The layout #1

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Since this article was done, this fixed layout has been dismantled due to having to move, other portable layouts are planned and links will be placed here as well as the main model railway page, this article has been left here as it may be helpful to someone.


The time has finally come to clear part of the model room and build the base board for my model railway project, this will be a static layout which basically means it will be fixed in place rather than transportable.

This article could go on for some time as time is limited, the only plan is in my head and may change a few times before I settle on the final layout.

The model room is already overflowing with all my other collections so the first job will be to pack away some of this and make room.


Finally after a lot of work I managed to clear the space I needed, this leaves just the empty shelves to be removed.


The layout base is simple and made from 18mm flooring chipboard as this has got tongue and groove edges aiding the alignment


I may have to remove another diecast shelf to give myself enough room for the backdrop scenery.


The other end is yet to be made, to the right is a cupboard door so this part needs to be removable, this I will work out and build a bit later as I have run out of chipboard.


Next the track plan.

Although I have no building completely done I do have the main items I will be using, this gives me an idea where everything will go, so I spent this afternoon track laying.

As said elsewhere I am using the older Triang/Hornby Super 4 track and will be trying to use what I already have rather than buy more or changing track type.

I could of easily use a computer program to plan the layout but I decided I would rather unpack all the track I have place the main buildings and tweek it as I go, I have a rough plan in my head developed over the last month or so while collecting together rolling stock, locomotives and buildings, so here we go.


As seen in article on buildings & scenery, the station and signal box are old Hornby Dublo cast metal buildings and here have been stripped of paint, with new platforms made of MDF.

The engine sheds or depot building are both different, the smaller Airfix/Dapol unit is the original depot building and the bigger modern one built when the line was bought by the preservation group.

The gap at the front of the depot building will have a workshop building yet to be built and a static gantry crane.


Behind the main station building where the window is will be the station car park, a service road will run along the front to the workshops and depot buildings.

A closer look at the points layout, these will be manually operated for now..


This may yet change as is only the first trail, but generally this is how I wanted is, I am considering increasing the size of the board by the depot but as yet not made that decision.

Phase 2, track change, August 2014

It’s funny how things can change, the track above gave me so much trouble, especially the points I decided with reservation to change the lot with another batch of track I had, the later type Hornby track is a mix of Austrian made and Chinese track also added into the mix Roco track, much the same as Hornby.

After another day re-laying the track in a completely different configuration it all now works fine with modern Locomotives, older Triang stock and thankfully my HO stock too.

Held with drawing pins for the moment until I am happy with the track layout and any additions I may want to make, the good thing about doing this in stages is you can come back to it anytime and change what you don’t like or add new ideas.


I decided to add a main branch line at the front so bought a pair of express points.


Some of the older points have sleepers missing, no doubt these were used before so will need a replacement sleeper glued in place when the track is finally pinned down.


Phase 3, wiring and fixing. November 2014

I’ve gone for a low profile Peco pin and all of the connections will be via pre-wired fishplates, I could of done these myself but the thought of soldering wires to fishplates didn’t appeal so I bought them, lots of them


Finally the first section in the picture is laid and wired, so far it had six blocks all powered seperately, in theory six trains can be run at once, the depot siding are all wired seperately on each track section giving me the ability to ‘park a number of loco’s in the same siding, the line at the front will be a continuous single line around the room.


Next will be wiring for the engine shed lighting and the red LED’s for the buffer stops.

A constant supply for night lighting for the sheds, buffer stops and yard lights need running so to this end I have fitted lights to both sheds before finishing off painting and external fittings.


What I have learnt is LED’s are not like bulbs, wiring is a little more important, especially getting the voltage and current (amps) right, but after a bit of experimenting and blowing two LED’s doing it wrong, I have the first four working buffer lights.


Still work to do on both engine sheds but here they are on lighting tests.

The large Hornby depot has a single line of LED lighting


The Airfix sheds are lit high in both roof vents, note the internal painting.


Finally got the station and carriage sidings end of the layout in place and the remainder of the power hook ups done so the layout is now live, with 8 power pick up points, the branch line circuit is planned to go around the outside of the room to make a complete running line but is a way off yet, for now buffer stops will be fitted


The depot looks a long way off now, the station buildings and platform need painting and soon to be done. (See Buildings & Scenery)


Updated March 2015, due to circumstances beyond my control and having to move from our rented property, the layout is to be dismantled and put into storage for now, this is not the end of it although a smaller movable baseboard may be the order of the day, more soon.

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