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About this blog

Ongoing layout blog

Entries in this blog

 

Visitors, and more visitors.......and a signal

Hi. Things are progressing steadily at Spittal. The summer and hot weather often results in a slowdown in activity for a lot of us; holidays, barbecues, family commitments and possibly a little heat-induced lethargy……..I’ve found the answer to the latter. Spittal is being built in a converted farm building with 3 foot thick stone walls, and though it’s south facing it stays wonderfully cool and comfortable even when outside is ridiculously hot; I’m not really a Mediterranean climate sort of pers

IanLister

IanLister

 

Progress: Track and a control panel!

Hi Time for a long overdue update on the progress on the south bank of the Tweed estuary….I know it’s been a while, but I’ve kept looking at it and thinking, “Not just yet, I’ll just get this bit finished first.” I keep going home and leaving bits and pieces all over the place and then coming back and picking up where I left off and truth to tell it’s not been very photogenic; a combination of mess, clutter and infrastructure work that’s not very spectacular. You wouldn’t want me to scare you wi

IanLister

IanLister

 

A good day...despite the door!

So, you wait 3 months for a blog entry and then 2 come at once……..I seem to remember buses like that.   Yesterday was such a lovely day up here in North Northumberland; so calm it was almost windless and a clear blue sky. Just the day for a long dog walk on the beach or a walk up into the Cheviots? Actually it was perfect for going to the workshop, getting the workmate out into the yard and doing some baseboard woodworking without getting soaked and/or frozen and without the plywood flapping a

IanLister

IanLister

 

Further progress update

Hi. It’s been 3 months since I last updated this blog, so please bear with me if it’s a little longer than usual as I believe I’ve made some progress in several areas. Before Christmas I decided to conduct various tests and trials to establish the coupling system for the layout. Much as I like the look of 3 links, the width of baseboards needed to accommodate the area being modelled, and the significant amount of shunting which will dominate activity on this very operational layout make their us

IanLister

IanLister

 

Getting sidetracked........

Hi. Talk about being sidetracked……………..   In my last entry I mentioned getting corners finished, backscenes fitted, boards aligned against back walls etc. Well………………………………….   A couple of weeks ago I was invited to demo my techniques for making stone buildings at the EMGS North East Area Group ‘Workshopwise’ day event; a really good day and met lots of interesting people. As all the buildings (actually just the one) are fixed down on the layout I had no finished models to take, so I made a s

IanLister

IanLister

 

First finished corner

Hi The corner board I've been working on is now finished. Tomorrow it will have a plain sky coloured backscene added and will take up permanent residence in one corner of the layout. How to do the backdrop has been a bit of a challenge; it's such an iconic location with the ECML and Royal Border Bridge in the background I've either got to do it very realistically or not at all, and I feel it would look a bit odd with a mainline railway painted on the wall behind....especially if I painted it. Ph

IanLister

IanLister

 

Spittal......Progress Update

Hi   In an earlier entry in this blog I raised the dilemma caused by having boards of a width that makes the back unreachable when they are in place in the layout’s permanent location, particularly in corners. Make them narrower? All well and good, but when you’re modelling a real location, and two tracks diverge from each other as they progress round the end of a U-shaped layout, it’s just not possible, particularly when the tracks are on raised embankments with a road in between and at a low

IanLister

IanLister

 

Sunny day in Spittal...forge finished

It’s lunchtime, June 21st, 1960. Eric Sparrow and Alan Cole, proprietors of Sparrow and Cole, Iron Founders, Blacksmiths, Toolmakers and Boilermakers Ltd, have gone for lunch to the Harrow, a local pub on Dock Road in Tweedmouth. Their yard, at the Upper Forge overlooking the Berwick – Spittal ex NER branchline, is quiet for the first time in a few hours. Let's have a look round while they're out:       Inside, they have been repairing a fairly small boiler which has been in use for 60

IanLister

IanLister

 

Forging Ahead......?

Hi. In order to develop and try out construction techniques to be used for the large number of stone buildings which will populate Tweed South Bank, I’ve concentrated over the last couple of weeks on making progress with the small industrial complex overlooking the Berwick line; this will be set back in one corner of the layout and needs to be in place before the corner board, currently in the middle of the floor, takes up its rightful position and stops cluttering the place up. I’m using mainly

IanLister

IanLister

 

Back To Front?

Hi. It seems to me there's a standard basic way of building a layout in stages:   Plan Build baseboards Lay track Wiring and testing Buildings and scenery.   It became clear to me that I cannot sensibly follow that approach, which is a shame as it seems to work for a lot of people. My 3 end boards, which carry the Berwick line uphill from Spittal and the dock branch downhill to Tweed Dock, need to be 900mm -1350mm wide in order to recreate the geography of the area reasonably accurately, whi

IanLister

IanLister

 

Trackplan

Here's a pretty basic trackplan to give an idea of the project. The 2 tracks leaving Spittal Town diverge in the vertical plane; the Berwick branch climbs to the ECML (fiddleyard) whereas the dock branch descends to riverbank level. The track to Spittal Point and the fish quay also descends after leaving the goods yard.     To date I have the baseboards completed from the fiddleyard to the point where the 2 tracks diverge. The bridge shown in earlier posts is on the Berwick branch just afte

IanLister

IanLister

 

Getting Started

Background   We've moved back to the North Northumberland coast after living around here for a while a few years ago, during which time I fell in love with the minor railways in the area. Researching for my first layout made me realise that the weakness of the local railway infrastructure due to poor planning decisions when the lines were developed was a major factor in the relative stagnation of the local economy; my project is an attempt to show how things might have been better if more join

IanLister

IanLister

 

3rd time lucky.........

3rd Time Lucky? Let's Hope So...........   This blog will document my third attempt to successfully complete a model railway project. If I may explain...........   1st go...The Berwick, Spittal and Tweed Dock Railway. I made good progress with this in 2011/12, documented in a layout thread on here. This was my first attempt at building a layout and was rather ambitiously done in 2mm FS. A sudden change of lifestyle (setting off on our travels in a 36' long motorhome) led to the layout being

IanLister

IanLister

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