Oh No – Not another Diesel Depot!!

This was a statement by a visitor at an Exhibition I was attending with an O gauge Depot/Fuelling Layout. I have to admit I have heard this before and I usually dismiss this sort of comment – besides if you have half a dozen or so Loco’s then what better way to display them.

Anyway when I returned home I got to thinking –  as you do! And thought I would do a little research into what else could be good to model with a priority on ‘viewer satisfaction’ and ‘stock variety’ and keeping costs as low as possible.

I have based my thoughts on O Gauge of a maximum size of 10′ x 2′ although the suggestions would equally be viable in 4mm and 2mm.

This list is obviously not exhaustive and is basically for 1960 – 1990 and Diesel Operated. Many have been ‘done before’, but some may have not! or can be revived!

Stabling Point (No Fuel)  — Coal Yard/Drops  —  Speedlink Yard  —    Wagon Repair Facility

Engineers Sidings –  Parcels Depot  –   Fertiliser Depot   —    Head Shunt Beside Single Line

Goods Depot (up to mid 60’s)  – Small DMU run Terminus Station  —   Scrap Yard

Domestic Coal/Oil Terminal   –  Grain Terminal/Maltings/Animal Feed – Distillery/Brewery

Fish Market (early 60’s)  —  Quay Railway (similar Yarmouth) —   A loop on a single line

Newspaper/Parcels Bay Platform — Concrete Sleeper/Products Plant – Loco Washing Plant

Wooden Sleeper/Fencing Depot — Engineers waste disposal Yard – Army ordinance Depot

Industrial Site with Main Line Exchange — Road Fuelling Point for Loco’s/Hard Standing

Steel Distribution Plant — RHTT Sidings –Loco Sanding Siding/Line –Small SATLINK Yard

Small Project Mercury Yard —  Nuclear Flask Facility — Small China Clay Yard

Cement unloading (Rail to Road)

For more operational variety two of the above could be added together.

I have already used two of these thoughts —— Lowe St in OO  for the Sleeper Depot and

Morlock Heath in O Gauge for the Engineers Yard. Details and Photo’s on this site.









Over the last few years and on this site, you will have noticed that I mention several names as working with/ doing for/helping out. Although totally unplanned, over the years, we have worked closer together to further our great hobby – Model Railways.

Our Group:-   John Barnes    Shaun Harvey   Graham Minshull    Kelvin Barnes

Our informal group works as loosely as possibly and is not cluttered with the formal decision making that you find with the usual club formations. However we are always available to discuss any problems, ideas and developments via email or by a visit. We have over 80 years of modelling in various gauges between us so we are not short of inspiration. We are not anti club – they have their part to play – it is just at the moment we are happy with our lot.

We do belong to various National Organisations, for instance we are all members of the O Gauge Guild. I must admit following the recent bad feeling created on one forum by so called ‘Keyboard Warriors’, I can only say – grow up people – it’s only a hobby. I am also a member of DEMU which is a far gentler place than other forums with little or no ‘back biting’, sadly O gauge modellers are at a premium on the DEMU Forum. Its times like this, I feel very lucky to be part of our informal group.

We mainly Exhibit in East Anglia, but in future we may expand a bit as projects are finished. All decisions as to whether to Exhibit are decided jointly.

It is with this in mind, I would like to say that our group members intend to do individual  blog sites similar to this one. The first to do this is Shaun who will be setting up his site over the next few weeks. Shaun’s work is truly excellent and deserves to be showcased. I will publish the web address when he feels it is worth visiting. I will also put some ‘tasters’ of his work on this site as his blog progresses.

Update on Multi Purpose Plank

Well, to start with, it is no longer a O Gauge Plank – it is now multi gauge with OO gauge track, magnet and ‘spratt’ height gauge added.

Although I have moved more towards O gauge, I still have some OO stock left and due to rising costs I may well use the OO as a fall back.

The only thing I need to purchase for the plank is a set of OO rolling roads.

I have Glued the original O Gauge rolling road Box to the Plank and will do the same with any new OO rolling road.

Finally, yes there is room for a N Gauge Track, if put under pressure by my son.










O Gauge Loco’s for Les Williams

Les is a very old friend and he paid a visit on Sunday. I have known Les for over 20 years now and he is an absolute delight to ‘talk trains’ with.

Les has recently purchased some loco’s and I agreed to help him number and weather them. The below photo’s were taken by Les when he arrived home.








Oh and one Van


I HAVE TO SAY——–Nice wallpaper Les!!!!!!!


O Gauge Multi Purpose Plank

After seeing the prices of O gauge rolling roads, and nearly falling off my seat, I decided to go my own way.

What I wanted:-

A metre of track to test Loco’s on – DC to start with – later DCC!

A Rolling Road to Run In Loco’s

A Fitted Magnet to Test ‘Spratt and Winkle Couplings’.

A Jig to ensure all ‘Spratts’ are at the same height when on the track.

A Jig for the Loops for use with the ‘Spratts’

A small work area for ‘fiddling’

Permanent DC Controller with power Clips.

Space to add a DCC controller and/or a tablet.

Storage for ancillary items, Rollers etc.

Well, attached photo’s are the results so far – Although I made this in ‘O’ Gauge – I would have thought that it can be done in any gauge, within reason! The cost so far is approx £80 as most items are second-hand, nearly new.








Further work to be done on the storage boxes so will update as they happen










Needham Mkt Exhibition (ONE MRC)

This was a very sad day, on arrival at the show we were informed that after ten years this show was to be the last. Over the years I have exhibited or visited every show and have to say this was one of the most friendly and family orientated shows in East Anglia, it will be sadly missed.

During the course of the day my wife took some photos of the layouts nearest to us, here are the results.

Norfolk Coke and Tar (our layout)






Levingly  – Barry Aldous









Warren Hill – Terry and Bernard





Bottrill Street Yard- Peter Rye



A great day with great company – we will miss this Exhibition in our yearly calendar.