Model Railways – Initial Thoughts

I’ve been thinking about model railways for a while, specifically a small N gauge layout as I didn’t have a lot of space in my old flat.

Recently I moved house and now have a bit more space to muck about with. I’ve also got hold of some old OO gauge stuff that hasn’t seen use in nearly 30 years, namely: four engines, assorted rolling stock, loads of track and some controllers.

So now a new project is born: A 5’8″x1′ OO gauge shelf layout.

The engines are:

  1. An LNER Gresley J50 tank engine (68920) in black with the Unicycling Lion BR crest. Made by Lima, it works but is missing it’s couplings.
  2. An LMS “Princess Elizabeth” (46201) 4-6-2 with tender in green with the Unicycling Lion BR crest. Made by Tri-ang, it currently does not run.
  3. A Class 08 Shunter (D3035) in green with the Ferret and Dartboard BR crest. Made by Tri-ang, it currently runs very slowly and noisily (as the real life examples did?).
  4. A Class 101 2-car DMU (M79628 & M79629) in green with the Ferret and Dartboard BR crest. Made by Tri-ang, it runs fine but is missing some detailing on the underside of one of the cars.

2013-05-19 16.05.03

This motley selection, along with the mix of assorted coaches and industrial wagons, is pointing me towards a sort of  heritage line operation. That way, I can legitimately use anything that hasn’t suffered too badly from three decades of storage (and the cack-handed re-painting attempts of a ten-year old Tony), and anything that is knackered could be “undergoing restoration”.

My original N gauge idea would have been something similar, but the excuse would have been for buying stuff I liked the look of, rather that what would fit the time period. I had looked at a few heritage sites, like Foxfield and the Churnet Valley Railway, but one that I kept going back to was the Ribble Steam Railway, which combines a heritage line with revenue generating freight working. This is probably because they still use the line to carry bitumen to the Lanfina/Total plant that my Dad worked at long ago, in the before time.

While a station, engine shed, exchange sidings and fiddle yard could have been squeezed into a 5’8″x1′ N gauge layout, it doesn’t look promising in OO gauge, so I’m afraid its back to the drawing board. Or, more accurately, back to XTrkCAD.

In the meantime, I’m off to Wickes to buy some wood and some shelf brackets.

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