I had several small BR locomotives in O gauge purchased over several years. I also had quite a lot of wagons left over from a previous layout. This layout, Kenninghall was exhibited for several years until it was written off due to water damage. I also had several buildings and bits and bobs that could be re-used. I really enjoyed shunting on Kenninghall but became frustrated with three link couplings, the new layout, Sefton Yard would be the ‘test bed’ for hands free auto-coupling. The first question was, what type suited my needs on a small shunting layout. I will not go into the pro’s and con’s of every type of coupling available, but my decision was ‘Sprat and Winkle’ However I went for the 4mm type rather that the 7mm type, which I thought far to bulky for my needs. I would also loop at one end and hook at the other as I could keep all wagons the same way around. I also wanted the layout to depict quite a wide running era of 1956- 64 and the chance to run different regions and areas, both steam and diesel.
For the yard I needed a well trodden look in certain areas, after some experiments I purchased a packet of ‘moulding clay’, This I pushed and pressed into the track, between the sleepers on the well used sections. I graduated this in places with sand and then ‘N gauge’ ballast. At the entry to the yard some ‘OO gauge’ was also laid as this saw less footfall. All surfaces were then hand painted and blended.
Sefton Yard holds up to 20 short wheelbase four wheel wagons so this is a perfect shunting puzzle. The sector plate is easy to make and is a great space saver, it holds 4 wagons and a small shunting loco..
‘SIZE’- 7′ x 2′ ‘ AREA MODELLED’ – GOODS YARD ‘REGIONS’ – VARIOUS
‘STOCK’ -SMALL STEAM and DIESEL 0-4-0 / 0-6-0 ‘FIDDLE YARD’ – SECTOR PLATE
‘TRACK’ – PECO ‘CONTROL’ – DC – GAUGEMASTER COMBI
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So…for we uninformed Americans…WHAT IS a “”SPRAT AND WINKIE” COUPLING????
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