scratch built and based on appropriate examples for the ECML.
  • Motive power is to primarily be  collected according to types that I photographed in the sixties. This includes early diesels and some blue era examples which I saw during the eighties when living near the mainline at Helpston.

Future projects -

The Isle of Wight has always been of interest to me and it is my intention to build a scale model of Ventnor station probably in EM. If this materializes then other stations may follow to form a modular system that could possibly be exhibited.

© 2014 Greatford Crossing Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha