Jump to content

Bill's Railway.

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

As requested by @DJ Dangerous and @PJR in the Advice On Clearances thread.

This was built over a few years for an old boy who was housebound - initially, it was just the double circuit in the garage, then it expanded to link with another, larger, layout under the car port.

The outer track could be either two loops or, via a crossover in the doorway, a figure-of-eight around the whole thing.

The inner loop in the garage was connected via points to the outer one, but the inner loop in the car port was not - this was because that was originally kept separate for live steamers, with their special power supply. This inner loop was modified later to allow access for the loader at the mine and the unloader at the power station.

Unfortunately, upon his eventual death, it was necessary to dismantle it, though I do have most of the "bits" still.

One day...

These videos give the gist of it and I'll find some more relevant pictures.




  • Like 5
  • WOW! 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of it was built over a three/four year period around 2005 to 2010-ish.

The section in the garage was first,





Two 'circular loop tracks, with a couple of siding set-ups and a loop platform at the back.




As was inevitable, it was decided to expand into the larger area of the car port. This was done via four points and a crossover, so it could operate as independent loops or a full figure-of-eight.




Outside, in the car port, the inner loop was originally intended for a couple of live steamers, so any possible accidental connection of the two systems was avoided by having the inner loop totally separate from the outer.

Eventually, there was a mine at one end, with a power station at the other.



The coal could be loaded at the mine, via the conveyor, then transported and dropped at the power station, by means of the automatic hopper wagons. It took some fiddling to get it all to work, but it did in the end.

The final extension at the far end was the result of one of our associates passing on and a lot of items from his layout were reused to crate a small town for the power station workers. his name was Ken Lowe, hence new signs were made to commemorate him.





Of course, it was never 'finished' - we had plans to run a narrow gauge set-up under the boards, as a mine railway.

Apart from the conveyor, the mineshaft wheel were also motorised, as was the 'dockyard' crane, though it was never fully reliable.


There was a permanent control set-up in the garage, with a Model D - and two plug-in points for a portable Model D in the car port.


One set of 'banana' sockets can just be seen in the bottom left corner above, with a slide out shelf below.


One aspect that the Old Boy really liked was running it in the dark with the lighting on.


The street lamps there are LED, but most of the rest of the layout was grain-of-wheat bulbs, running in series pairs at 16 volts, so getting 8V each - this gave a pleasant olde worlde glow, and greatly extended the bulb lives - in fact, we never lost one - if we had, we would also have 'lost the light' from the one in series, of course, but it never happened, and all the wiring was quite visible underneath the tables.


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, DJ Dangerous said:

Is that a Matchbox Peterbilt tipper truck in the second, third and fourth photos?

Did I see that same power station in another of your layouts?

Outstanding layout, and the natural progression / extension is awesome!

By the boiler transporter? I'm not sure about that, or even where it came from.


This layout was in Stafford, which has a history of producing generators and transformers, then dragging them through the town causing traffic chaos.

There should be a Pickford's transporter with a transformer on somewhere...

There are a few other 'local' items around - the Stan Robinson lorry is another.

The power station was originally based on Meaford, north of Stafford and now obliterated.

It has been relocated to a layout in Laois, where it is now Ferbane, the current owner having been involved in the construction of that one.

One or two buildings and a bit of rolling stock are on there two - the rest is in boxes. (One day..)

Well spotted!

Edited by Broithe
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, DJ Dangerous said:

This one here.




Yeah, I didn't procure that one - it'll be in a box 200 miles away - I'll have a look one day...

I got most of the stuff that was on there, but bits would appear from other sources, sometimes.

I used to slip stuff in and see how long it took him to spot things. Weeks, sometimes.


That would explain why it's on the wrong side of the road.

  • Funny 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Mike 84C said:

Excellent JIm, it must have given a lot of pleasure and thats what its all about.

It did. It was more of a train set than a model, but it kept him occupied.

Often, I would start a bit and then leave him to carry on for a day or two - between us, it all got done in the end.

I made most of the proprietary card buildings, apart from half the ones at Lowe End - the "specials", like the power station, etc., were 'picked up' here and there.


The cooling towers were turned from solid lumps of wood...

I had a plan to fit a 'misting unit', one of those ultrasonic things that "shakes" a mist from a supply of water, but we never got around to that.


The points were all mechanically operated, sometimes in pairs.


He liked "things that did stuff", hence the electrified crane, winding wheels, coal conveyor and the self-emptying hopper wagons.

There was also a TPO with a pick-up and drop-off for the bags.

I've a vague idea that there's a building with a smoke unit in there somewhere.

  • Like 4
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