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Wolverhampton Low Level

parcels 1970s wolverhampton




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#1 Mark Forrest

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 16:46

I introduced this project some time ago in blog format (here), but as I make a bit more progress, I think it's time to switch to a layout topic. A history of the station along with several photos can be found on the Disused Stations site, so I won't repeat it here, other than to say that in 1970 the station began to be used as a parcels depot, with a DMU shuttle between there and Birmingham Snow Hill running at peak times. The station closed to passengers in 1972 and my model is set the last year of the passenger service.

Planning for the layout started way back in 2009, but it's only in the past 12 months that I've really started to make any real progress. Until recently I had intended to build the layout in EM gauge, but I've now decided to give P4 a try.

An early sketch of the area I'm modelling is shown below:
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Fortunately I have been given a copy of a 1:500 plan for the station, which I scanned and imported into Templot, the result is as follows (seen here in the dining room table - components for the baseboards are awaiting assembly):
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Main focus at the moment is on construction of the station buildings, although I've recently been distracted by the first turnout for the layout and a few experiments with rolling stock suspension.

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This is my third attempt at the small building on the right; I hope it's just the angle of the photo because I'm still not convinced I've the slope of the roof right?

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Edited by Mark Forrest, 21 March 2012 - 22:09 .

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#2 'CHARD

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 18:15

This project has to be one of the personally most appealing that I've seen, as it's local and captures the horrible dichotomy of a great through station fallen from grace, reduced to an unstaffed terminus and parcels handling terminal. It has so many tantalising ingredients I will be watching with fascination, your recreation of a locality I know, and knew, well. I have to ask, will you be using the tunnel beneath the Wolves - Wednesfield line as a scenic break, and will you be recreating the fabulous Great Western pub!?
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#3 Mark Forrest

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 18:40

Thanks 'Chard. The first phase of the model will use Sun Street bridge as the scenic break and will cover as far as the north side of the booking hall in the middle of the station buildings. Intention is however to be able to extend it as far as the Wednesfield Road bridge; hadn't considered extending the other way towards the tunnel though. The extension would be for exhibitions only.

In two minds about including the Great Western. I really, really want to; but it will be right on the edge of the board, hiding the view of the station. Time will tell....

#4 'CHARD

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 18:47

In those circumstances, I'd possibly have the pub as a removable cameo, so it could be used for photographic/ context purposes, or kept clear to meet observation demands.

Your immediate plan to use Sun St as the scenic break is a sound one. Plenty of work getting that wee road system to look convincing in 3D too!

#5 roundhouse

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 19:21

Mark

We know low level quite wll now as often stay in the Premier Inn built on part of the station and visit the Great Western pub. Looking forward to seeing your layout progress as its quite a challenge considering the size of the station.

Ian

#6 artizen

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 22:17

Getting back to the roof angle question. If you know the height and width of the windows, you can then scale the height and width of the small wall holding up the top central roof bit. That give you a height between the two roofs and therefore the distance covered by the angle of each roof. Makes sense? Obviously you have been able to photograph the existing building?

#7 Mark Forrest

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:25

Getting back to the roof angle question. If you know the height and width of the windows, you can then scale the height and width of the small wall holding up the top central roof bit. That give you a height between the two roofs and therefore the distance covered by the angle of each roof. Makes sense? Obviously you have been able to photograph the existing building?

My first attempt at that building was worked out that way and the roof looked better, but I made some errors elsewhere which saw it confined to the bin. Since then, I've been fortunate to have been loaned some architect's drawings of the buildings and this latest model is based on them - I suspect I've made an error scaling the height of the lower section of the roof from these, which only came to light when I compared the photos above yesterday. Lesson learnt - use drawings and photos, not drawings or photos! Should be easy enough to fix though as the roof is removable.

#8 DonB

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:50

I have fond memories of this station where I alighted in the late 40s (travelling alone as a teenager!) when visiting my grandparents who lived nearby, and also travelling onwards to an aunt in Shrewsbury. In those days LL station it was very busy.
I assume you have the book "Woverhampton Railway Album" by Dewey and Williams?

#9 Mark Forrest

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:21

I have fond memories of this station where I alighted in the late 40s (travelling alone as a teenager!) when visiting my grandparents who lived nearby, and also travelling onwards to an aunt in Shrewsbury. In those days LL station it was very busy.
I assume you have the book "Woverhampton Railway Album" by Dewey and Williams?

Yes, it must have been a fascinating place in those days. I've amassed a collection of books, including that one - I note it describes itself as "volume 1" - do you know whether there was a voulme 2?

#10 Ramblin Rich

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 21:58

Definitely was a volume 2, Mark - I have both volumes & they are very well worn!. Volume 2 was published a few years later & had better quality covers & pages.
Ned Williams also produced 2 volumes on Railways in the Black Country (vol 1 on "Byways", vol 2 "Main Lines") which also have some useful stuff on Wolverhampton.
John Boynton's book "Main Line to Metro" covers the Snow hill - Wolves stretch of line too.

EDIT - should have said also I really like the idea of this; although I've only ever used High Level at Wolves I'm very much aware of the Wolverhampton railway history having grown up in "the first village on the Shrewsbury line". This does seem an interesting & somewhat off the wall time period to model, should have a lot of atmosphere if you can capture that melancholic down-at-heel look...

Edited by Ramblin Rich, 18 March 2012 - 22:06 .


#11 Mark Forrest

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 22:06

Definitely was a volume 2, Mark - I have both volumes & they are very well worn!. Volume 2 was published a few years later & had better quality covers & pages.
Ned Williams also produced 2 volumes on Railways in the Black Country (vol 1 on "Byways", vol 2 "Main Lines") which also have some useful stuff on Wolverhampton.
John Boynton's book "Main Line to Metro" covers the Snow hill - Wolves stretch of line too.

Thanks for that; checking my bookshelf it seems I do have volume 2 after all (and those others too).

#12 Xerces Fobe2

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 22:44

Great stuff I remember traveling into Wolverhampton Low Level in the mid 196o’s on a train from Paddington even though we lived in Watford. This was at the time the WCML was being electrified and I remember being finding this station far more appealing than the High Level station.

XF
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#13 terryd147

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 13:43

Hello Mark

Just to check with you that you are who I think you are, i.e. your father is Trevor, formerly a member of Wolverhampton MRC. I am still a member ( have been since 1977!!) and having lived in Wolverhampton from then up till 2009, the station site is very familiar. Shame that the heritage project for Low Level which was mooted back in the 1980s never got anywhere and that the place just underwent the inevitable decline since then. Nice project though!

Incidentally, may I draw your attention to my own efforts under Hest Bank, also on this page.

All the best

Terry Davis

#14 Mark Forrest

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 21:55

Just to check with you that you are who I think you are, i.e. your father is Trevor, formerly a member of Wolverhampton MRC.


Hi Terry, apologies for taking almost a month to reply, I had missed your post in this topic; yes that's me - happy memories of operating Moretonhampstead and Leighford before I was tall enough to see over the backscene!


For the next few months progress on my Low Level project will be limited, while I focus on my involvement with the Staffordshire Finescale Group's RMweb project layout - which is also likely to be of interest to those familiar with Wolverhampton and its surroundings.
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#15 dbanbery

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:26

as discussed on the other topic I am planning a wolverhampton LL layout.

i'm going for the pre nationalisation era - probably pre war... its all in flux at the moment but i'm reasonably firm on the pre nationalisation era - i wanted use GWR and LMS rolling stock, and i like the idea of emulating the really grubby industrial black country world.

i'm relatively green to this, but not so new to model building. ive just finished a degree in Architecture, and i have been building 1/72 aircraft and 1/24 cars for years. i'm planning on drawing the building facades of the main station buildings in CAD and having them laser cut into card so i can assemble, but we'll see whether i can still use the university facilities and if not whether its going to cost a fortune at a pay-in place. I'm also going to use cad to produce a template plan of the station areas too. it would be good to keep an eye on this thread to compare notes...

Edited by dbanbery, 09 August 2012 - 08:29 .

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#16 bob hughes60

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 18:01

Brought back memories of my sister and I sitting at the Birmingham end of the platform trainspotting in the early 1960s.
The stationmaster (nice freindly bloke) came up and had a chat with us he'd never seen a girl trainspotting!
I never sat on High level there was something "glamorous" abour Low Level/WR that just wasn't there on the LMR.
Nice start so far I shall watch with interest (escaped from Wolves in 1969 when Wolverhampton shut on a friday night)
Cheers,
Bob Hughes
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#17 dbanbery

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 20:01

im going to try and get to the station on saturday and take some detailed pics and measurements of this i think.

#18 Mark Forrest

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 21:13

im going to try and get to the station on saturday and take some detailed pics and measurements of this i think.

What scale/gauge are you working in for your layout?

#19 Mark Forrest

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 21:15

There are a few photos I took when the developers moved in here

#20 dbanbery

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 21:48

What scale/gauge are you working in for your layout?


00.

im starting easy, i dont like the tiny stuff either its too fiddly looking

#21 Mark Forrest

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:25

One thing to bear in mind is depth - the forgotten dimension in layout planning IMHO. To scale the distance from the front of the station buildings to the edge of the site (as it was in the era I'm focused on) requires about 4'. Selective compression of the platform widths could bring this down a little but to do it justice in 4mm scale I think you are looking at something like 20' x 5' for the whole station (Sun Street bridge to Wednesfield Road bridge. I'll PM you some more accurate dimensions later.

#22 dbanbery

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:51

Mark,

these are interesting points - it depends on how accurate one wants to be with the modelling. i will need to assess this when i start drawing things up, but it looks like the methods you suggest coupled with compression of building spacing where possible would be a fair strategy.

i had a drive through Brierley Hill on saturday, tried to get a shot of my car parked outside the Glassworks, but alas they dont have any car access on site. it also gave me a mini tour through this side of the Black country.

i'm "only" 28 and it seems that a lot of old stuff has disappeared. one cannot stand in the way of progress, but it seems quite a bit different to what i remember in the early to mid 90s when i "were a nipper"

#23 Mark Forrest

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:16

I finally got around to replacing that dodgy roof on the toilet building yesterday:

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Which now looks a little bit more like it should:

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Some internal detail added too, mainly to act as bracing to prevent the walls warping, but as I had a plan of the interior I thought I might as well do it right:

9174087514_032919dae3_c.jpg

 


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#24 artizen

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:18

Did they really build the toilet with the only windows facing into two stalls? Or was the thing on the roof actually a window as well? The real thing does not look inviting in any way!



#25 Mark Forrest

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:43

Did they really build the toilet with the only windows facing into two stalls? Or was the thing on the roof actually a window as well?

Yes, the top section of the roof was a glazed roof light so that would have let in a little more light. There was actually one further window into the middle trap on the lefthand side (looking at it from the front i.e. the side not shown in the photo of the real thing). TBH I'd missed this when I drew this building out, but given it's proximity to the next building along it wouldn't have let in much light! In fact an external staircase was added to the next building (you can see the scars in the brickwork in the photo above) which means the gap between this building and the next one comes out at about 6mm in 4mm scale, so the missing window won't be visible; although I'm still contemplating adding it anyway.

The real thing does not look inviting in any way!

I think the same could be said for the whole station at the time I'm modelling it.








Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: parcels, 1970s, wolverhampton

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