Making the Platform on DMU Layout

Making the most of the good weather and because my skip won’t be arriving until next Tuesday, I decided that I would make the platform on the new layout. Below are a few photos of the completed work.

I also started to plan the background and test fit the two low relief factories that I had in stock. I must admit although they look fine and fit in with my plans – they don’t half weigh a lot! After using lightweight laser cut baseboards this may need more thought!




End of an Era

After much soul-searching I decided to dismantle my Garage Layout. It never left home and was never intended as an exhibition layout. With so many plans for new layouts and time becoming shorter, I really needed a bigger work area.

It took me three days to dismantle it and move the pieces outside to await a  skip. It took me nearly four years to make starting in 2002 and was used to test ideas for my Exhibition layouts and to test loco’s.

A lot of bits and pieces have been recovered and will find their way on to other layouts in time.

So farewell old friend and thank you.

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Ratio of Track to Layout overall Size available

I have been thinking again, and as my wife says – that is very dangerous!

I think its fair to say I have always tried to get as much track into the space available, whatever gauge I was modelling. What makes a layout move from a multi operational layout to a cluttered sea of track!  I have never come up with a percentage, but I am now sure, in my old age, that anything over about 75% is definitely cluttered.

I have usually tested a new track design by temporarily pinning it down. The number of times I have added, just one more siding, or just another crossover, etc. etc. In these days of trying to do something a bit different and escalating costs just expanding the scenic area and reducing track coverage may be an option.

My thoughts have all come together on my new OO DMU layout – hopefully without compromising operational interest and fiddle yard storage. The overall track to size ratio is under 50% giving plenty of space for adding interesting scenic areas.IMG_6923

It would have been easy to add at least one or two more sidings and a crossover, but I have resisted and am looking forward to a small engineers yard and possibly a small Industrial area. I have now added the platform edging and am just waiting the plastikard to complete the job. This should then give a sense of space for scenics.  The wiring is reduced to a very routine job and hopefully quickly achieved.

I may well call this Layout – Horshall Common, as per ‘War of the Worlds’ as it’s an inner  fight for less cluttered Layout!

Track laying on the DMU Layout

Well, I have always felt that a modern DMU run layout can be simple to build, wire and scenic, and it does not get much simpler than this! I think the below photos show just that. The two three-way points are Insulfrog,  the track in the fiddle yard is recycled code 100 and the track on the scenic section is new code 75. The points are manual as they are both in the fiddle yard, so the only wiring is the isolating sections and the feeds. The fiddle yard will hold up to six 2 car DMU size units or equivalent trains. The entrance to the scenic area will be under an over road bridge making the three-way point almost invisible. There is just one platform with two faces and a stabling/engineers siding.







Ashwell Moor at Bressingham Ex 2/9/18

This was the debut of Ashwell Moor – I made it for my son last year. The Stock is John’s, Graham’s, Shaun’s and mine. Sadly I did not have time to weather the two new Class 37’s, just number and detail them. The layout performed faultlessly all day and was received very well.




















Photos by My Wife and Shaun


Taking Stock or What am I doing!

I think it is time to re-assess my modelling. I am nearly 70 years old and still making layouts at quite a rate.  I realise this can not go on for ever, but even now I have just built three more baseboards for projects I have ‘in mind’. Added to this I have two unfinished layouts and five that are currently ‘on the circuit’,  and it doesn’t stop there, I am still involved with three other layouts that have moved on to other homes.  That makes a total of thirteen layouts, built or building over the last three years.

I have to admit that Exhibiting is becoming more difficult due to lifting etc. and if it was not for some excellent support from my wife, son, Graham and Shaun, I would have given up some years ago. Having said that, making layouts is a compulsion that does not go away, perhaps obsession is a better word but whatever,  planning and making continues.

The following layouts are 95% complete, is a layout ever finished? and are all viewable on this site.

Sefton Yard           – O Gauge Shunting Yard —– 1955 – 1970 in various eras

Low Street             -OO Sleeper Depot ——firmly fixed 1955-60

Merlins Lane         – O Gauge DCC Sound Fuelling Point —–1964 -68

Morlock Heath       – O Gauge Engineers Yard — various eras 1970 to 1995

4000yds – Area5      -SM32  WW1 ——– 1916-18

The following are layouts made by myself, but now owned by others

Norton Wood           – OO 3rd Rail Station

Norfolk Coke and Tar  – O Small Steam Shed (originally Industrial)

Ashwell Moor           – O Gauge Fuelling Point (DC)

This brings us to the current batch of baseboards and the two unfinished layouts. All un-named at present.

O Gauge Loco Depot (transition) – Complete up to Electrics – about 50% Complete. I would like to run my Industrials as an alternative.

O Gauge Station Layout (transition+) – Complete up to Electrics – about 50% Complete. 1955 to 1970 various eras and areas.

OO Gauge Modern Station – Baseboard only —- 1985 onwards in various eras and areas

OO Gauge Steam Shed  – Baseboard only —— 1955-62  various Regions.

OO – Layout based on a Diesel Fuelling Point or American HO Shunting layout – decision still to be made.

Well that’s about it – I must be mad!

I will post all progress on this site as things proceed.