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Here's the trackplan of the empire. Newport is on the left (majorly compressed trackplan), Medina Wharf at the top (freelance track plan, this exists to replicate the function of Medina Wharf rather than to look like it), and Cowes bottom right, the only part of the layout which has the full prototype trackplan.  With work going on on Medina, almost none of the layout is actually operational at the moment and once the Medina trackwork is done I have some serious "fettling" to do over a baseboard joint at Cowes.  The loops bottom right represent the lines to Sandown and Ryde. The scissors crossover will be hidden behind Cowes and simply allows trains on both Sandown and Ryde lines to use either hidden loop. Thus a train departing for Sandown can re-emerge from Sandown on its return journey. The same for Ryde trains. In hindsight, it was not really necessary and I could have saved time and money just leaving it out!


I was sad to learn the other day that Elite Baseboards, who built and installed my boards have ceased trading. I know they had had considerable health problems recently. I was one of their early customers I believe, and they installed the boards in the unbelievable heat in my loft. Even with an air-conditioning unit it was practically unbearable. 


Progress generally, following my broken ankle, is now very slow....







Cowes and Newport Trackplan.png

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Nicely shoe horned into your loft Chris. Will you have much room for scenery?


i am currently working out how to squeeze my layout into my garage. More coaches are currently on the way. 


Hope you recover from your ankle soon.



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There's more room for scenery than you might think. The tracks behind Cowes will be behind and under the townscape and the continuous run on the right hand side and top of the plan hidden behind a back scene. And the Mediina crossing at Newport is over an empty board.


However, serious thoughts are now in play about scrapping the whole thing and starting again with a clean slate and a "step by step" approach to building a layout and finishing each bit before starting the next. And of course learning from all the mistakes made to date. Cowes again the favourite for the initial build..... It's the modeller's perfect compact terminus and three platforms for the busy times.



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I spent 10 years researching and building properties for Cowes only to decide overnight I wanted a through station and am now building Merstone due to be housed in a garage permanently. Will I regret it - I don't know. Cowes is where I have site-visited, I have nearly every building in either photo form, drawing or dimensions of. There is very little in the way of structures for Merstone and no-one appears to have a detailed drawing of the station building itself. All photos of it are from the most obscure angle.


I can see me cracking on with Merstone but when I need a building 'fix' will select one of the building  from Cowes. Either that or an Island 'village' will be built over the top of my fiddle yard, both to get my building fix and also to keep dust off/damaging stock within the fiddle yard.


Good luck if you decide to re-start. Will you be able to utilise any of the existing 'empire' ?



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IIRC from my time living on the island (1951-1963) when steam still operated, Cowes tracks on the approach to the station did involve a tunnel under Denmark Road - perfect scenic break if you moved it towards Newport??? Newport station was far more open, constrained by the River Medina and Town Quay (Mew, Langton's Brewery was there) so plenty of scenic potential there. Tracks to Ryde went through a cutting alongside Fairlee Road whilst those to Sandown & Shanklin (and the old Ventnor line) were run over a viaduct at Coppins Bridge to head southwards Shide and Blackwater. Prior to Shide was a chalk quarry that you can still see and, if you recreated that alongside those tracks, you could have your scenic break into the Ryde & Sandown loops. I am over there early next month if you need any pictures of it today.

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