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Platforms: making a start

Richard T


Clachbeg station boasts three platforms in all: a 16' stone platform on the stonemason siding, a 27' low gravel platform for passengers, and a 31' stone platform beside the goods siding. The stonemason and goods sidings are 18" high (from the rail tops) and encroach 3" into the loading gauge clearway; the passenger siding is a simple gravel affair at rail height, bounded by sleepers on edge. I decided to lay these out before ballasting, as they form part of the ground cover and ballast border.


I had a very few leftover pieces of 25 mm foam board, which proved ideal for the higher platforms: two layers built up from the foam board base conveniently ended up 18" above the rail tops. The scraps would result in a few gaps which I would plaster over.




First step was to cut pieces from the scrap to make up the platforms: the simple foam cutter has proven its worth many times over.




The goods platform test-fit; the rear right-hand corner is rounded to accommodate the backscene, and the shed will be an interesting project as it too will follow a similar shape.




The stonemason siding, loose fit. This is awkward to reach in the far corner of the layout, although the siding itself is easy to reach.




Finally the unsightly gap between the bottom of the backscene and the baseboard surface is beginning to be closed (a mistake I made early on...), and I thought I would tackle the gap at the end of the station whilst I was at it...




This was very satisfying: freehand drawing with a blunt, soft pencil produced this wall in about ten minutes, in the same style as the retaining wall by the entrance turnout. It neatly finishes the station and should bridge the transition to the backscene. It stands slightly proud of the backscene itself and is affixed both with Polyfilla and white glue.


The two buffer stops were fun to make. On the right is a simple bent-rail affair with a crossmember welded in place; the track beyond the turntable will be buried in grass. The wooden buffer stop at the end of the goods siding is based upon prototype photographs and is bolted together with 1" bolts (M2 threaded rod and nuts).




Whilst in the mood for detailing I also added shunting marker posts from scraps of rail—these show the closest point to the turnout where wagons may stand without hindering the adjoining track. The tips of these rail ends will later be painted white.




The sleepers laid out for the passenger platform. A scrap of 3 mm ply forms the base: not really necessary but it provided an even base for the sleeper edging. A couple of the sleepers had to be cut to interlock with the “real” sleepers at the ends of the curved platform front. The platform is designed to serve up to three passenger coaches along the outer loop of the station, and will feature a small, wooden shelter.




Making a start with filling the passenger platform.




The other end of the passenger platform.




The stonemason platform with smooth plaster edging. I shall scribe stonework in situ, and also fill the gap to the rear. Another stone wall is planned to the right, to fill that unsightly gap.




The goods platform plastered in and ready for scribing and surfacing.

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