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Shelf Island

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About this blog

A small railway in the mould of a freelance British narrow gauge project, but standard gauge and modelled to 1:87 scale.

 

Some illustrations are missing following problems with the site, especially on posts prefixed '.' . . . if you are struggling to understand a particular post please PM me and I will try to put them back.

Entries in this blog

Breaking through the layout's mid-life crisis

Up until a few days ago I had seven model railway layouts (each on its own baseboard), all of them in my hobby room. This is quite a lot for a house with a total floor area of around 45 square metres / 450 square feet.   I have since ditched "Wellwood" and moved "Shelf Marshes" to the garden room. "Castell y Bwrdd" is now on show instead of hidden away on a high shelf. The results are the hobby room looks a lot better and having the reshuffle lets me see how Shelf Island could mature i

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An exit strategy

Progress of my entire ‘Shelf Island’ system and indeed my British 1:87 scale effort has faltered this Autumn as I completed ‘Shelf Marshes’ as far as a basic railway with all of its tracks and electrics in place but no landscape. For some reason, I don’t want to do the scenery, even though this is always one the most enjoyable parts of building a layout. I like the ‘bare but engineered’ look, above as well as below the baseboard. I suspect, my stumbling block is working up the track to look real

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Ikea Malm and connecting the Train-Safe tubes

The hobby room has a chest of drawers standing on the floor, this has always been a part of the design of 'Shelf Island' as it holds the fiddle yard tight against the main baseboard, as well as holding my socks and so on.   The fiddle yard is to the left and 'Wellwood' is to the right:   I keep most of my stock in Train-Safe tubes hung on the walls. I began with one tube for my Rapido APT-E (4mm scale of course) and then added eight more. Eventually I ran out of wall. An

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Wagons for Operations

This post is an index to the wagons seen in operations on the Shelf Island railway as I am modelling it in June 2012. I get completely muddled by the Continental designations for wagons hence the photos here.   The railway has a connection to Network Rail, and the wagons for revenue-creating operations listed here run onto Network Rail metals. The railway also has  wagons of its own for strictly internal use. Some of these take advantage of the railway's larger loading gauge, but hopef

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Introduction to Shelf

Foreword Shelf Island is the third autonomous island in Irish Sea, located roughly half way between the Isle of Man and Sodor. The island is a British crown dependency - a self-governing possession of the British Crown. It therefore has the same political status as the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. The island is usually perceived as the poor relation to its two neighbours, with an economy founded on the dismantling of old railway vehicles and the unregulated proces

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Close coupling for Night Ferry coaches (LS Models)

I can hardly believe this works, but it does and the results look great.   The Type F sleeper coaches by LS Models have close-coupling cams, much like all modern Continental stock. You can fit Kadees but they tend to collide with the buffer heads on sharp curves, especially going through a reverse curve. One option for Kadees is to cut off the trip pin and mount them upside down. This works well enough within sets but the coaches still sit too far apart.   Anyway, looking clo

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Resources for British 1:87 Projects

Posted 2 February 2018, rewritten November 2018, last update 28 July 2021   This post is a compilation of resources especially or exclusively useful for modelling British railways in 1:87 scale. The contents here are limited to resources I have found to be useful or inspiring ... other sources exist and I do hope this list will grow. I have omitted those suppliers who I have found to advertise more than they can deliver.   Drawings As 4mm RTR gets better and better, many

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British Road Vehicles for 1:87 Scale

Sometimes a native 'British' subject helps to set the scene for a layout. I think this is especially important when a layout is to an unusual scale. This post is a list of commercial models of British road vehicles to 1:87 scale I have found useful for my own layout, with additions suggested by other members of the RMWeb and a few other models I have found along the way.   To qualify 'British' here, I include vehicles built in Britain by foreign-owned companies For simplicity I

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Scale (my move to H0 scale)

Some when in the Summer of 2016 I realised Shelf Island should be an H0 layout, with occasional 00 visitors, instead of the rather vague "00/H0 avoiding scale models near the lineside". The tipping point was reworking the Fleischmann Warship and getting a really nice-looking model ... and the realisation I possess more H0 wagons and coaches than I every owned in 00.   The loading gauge will stay large enough to accept a Hornby BR Mark 3 coach, but not a Rapido APT-E. This lets the layo

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General Arrangement

"Shelf Island" is my model railway layout, and it represents the railways of the eponymous location.   The layout is in the mould of a typical British narrow gauge project but built as a standard gauge line. And in 1:87 scale. I am trying to represent a part of a railway where wagonload freight can move between destinations, hoping this will be more interesting than the usual terminus to fiddle yard arrangement.       The main elements of infrastructure set out

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