Jump to content

Successes and failures in layout building.

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Over the years I built several layouts some were successful and some not so successful. What's makes a successful layout is pretty much a personal thing, for me it seems to be the ability to get something up and running reasonably quickly, operate reliably and maintain the illusion of realistic operation with trains going and coming from somewhere.

Two of my most successful layouts were in N, the a large scale (1.20.3) garden layout, a few 4mm end to end terminal to fiddle yard layouts were marginally successful although they operated reasonably reliably in never completed the scenic or detail works as I had basically lost interest.

Duncormic N gauge end to end 1979-1982.  Probably one of my best and most complete layouts, built in my bedroom while living in my parents house in my early 20s the layout was dismantled following a house move and never re-erected.

I changed to N gauge out of frustration with my attempts to build a OO gauge layout in the box room of our home and to build Irish steam and diesel locos on rtr chassis. Inspired by Brian McCann's Bagnalstown layout and Chiltern Green the reasoning was that it would be easier to build a layout that met my requirements in N than OO and that I would be less tempted to attempt to attempt to scratchbuild/kitbash or modify N Gauge locos and stock to resemble Irish locos and stock. The first part was true in that I found it easier to build a more realistic looking (to me) layout in N than I could achieve in a similar space in OO, the second part was false as it wasn't long before I began modifying British and American rtr locos to look like Irish locos and re-painting/kitbashing stock.

After a false start with a single track continuous run layout on an 8X2' folding baseboard based on Kilmessan Junction, I shifted to a U shaped end to end shelf layout around the walls of my bedroom with a medium sized terminus and a small junction station inspired by buildings at Foynes and Ardfert on the North Kerry line transported to County Galway.DuncormicNGaugeLayout.thumb.jpg.a978afaa1b9552c66eea77f903da05a6.jpg

The terminus and fiddle yard were capable of handling a double headed 5 coach passenger train or a 15 wagon goods on a 5' baseboard something that would be difficult if not impossible to achieve in OO.  Duncormic was supported on the bedroom fireplace mantle piece, , Inch and the fiddle yard on aluminium shelving brackets, the curving section supported by the timber cleats fixed to the fireplace recess. the viaduct section was removable (across the window) supported by the Inch and Duncormic scenic board.

Baseboards were chipboard with a 2X1 fixed flat to the outer edge, not sure if I got around to fixing fascias. Track and points were Peco Streamline fixed to cork underlay and loosed ballasted Woodlands scenics fine ballast, rails may have been misted with rust using a cheap aerosol airbrush. Points were powered by H&M point motors operated by passing contact switches mounted on a control panel together with section isolating switches.

Scenic profiles were on a cardboard framework with 2mm sheet expanded foam to form the ground contours, dyed medical lint ground cover/grass with Peco lineside fencing and Woodland scenics foliage as bushes and hedging. Building were based on drawings and sketches of the stations and one of Patrick Shaffery's Irish Building books. Background buildings at Duncormic were based on commercials buildings from Sligo. Constructed mainly in plasticard, stone buildings with embossed plasticard overlays, the good shed originally from Kilmessan overlayed with plasticard. Windows were clear plasticard with glazing bars and framing drawn in black ink using a drafting pen.

I usually operated the layout on Sunday mornings before lunch with a sequence of a pair of 121 Class on 2-3 daily Intercity trains to Dublin, a 141 going in and out with Day and Night Mail connections and a 001 on the goods. Modelling the transition era I had enough wagons to model the loose coupled or Liner Train era, to add variety Inch handled Beet during the season and the branch to Port Magee occasional Beet Trains not unlike Fenit. I had enough shortened Lima Freight Liner wagons to run a Liner, a train of Peco 35T Tank wagons for a 3 a twice weekly Oil Train and 6 Bagged Cement (plasticard bodies  on Farish chassis). When running Liner trains the area around the loco shed sidings were used for storing redundant H Vans typical area.

Locos and stock were a mixture of Irish and British outline including 121s modified from Atlas SW1500, 141 plasticard body on SW1500, A Class plastciard body on Arnold GP30 chassis (with Lima Brush Type 2 bogie side frames) Cravens coaches re-painted Minitrix (complete with B4 Bogies looked the part when viewed from the compartment side) BR Van and Bogie Brake modified Lima (smaller profile than Minitrix coaches). Misc wagons modified Farish and Lima 4w Container Wagons, Guinness Flats, Bagged Cement, Farish BR wagons re-skinned with plastciard and microstrip as H vans and timber bodied vans. 


General view Duncormick.  Early 70s era 4 coach Black & Tan passenger set at platform. Wagons positioned for loading/unloading in yard. Controller is a H&M "Executive" unit powered by the 15V a/c output of a Safety Minor at the next station. 

Remarkable resemblance in the positioning of buildings to my 4mm Keadue narrow gauge layout built over 30 years later!


 Late 70s era. Pair of 121s on Dublin Passenger, B141 on a Liner. Redundant wagons stored out of use in loco yard. Camera was a Kodak Instamatic 

Was thoroughly enjoyable when it lasted.

Edited by Mayner
  • Like 9
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a former head teacher and leadership advisor, getting colleagues to reflect was a key part of my work, particularly in the annual appraisal cycle. In education, folk tend not to dwell on the past, mainly because there is always another new challenge around the corner, be it self imposed, or from our political masters. Maybe because of that, I've long kept what I call my model railway 'journal', an informal diary that I use to record thoughts and experiences - a bit like some of my ramblings here, so am in danger of repeating myself!

 Whatever, it is good to reflect and to look back on those reflections once in a while, because it helps in avoiding mistakes and realising you solved a particular problem several years ago, but had forgotten about it.

 John's little essay soon got me thinking, because over the dozen or so layouts I've built some have been a lot more effective than others. However, as they were almost all built for exhibition purposes, the criteria are different because factors like ease of transportation, setting up times, reliability and so on are just as important as operational enjoyment.

 On balance, Fintonagh remains a firm favourite and now very much a benchmark for other projects. Easy to transport, quick to set up and, though small, more than enough operational potential to be enjoyable to run. At the other end of the scale was an 0 gauge continuous run, called Eatonswell. Four, four foot by 2'6 scenic boards were joined to similar sized storage loops by double track half circles. The whole lot was about 30x13, took forever to set up and was very unwieldy, to say the least! Did one show with it before the continuous run was scrapped and replaced by fiddle yard each end. Forgot to mention it was on two levels as well - a double track secondary line with a low level goods yard. So, in effect, four fiddle yards and up to six operators. What was I thinking? Eventually, stripped off the buildings and used them on a decent terminus to fiddle yard project of the same name that was much more effective.

 I still dream of a roundy roundy layout, but the nightmare of the original Eatonswell soon brings me back to earth.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Delaware and Hudson  American N Gauge folded 8 layout Dublin 2000-2004.  I lived and worked in London and the Home Counties from the Mid-80s to the Mid 90s and seldom lived in the one place long enough or had the space to build a medium size layout. I converted the attic of our house to a layout room following my return to Ireland and finally got around to building a layout during the late 90s initially a folded 8 test track to run my collection of American outline locos and stock and eventually got around to building a 'permanent layout" around 2000. 

Although I was mainly interested in modelling Irish railways, I got hooked on American N gauge and the Delaware and Hudson after a couple of visits to Victors model shop and browsing Charring Cross Road bookshops and soon amassed a collection of American locos and stock, which I occasionally ran on a circle of track while living in a shared house or later in my own apartment.

At the time American N scale was especially attractive Atlas had outsourced loco manufacture from Roco and Rivarossi in Europe to Kato in Japan and the quality of the models and running quality improved significantly with fine detail, die-cast chassis, centrally mounted skew wound motor driving all axles and later twin flywheels and low friction bogies/trucks.  I choose the Delaware and Hudson because of the attractive livery/appearance of the Atlas RS3 model and discovered that a D&H would be an intersting railroad to model a small Class 1 (Large Railroad) that had an interesting loco fleet and carried heavy freight traffic on scenic and heavily graded routes in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania.

The test track was to get things up and running quickly and test the running of long freight trains. The baseboards were scrap material, ripped down veneered chipboard panels from old fitted wardrobes topped with insulation board from old attic lining. Trains ran well proving it was just about possible to run a 50 car freight using stock retrofitted with Microtrains trucks and or couplings (N Gauge Kadees), attempts to run longer trains were not too successful couplings separating with a loud bang but no physical damage to the coupling or cars.

Decided to replace the test track with permanent running tracks on conventional (timber frame and chipboard) baseboards fixed above purlin level around the attic with removable scenic sections on ply baseboards which connected to the permanent staging/hidden trackage. Earlier I had built a 7'6" X 1' N gauge modular layout on the One Track principal to fit in our box bedroom, future modules were 4X1 wired for DCC operation in accordance with N Trak recommendations.

The scenic section of the layout is based on the D&H Susquehanna Subdivision that carries heavy traffic between the North East (Canada, New England), the East and South East (New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Virginia) and the West (Buffalo and Chicago) on a scenic heavily graded route through Up State New York. The principal feature of the layout is a model based on the downtown area and old D&H yard in Binghampton NY with its industries, and yard. An important interchange point for freight traffic between the North East, West and East South where motive power was changed, trains reversed or re-marshalled. The remainder of the scenic section represents the single track D&H Main Line with the 'Helper Section" from Binghampton Yard to Belden Hill Tunnel, a typical Susquehanna Division steel trestle and a small Town with Passing Track or siding.  The scenic section baseboards are 3/8" wbp plywood the original downtown/loco yard module conventional ply baseboard top, the remaining sections featured open top baseboard framing with ply track base.

Control was DCC using a Digitrax Empire Builder (2000) with "walk around" wireless control using infrared capable throttles and receivers, an additional Empire was added, used as a booster, the railroad divided into 'Blocks' protected by digital circuit breakers to prevent a short shutting down the entire system.

Switches/Points in the Binghampton Downtown/Loco Yard area controlled by a bank of Triang Black (passing contact) Levers to represent an area controlled by a Mechanical Interlocking/Cabin, Switches at the 'North End" of Binghampton Yard, the Passing Track and Staging were operated by Lenz Stationary decoders controlled by the Throttle to represent CTC or hand operated switches. I used Seep Point Motors to power the switches in the downtown/loco yard area, Peco Point Motors on the remainder of the layout.


 I developed a sequence for operating the layout based on D&H Train symbols during the mid 1970s with a selection of general merchandise and intermodal (piggy back trains). Through freights were generally operated by 3 Co Co diesels or 4-5 Bo Bos, I sometimes used a Pusher (Baldwin Sharknose) to assist trains from the yard to the Passing Track before returning. In practice running the main-line through freights and turning-remarshalling trains kept me busy, seldom having time to switch the downtown industry tracks or the industry at the Passing Track. We had a few operating sessions with 2-3 visiting  operators, who generally preferred to run-trains around as fast as possible Scaletric style!

Dismantled the layout when we moved to New Zealand in 2004, shipping and re-erecting the yard and downtown section in the garage of our new home in Auckland planning to incorporate the modules into a larger layout with central peninsula before a move to Hamilton a house on a ¼ acre section and a smaller garage, resulting in a shift from N to Garden Railway modelling.


West Bound freight in the Yard wooded hillside acts as a view blocker for the hidden staging.


North bound freight departing yard.


Trains arriving and departing the Downtown area.


Elevator and loco staging area


Open baseboard framing trestle area


Northbound freight with Autoracks & Auto Parts boxcars crossing trestle, cement hoppers for local industry on spur in background.


Freight passing "Dorothys House" on advantage of American N is the availability of a good selection of kit and 'made up" typical buildings in this case a typical early 1900s farm or suburban house.



  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Delaware and Hudson Mk 2 N Gauge Auckland 2006-7

Our 1st home in New Zealand had a 24X12 garage ideal for conversion to a model railway room 1st thoughts were to build an O Scale American narrow gauge layout mainly using Bachmann's recently introduced On30 locos and stock rather than returning to N Scale while building a minimum space (8x1) shelf layout in the home office to get something up and running quickly. I had hoped to build a scenic On30 layout with a central peninsula in the garage to maximise the length of run and maximise the scenic effects using American L Girder Baseboard framing for the peninsula board and conventional baseboards on top of MDF storage units around the walls.


Christmas 2005. Garage converted to a layout room with insulation board wall and ceiling linings. Showing L Girder baseboard under construction L girder 2X1" horizontal glued to 3X1 vertical member, and 3X1" bearers, the peninsula was supported by 3 pairs of 2X2 legs the legs also supported a timber rack.



Bearers installed, Binghampton Modules in background.  The peninsula end had a dumbell shape with the baseboard widened to allow the track to turn through 180° with a central view blocker down the centre of the peninsula.


Mock up of L Girder risers and track sub-roadbed. L girder construction is used primarily for open top baseboard construction with track base ideally ply supported on risers allowing for realistic scenic effect.


Mock up of Ophir section of Ophir Loop on peninsula with view blocker down centre of baseboard. Track at this stage set up as return loop final version would have run down opposite side of view blocker/backscene.


Mixed Train with Broadway Limited C16 and Bachmann cars. At this stage I decided to abandon an On30 layout and substantially expand the N Scale D&H layout or much the same reason as I decided to abandon OO and model in N over 20 years earlier although I had substantially more space. The On30 stock although underscale did not work visually on the mock up and tended to dominate the available space. 



I had sold the trestle and small town module before moving to New Zealand, incorporating the downtown Binghampton and one of the yard modules into the new layout. extending the yard onto a permanent section of the layout with a 180° curve to link up with the staging which was at a lower level than the scenic baseboard.




The main additions at this stage were a pair of Kato PA1 diesels and  a pair of Amtrak P42 locos and a Walthers Coal Depot (typical of the North East)

Technically the greatest change was the introduction of route setting between Binghampton Yard and the Staging using JMRI (Java Model Railway Interface) making its possible to set up 'routes" on a home computer or laptop (to control stationary decoders) rather than using the Switch function on the throttle, at the same time Radio replace Infrared wireless control and additional throttles were added. 

Temporary tracks. In much the same way as the On30 mock up track was laid temporarily on sheets of MDF to test the operational capability of the layout before installing permanent trackbase and track. Peco N gauge track and points are very forgiving of this type of treatment.

Move of home and change in modelling direction 2007.  We moved to Hamilton in 2007 as a result of a career change which in turn lead to a change in modelling direction from N to Garden railway modelling in G Scale on 45mm gauge. We were fortunate to find an interesting house on a  classical Kiwi ¼acre section something increasingly rare as a result of intensification and redevelopment in urban areas. The N scale went into storage as I focused on building a garden railway, our garage was smaller than in Auckland and required extensive renovation.

Although the  Auckland layout was dismantled, the L Girders and legs support my workbench and a timber rack. I used most of the baseboard framing in Auckland in the base board framing for a new layout in Hamilton which is nicely seasoned almost 20 years storage. The main challenge at this stage is finding time to build a layout.




  • Like 7
  • Informative 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Garden Railway 2008-present. 

In a way the time line says it all in terms of success almost 16 still in operation 16 years after completing the main running track approx 


The railway is basically a large oval with three towns or yards on the outdoor section and a branch to storage tracks in the garage/workshop. Although we carried out some miniature plantings and ballasted the track, the railway is primarily operational with few detailed buildings, structures or scenic detailing.

Originally starting out as completely freelance using American outline Bachmann and LGB locos and stock the railway is now heavily influenced by the Colorado Narrow Gauge with the original stock replaced by more accurate 1:20.3 scale models.




Operationally the most significant development has been the change from DCC track power to on-board battery radio control using RCS (Radio Control Systems) transmitters (throttles) and receivers (decoders). Originally it was hoped to operate the layout using the Digitrax command control system I had used for the N gauge layout upgraded to radio RC operation. The Digitrax command station booster has variable power and voltage settings for N-HO-G with a 5amp 20v a/c output for G/large scale locos, with the layout divided into 2 power districts the Digitrax system was adequate for powering large scale locos, and the Digitrax RC system adequate for speed and function control but reversal unreliable (range and obstructions), it was necessary to plug the Throttles into Remote Panels at towns and yards for reliable reversal.

I finally bit the bullet after several years and converted to RCS on board radio control with 100% reliable operation and no longer a need to bother with track or wheel cleaning. There is no real equivalent of Digitrax, Lenz, NCE or Zimo in large scale radio remote control RCS was a 27mh/z system developed by the late Tony Walsingham in Australia largely using Deltang components. now marketed by Chris Drowley in New Zealand. Apart form the high initial set up cost the main draw back of battery RC is limited battery life of the NiMh batteries I use in my locomotives. I am not going to risk a Li Pol battery in a rare high-value ($1000+) Loco or Motor.

Biggest challenge is maintaining baseboard structure and track exposed to the elements high humidity, rainfall and UV exposure. The baseboard structure is CCA treated timber using in fencing and decking which has stood up well to constant soaking and drying, but now showing signs of decay in some areas requiring repair/replacement. UV has had a significant impact having had to replace approx, 50% of ties/sleepers on the Accuracraft flexible track used on main and yard trackage after 5 years usage,  thankfully the ties used on the Sunset Valley switches/points had a higher UV resistance and their tie strip used in the tie replacement programme.

Although I originally intended to create a CTC panel using JMRI Panel Pro and point motors to control the staging and main line switches/points, all switches are controlled by hand using Sunset Valley Vertical Switchstands or Groundthrows generally similar to those used in American full size practice and more in keeping with the Colorado Narrow Gauge.

Operation. These days I tend to operate the garden railway occasionally running a train when working in the garden and occasionally running a way freight from the Staging to Jackson City (the main yard) dropping off/picking up cars en-route on Sunday mornings and returning in late afternoon/evening depending on the season!

We once had an active Garden Railway Group in the region with monthly visits to each others homes and railways, but largely became defunct inactive as group members passed on, left the area, the cost of travel or lost interest in model railways. We reached a peak in terms of operation 3-4 years ago with regular operating sessions using a car routing system which kept 2-3 operators busy though largely ceased pre-Covid.

Garden railway modellers tend to be largely from an older demographic, I am the second youngest member of the group at 67 our youngest member finds it difficult to find time for modelling as a result of the pressure of work and rearing a family. Although retired I am finding it difficult to maintain our property or find time for modelling as a result of caring responsibilities and the effects of age. Perhaps its time to consider focusing on one modelling project, possibly returning to N Gauge while I am still able?

Edited by Mayner
  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The not so successful:

Ireland 21mm gauge early-mid 1980s

Although a suitable space was available in the attic, I never got around to re-erecting the Duncormic end to end N gauge layout following a house move in the early 80s. I first considered an N scale layout featuring Athenry and Tuam stations before settling on a 4mm 21mm gauge model of Ballymoe on the Mayo Line.

The N gauge layout never got fleshed out beyond the main stations and possibly got bogged down on the challenge of fitting in the staging trackage for two main lines a problem I solved 20 years later when I placed the staging immediately behind the main yard on the Binghampton N scale layout.

The move to 4mm 21mm gauge was inspired by Tim Cramer’s “Irish Miscellany” series of articles (with drawings) and Iain Rice’s series of modelling articles in “Model Railways” magazine during the late 70s early 80s. I stumbled across the remains of Ballymoe station while on drive-about on summer holidays of 84-85 and started work on the layout after Herbert Richards supplied a photo survey dating from the early 70s when the station was largely intact and still in use as a block post and regular crossing place.



While attempts to motorize my first 21mm gauge loco Achill Bogie with plasticard body with a Lima Tender drive was not successful, my second loco a scratchbuilt 650 Class 2-4-0 in brass was a reasonable runner if the bodywork was not up to scratch, the 650 was later followed by a Midland Small Tank from a TMD kit which still exist and a Midland Standard Goods which like the Achill Bogie and 650 Class I later scrapped.

Baseboard was pretty heavy duty ¾” chipboard or ply hard top on 4X2” framing, track soldered n/s rail on copper clad sleepers, completed track and points in station area and approach curves, completed shell of station building Faller embossed paper on plasticard and shelter embossed brick plasticard.

Had vague plans for a second station based on Sligo Road practice with a narrow gauge feeder running alongside the ‘main line”.

Unfortunately the Irish economy was going through a prolonged recession at the time with the residential construction sector where I worked was badly hit. I moved to the UK in 1986 to take advantage of the emerging boom and rapid career progression until the UK economy went into recession during the early 1990s and the process repeated.


Compact layouts UK years 80s-90s

I tended to build compact layouts usually 8’x2 or 18” baseboard while living in the UK initially flat/house sharing in London, before moving to my own place an apartment in Leighton Buzzard.

First layout was 4mm 21mm gauge a terminus fiddle yard scheme inspired by Castle Rackrent set up in a flat share in London.  Baseboards and supports were fabricated from “Conti Board” or wood grain melamine faced chipboard from local DIY Superstore to give a good appearance, create noise/dust during assembly and minimal finishing. The baseboards were supported on two storage units fabricated from the same material. The only drawback of the all chipboard construction was weight.

Castleross 4mm 21mm gauge

Layout was supposed to be the terminus of a fictional MGWR/Dublin and Meath branch line westwards from Dunboyne through Summerhill to Castleross (RTE Radio Soap of the 60s) set somewhere around Devlin Westmeath. Track was again soldered construction using copperclad sleepers, buildings using Wills Scenic material sheets some of which have been re-used on Keadue. Main problem was trying to get locos and stock to run reliably through the double slip point on the crossover from the main line to loop and goods yard, never finished scenic works. The main issue with building a double slip was finishing a total of 8 point (switch) blades to fit accurately against their respective stock blades compared with two on a conventional point, a problem I ran into when I next attempted to build a layout in 21mm gauge!




Layout proved useful as a test track for 21mm gauge locos and stock including a Midland Tank, a couple of J15s and wagons.

Bankfoot 4mm 21mm gauge.

I developed an interest in industrial and mineral railways while living in the UK and honed my skill in assembling etched kits on Craftsman 07 and 02 Diesel Shunter Kits and Impetus Industrial Diesels initially in OO and acquired a largish collection of Dapol and Parkside BR wagons.

The shift to EM was inspired by visits to Expo EM and the work of the Milton Keynes club EM gauge group lead by Chris Lyster.

Bankfoot was cribbed directly by Iain Rice’s plan of the same name a small yard on a “mineral railway’, mine was inspired more by the Ironstone railways of the East Midlands rather than the Clee Hill system in Shropshire that inspired Iain’s plan.

Baseboards ware more contemporary in nature open top,  ply trackbase and framing inspired by Barry Norman’s Landscape Modelling. The ply I choose was a bit light for trackbase leading to sagging between supports, countered gluing 2X1 stripwood supports to the underside of the trackbase.

Plain track was C&L flexible bullhead, points assembled using C&L bullhead point kits, one foreground siding was handlaid bullhead track with full depth sleepers to give the impression on unballasted track.

Scenically backscenes had curved corners, contours were built up with plaster bandage on card profiles, grass was dyed medical lint fibers glued ‘hairy side down” to the bandage before peeling back the backing, a state of art method for modelling meadow grass in the days before static fibres.


Possibly on of my last operating sessions. Individual chairs are quite noticeable on the points and medical lint grass with patches of Woodlandscenics "foliage" not sure if I used too light a shade of dye or the colour faded as a result of UV light.

The layout went into a hiatus for several years after I completed the tracklaying and basic scenery as a result of changing circumstances including a move to Scotland and a return to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger era.

The Milton Keynes Club stored my layouts for several years before I collected and returned Bankfoot to Ireland in 2000!

I dusted off Bankfoot and motorized the points using Tortoise Point motors and tidied up the scenic works before exhibiting the layout at a Model Railway Society of Ireland October Holiday Exhibition in the early 2000s, we later operated Bankfoot as ‘an add on” to the late Frank Davis’s Wentworth Layout at a Cork exhibition. Bankfoot was later exhibited jointly with Wentworth at the 2004 Warley National Exhibition.


One of the Quarry locos an ancient Manning Wardle built from an Impetus kit. Loco actually works Iron Ore wagons are recently introduced (2000ish) Parkside Kits state of the art models in terms of detail accuracy and ease of assembly by the standards of the time.

Control was with a Gaugemaster & club project ‘hand held’ electronic controller, points and uncoupling magnets controlled by toggle and push button switches mounted in the fiddle yard area at the rear of the layout. Couplings were 4mm B&B a British cottage industry manufactured magnetic version of the European hook and loop coupler.

While designed for self-contained operation Bankfoot had a lead off track that could be connected to a fiddle yard or another layout allowing Bankfoot and Wentworth to be connected, control of Bankfoot could be switched between the two layouts using a DPDT center off switch

While self-contained train length was restricted to a diesel shunter and 5 wagons, when connected to Wentworth it was possible to increase train length to 10 wagons plus a main line loco using the capacity of the run-round loop and fiddle yard.


Typical quarry motive power. I never properly sorted out the roof of the loco shed.

To make operation more interesting I added an operating loading bunker to one of the sidings at Bankfoot to allow loaded and empty trains to be modelled.

Although I never completed detailing of the scenery or structures Bankfoot was reliable and satisfying to operate particularly when operated in conjunction with Wentworth and in the final analysis was successful successfully operating at a number of exhibitions and at home for my own enjoyment.




  • Like 10
  • Informative 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

Used to often pass through Wendover travelling to or returning from weekend trips to North Wales in my mis-spent 30s volunteering on the narrow gauge and socialising (drinking) with friends, When I wasn't in a rush I preferred to travel cross-country via the old A roads than take the M1-M6-M54 before taking the back-roads through the Tanant Valley and over the Berwyns.

Anyway a lot has happened and not happened since my last post on the theme of layout planning in February, it looks like its going to be at least another 1-2 years before I have time available to start work on the 'Garage Layout'. 

In a way this should force me to decide on my priorities what is important for the next 10 years/time I have left as I get older and catch up with the lack of (deferred) maintenance on the Garden Railway.

First step has been to begin work on completing projects that have been cluttering up space in the work bench during the past 6 months, a OO Gauge 650 Class for a customer and a 21mm gauge J15 for myself.


Both locos were started a long time ago the Midland 2-4-0 began life as a test etch for  the class and being assembled in typical railway fashion with a mixture of original and replacement components, the J15 began life several years ago but is to run with a larger 2370 Gal tender than ran with the prototype loco on Limerick-Sligo goods work. 


Progress with the 2-4-0 was good and in late March just about ready for mechanical assembly with a trip to the paint shop due after Easter.

I planned to tackle the J15 once the 2-4-0 was complete, to be followed  a further GSWR 4-4-0, the further GSWR 6w coaches as manageable projects over the next 18 months.


At the same time I decided to bight the bullet and replace the 70 odd foot of life expired ties/sleepers and replaced several decayed fence posts that supported a section of the garden railway. 

Majority of posts replaced and replacement tie/sleeper strip arrived just before Easter before as in the 'best laid plans of mice and man" I haven't been up to doing anything in the workshop or on the garden railway during the past two weeks as a result of problems with my health.

Hopefully I will be back in action to replace those ties during the next 3-4 weeks so the track is good enough to run my "live steam' with a nice plume of steam when the weather turns cold in June during the 'Southern Winter"

Still it was satisfying working on the 2-4-0 and fence repairs.

As I grow older(eye sight and manual dexterity weaken) I don't know if I will stick with 4mm, but there would be a great sense of satisfaction in completing my stock of part/unbuilt models and kits, being a maker and tinkerer there is less of a sense of satisfaction in buying or acquiring a rtr model no matter how good.


Edited by Mayner
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use