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Bankfoot re-visited

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I built a minimum space 4mm shunting yard layout based one of the plans in Layout Design by Iain Rice.I was living in the UK at the time & going through an industrial railway phase. The layout was self contained with a small marshalling yard and hidden storage on an 8'x'1"6 baseboard but capable of being extended or connected to another layout.


The layout started out as a small yard on a an industrial system worked mainly by industrial and ex-BR diesel shunting locos. Smaller less powerful locos did most of the visible work, shunting loaded and empty wagons in the yard and working trips to an off scene quarry. The more powerful locos an Austerity 0-6-0ST and a pair of ex-BR locos worked trips between the yard & British Railways exchange sidings.


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Manning Wardle propelling empties into quarry mainline on right


Some industrial systems continued to use ancient looking Manning Wardles into the mid 1960s


my pictures back up file 2004 041.jpg


Ancient and Ancient Hunslet & Manning Wardle


The diesel is a 1930s Hunslet standard design one of which became the 1st LMS diesel. Hunslet acquired the goodwill of Manning Wardle in the 1930s and supplied/overhauled steam locos into the 80s.


my pictures back up file 2004 044.jpg


Pride of the line Austerity with Hunslet Patent Underfeed stoker and gas producing equipment


Modern image steam? Hunslet & the National Coal Board developed a gas producing system to reduce smoke and make more efficient use of coal, not quite sure how the loco ended up on a quarry system.


Although I started and completed most of the work on the layout before returning to Ireland, the layout was stored for several years in the UK before taking it home thanks to some high level pressure from the presidents of the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society and MRSI.


Bankfoot became a widely travelled layout exhibited on its own and with the late Frank Davis layout in Cork, Bangor and Warley. The layout was passed on to Frank before I moved to New Zealand in 2004 not before running a "last train" when an Ivatt 2MT picked up the last load of iron ore from Bankfoot a scene replayed in many part6s of the UK as many small maining and quarry operations closed down.


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The last train Ivatt 2MT 46455 drags the last train off ore hoppers out of the yard at bankfoot


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46455 leads her train across the crossover from the loop to the main line quarry siding leads off to the left


After 10 years I have dusted off the Bankfoot idea once again as a small British outline shelf layout to keep Keadue company in the office and a home for the stock. The theme this time is based on a BR branch line connection to a quarry somewhere along the Welsh Border country between Hereford & Chester something that was not exactly un common.


The space is slightly better than the original Bankfoot a 7'6" X 4'6" L modelling will be restricted to between the railway fence due to a 12" width restriction with the shelf. The track layout will be similar to the old layout main difference will be signalling and a passenger platform probably disused, a couple of sidings for sorting laden and empty wagons into trains and a longer running line to the quarry. The main change is to extend the run round loop to handle a reasonable length of train without turning the layout into another typical branch line model.

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Moving on to the 2014 version the track plan was prepared with Templot to get a better feel for the programme before tackling something in 21mm gauge and also to use up some of my stock of bullhead rail and C&L chairs.




Templot is designed to produce templates for handlaid track rather than a layout planning or CAD programme. In this particular case the template is drawn on top of a drawing showing the outline of the baseboards and a rough track diagram.


As drawn the run round loop is restricted to a loco and wagons, version two involves moving the crossover further around the curve and possibly adding a loco shed or other siding in the corner on the outside of the curve.




Closeup of an actual templates plain track is SMP plastic sleepered bullhead by Marcway models Sheffield points will be laid using C&L chairs on plywood sleeper strip, most of the finer scale track is laid on relatively thin sleepers which takes most of the drudgery out of ballasting, simply lay the sleepers/track on a bed of pva or scenic cement and scatter on the ballast.




Locos and stock will be the usual suspects. The Ivatt was built from a Comet kit, the wagons a mixture of Airfix, Dapol and Parkside. The Parkside iron Ore Tippler is probably one of the best designed and highly detailed plastic kits on the market.




The Walthers quarry loader was bought when I was going through a American HO phase but looks quite impressive. The original idea was to keep the layout self contained to the two main boards, adding an extra board would allow loaded and full wagons to be exchanged through the loader to keep the shunter busy tripping wagons back and forth between the station and screens.




Building the layout is a good motivator for finishing off a long list of projects which ran out of steam, the Austerity was a rtr Dapol model re-motered on a brass chassis with a Mashima motor and a reduction drive, the small saddle tank is an unfinished High Level industrial some of which ended up running in the 1970s in "plant yellow" she will need a lot of weathering though.

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  • 1 month later...

I started tracklaying on the latest version of Bankfoot about 3 weeks ago based on ideas in Iain Rices trackwork book. Progress ground to a standstill when I could not find my track gauges.




General view of the station and yard The buildings are the Wills small station and goods shed kits, similar in general size to some of the smaller branch line and light railway stations in the Welsh Border country, the layout will be modelled as a goods only branch kept going by traffic from the quarry and the odd wagon load of coal or fertiliser for the goods yard. The wagons were built from a mixture of Airfix mineral wagon kits and the much more recent Parkside Ore Tippler.




Trackwork is prefabricated on a sheet of kraft paper on the work bench before laying in place on the baseboards. First the Templot track templates are glued in place spray mount, sleepers or flexible track laid on a bed of PVA and ballast scattered in place.




Sleepers/crossing timbers are ply stained with a water based wood stain, excess ballast is brushed vacuumed off before dropping in the rails.


The C&L chairs are threaded onto the rails then glued down to the sleepers using Plastic Weld or Butnol. This is not as tedious as it first seems, the secret is to first file/sand any burrs or rough edges off the end of the rail before threading on the chairs and work on the little and often principal, points can be built quite quickly.



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