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St. Margaret's Hall, Coniston Road, Hatherley, Cheltenham, GL51 3NU
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Descriptions are based on material supplied by the layout owners
Badger's Yard is typical of many small rail yards around the country that served industry with a once thriving railway system. Surrounded by housing and industry, the yard is now very run down and used for assembling wagons to be forwarded to local customers.
The layout is based on an Inglenook shunting puzzle with 3 sidings and a head shunt. A main line has been added so the wagons can be removed when they're sorted. The idea is to assemble 5 of the 8 wagons on the layout into set order using the smallest number of moves.
The track is Peco code 75, points are fitted with Seep motors, the stock is fitted with DG coupling and uncoupling is done with electro-magnets. The locomotives are DCC controlled, points and magnets are operated by a switch panel.
The 7 foot Broad gauge of the Great Western Railway lasted from its opening in 1838 until its removal in May 1892. This is a fictitious terminus of a branch of the Bristol and Exeter Railway in Somerset. Lord Bodger, the local landowner and entrepreneur put up the vast majority of the money needed to build this line in order to have his own access to the railway. He had his own private saloon and took his horse and carriage with him when he travelled. He may be found around the station in his distinctive top hat.
This layout has been built as an exercise in modelling the Broad Gauge in 3mm scale. The track and wheel standards are the same as those used for the 3mm society fine scale but to a gauge of 21mm. All the stock is hand-built with some modification of standard gauge kits. The track is constructed using Broad Gauge Society 4mm scale bridge rail soldered to copperclad sleeper strip. The railway buildings are models of Broad Gauge prototypes. The station building is from Watchet on the West Somerset line, the goods shed is from Henley-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire, and the engine shed is based on a picture of the original one from Watchet.
I hope that I have portrayed the spirit and flavour of the Victorian railway era as epitomised by the 7 foot Broad gauge of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
A fictional location set deep in North America’s resource rich "Frontier Land". Extreme railroading in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the town of Bootlegger is a rough tough place; this is the real "Wild West", the "West" that Hollywood did not show you.
The year is 1925. The town of Bootlegger Canyon is a major railroad junction; it is the hub of the Denver, Darius, South Park and Pacific Railroad (DDSPR). Coal is the main source of freight traffic with rich veins of Anthracite running throughout the area; add this to livestock and the timber trade and you have a classic old west railroad town.
Bootlegger was given its name by early prospectors; the area was renowned for the brewing of illicit alcohol which went on in the densely wooded areas of the Canyon. However heavy logging has changed the landscape in recent years, the extraction of the Rockies natural resources have decimated some areas, this is the era well before any concern for the mountain environment.
When surveying a route for the DDSPR from Denver through the Platte Canyon towards the first mines at Darius, Leadville and Mt Zion it was clear that gradients of 4 per cent could not be avoided. This would not only make it difficult to haul trains from Denver into the Rockies but also to safely manage full coal trains back down through Bootlegger. The tight curves and steep grades mean the only option was to use a narrow gauge track. Our town grew situated here at the western end of the 10 mile long geological fault that is the Canyon; it was a natural course for the railroad to follow on its final part of the climb into the Rockies and actually saved the railroad builders the need for a substantial tunnel.
Bootlegger Canyon is my third exhibition layout. This time I wanted to produce a rural, scenic diorama, a definite departure from my previous urban based railways. The Bachmann On30 revolution has caught my imagination in recent years with some amazing ready to run items of narrow gauge rolling stock. Add this to some inspirational photographs of the present day preserved 3 foot gauge railways of Colorado. This part of the world has the most amazing scenery but when I saw photographs of autumn in the Rockies I was hooked. It is unusual to see a particular season modelled in any gauge so I decided that it had to be autumn in Bootlegger Canyon, Colorado.
Clayton West closed to traffic in 1983 with the closure of the associated colliery. This layout is based on the premise that government funding was made available to regenerate this area, resulting in a shopping village, new homes and businesses on the colliery site. Electrification of the branch from the main line would have been instituted in the early 1990s, allowing services to run through from both Manchester and Leeds, though cost restrictions have meant that only the bay platform is energised.
The station occupies the site of the colliery sidings, rather than being a rebuild of the existing station, as the land there would have been sold for redevelopment. In addition to the shopping complex, behind the station, there is a distribution centre, which variously handles parcels or vans, depending on the operator's whim!
There is sufficient siding space to accommodate engineer's vehicles, locomotives resting between duties, spot traffic flows and weekend stabling.
The layout uses DCC (a Lenz Compact system), with traditional 12V control retained for the points, signals and lighting. The overhead catenary is made from modified Sommerfeldt parts and steel wire.
The layout uses a great many ready-to-use building components and attempts to portray the last year of the nationalised network, with a wide variety of locomotive types and liveries.
The points are Peco code 75, but the plain track is C&L, giving a much better representation of scale sleeper spacing, even within the compromises inherent in OO.
Dunster more photos
Dunster is a station on the now preserved GWR line to Minehead. It represents a basic branch line station in the 1930's-40's era. The station building is perhaps more elaborate than usual as this station served nearby Dunster Castle.
Dukes and Maharajahs were visitors during the inter war years and polo was a very popular pastime. Horse boxes would have been regularly seen carrying the polo ponies.
The station building and signal box are modified Hornby kits. The track is Peco finescale code 75 and the signals are Ratio operated by Fulgurex motors.
The stock is a mixture of proprietary and kit built.
Hillside Works is a narrow gauge railway in 4mm scale, constructed using Peco 009 proprietary track. The location is set in the Welsh borders and the time period modelled is late sixties to early seventies.
The concept and design of Hillside Works is purely fictional and an enormous amount of modeller's license has been used during all design and construction phases. The idea was to create an easily portable layout which provides sustained operational and scenic interest for the viewing public.
Rolling stock is a mixture of kit built and converted ready to run items mostly from RICO and Parkside Dundas. The buildings are both kit and scratch built using Ratio and Wills materials, with various scatters from the Woodland Scenics and Greenscene ranges. The backscene has been built and painted to represent colder autumn skies and the surrounding hillsides of a typical Welsh border area. The trees are constructed using the traditional wire frame method, which is then hand soldered and covered in a plaster mix and painted to represent the bare branches that are to be found in the late November countryside of this region.
Locomotives are operated by handheld controllers using DC cab control, with AC supply derived from a 15 volt transformer which has been safely electrically isolated, another transformer supplies the capacitor discharge unit, all have been hand built. The point motors are a collection of the older SEEP type and the more modern PECO type with base mounting adaptors.
Working lamp posts and coloured light signals, together with their automatic control systems, have been specially constructed to scale for this layout from my own designs.
Hillside Works as with all layouts is still "work in progress". Our aim for the future is to bring it into present day by turning it into a preserved railway, called Hillside Works Heritage Centre complete with working vintage machinery, tourists and cafe.
During the 1950-1960 steam period, Hillton was a thriving terminus station with a turntable and shed. Due to the Beeching cuts of the 1960's, Hillton was closed and left to decay. In the mid 1990's EWS and Network Rail needed a site for a new Traction and Maintenance Depot. The land on which the old steam depot once stood was flattened and redeveloped into a modem maintenance facility and a work base for drivers. Due to public pressure and a grant from the Welsh Assembly, the old station was re-opened as a single line terminus and was re-connected to an old branch off the main line between Newport and Gloucester. This proved very popular with people from neighbouring towns and villages.
With connections from the branch to most major cities; commuters now travel to Gloucester, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff.
The new depot is in a convenient location to service and maintain the regions EWS locomotive fleet and is used by other companies from both South Wales and the West of England. The depot is very busy with locomotives arriving and departing for turns of duty and for maintenance and re-fuelling.
It is the early 1960's. You are returning to the West Midlands via Oxford and Worcester after a hard week in London. It is midsummer and the sun is warm through the carriage window. You are drowsy and you doze off. Somewhere north of Oxford you wake suddenly. You look out of the window passing through a country station. You just catch the name "Marsh Chipping" and as your eyes close once more you think, "strange, I don't remember that on the way up."
Marsh Chipping is, of course hctional, but the track plan is based on Chipping Campden (with an added branch) and the goods shed on the one at Moreton-in—Marsh; hence the name.
Nictun Borrud 2K
Our 1965-ish 3rd rail BR(S) Nictun Borrud is a layout which was based on the US Army building a branch line during World War II. Had it been built it would have come from the Meon Valley Line to Southwick House (SHAPE HQ in World War II) just behind Portsdown Hill, near Portsmouth.
As co—builder of Nictun Borrud, I liked it so much I thought I would replicate it and bring it into the 21st century based on it surviving the Dr Beeching cuts and prospering to day (and to run my modern stock). The goods yard has gone, replaced by a car sales and petrol station and the old World War II military sidings developed to house a wagon maintenance facility. The Sub Power Station has also been upgraded.
North Bridge more photos
Northbridge is the fictitious location set on the old Westbridge branch in Leicester and is where trains from Coalville and Burton on Trent terminated.
The period modelled is the early 1960s and the infrastructure is based on but not a copy of what might have been there.
For operating purposes the passenger service still exists and an additional Push Pull service has been invented from Leicester London Road. The goods yard at Westbridge was in reality very much larger and even in the mid 1960's was still quite busy with coal, oil and general traffic and suitable trains are run to incorporate this.
The trackwork is Peco code 100 with small radius electrofrog points and is DCC operated. Rolling stock is a mixture of propriety products, some modified and all weathered to some degree and indicative of what might have been seen in the area had the bore of Glenfield Tunnel been more generous.
Many of the buildings are from the Metcalfe range, all altered in some way to fit the location.
The overall size of the layout is 260mm x 430mm and folds in half to form a box 350mm deep, it has been an exercise to see how much can be achieved in a small space.
Thomas more photos
This is the model railway where Children can become Engine Drivers on the Island of Sodor and has of course been inspired by the Reverend Audrey books.
Our Thomas and Friends layout has been built for ten years now and in that time we hope it has encouraged many new railway enthusiasts to build a train set of their own.
Originally it was intended as a space filler at shows so needed to be small, easy to transport and have a simple track plan, easy for small children to operate.
After its first appearance it was clear this model railway would have to be included at all our exhibitions.
It incorporates a tunnel, station, level crossing together with locomotive and goods facilities. Train drivers should look out for many of the popular characters; Henry, Percy, Toby, Cranky, the Troublesome Trucks, not forgetting the Sir Topham Hatt better known as the Fat Controller.
The famous anthropomorphised rolling stock is mostly from the Thomas range and we are sure most of the adults and all the kids will love it.
Happy Driving, but please observe the track speed limits.
Travel 2000 Ltd
|Harvey Faulkner-Aston||Mark Begley|
|Steve Harrod||Trevor Hale|
|Castle Trains||Cheltenham Model Centre|
|Iron Horse DVDs||RCSW (Pre-owned) Models, Clive Reid|
|Rly books, timetables, photos, Stewart Blencowe||Robbie's Rolling Stock|
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