Jump to content

TrevorP1

Grampound Road. Salad Days on the Cornish Main Line

Recommended Posts

Having this week signed off the spec for the building of my new railway room, plus set a date for the construction of the base, I just about feel confident enough to start a thread!

 

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve dabbled with various dioramas. However, a dramatic and positive change in my life has seen me take early(ish) retirement and relocate to North Wales with very positive domestic encouragement to pursue the hobby. I might add that there are other interests, some of which we share, so progress will not be dramatic but progress there will  be.

 

My wife has given up a fair part of the garden but when the building is landscaped with a small patio, pot plants, etc. we see the railway room as a way of enjoying being outside together. Welsh weather permitting of course! 

 

At 12’ x 10’ the building is not big by some standards but with some effort I’ve found a prototype location - as a bonus in a place close to my heart - that will fit the bill.

 

My prototype interests are on opposite sides of the country and a few months before the move I began construction of an ‘edited’ version of Kings Cross Passenger Loco. I could have extended this but I couldn’t get interested in any way that I could make work. The sheer scale of other parts of the ECML made anything else that interested me impossible. So, it was (happily) back to the west country and the land of my childhood holidays. 

 

Whiteball, the sea wall, or Dainton Bank might have been made to work but the train lengths would have looked ridiculous. Then I read an article by Gilbert Barnatt suggesting secondary main lines… The penny dropped with the force of a ton of bricks. Cornwall! 

 

Summer Saturdays came to mind… No, no, no! I still wasn’t thinking straight. - A weekday when most of the trains were much shorter would work and there would be goods trains to add interest.

 

Having holidayed there many times I know the area west of St Austell fairly well and it didn’t take very long for me to hit on Grampound Road as a location. Most things work for me -  a small place where I can just watch the trains pass, rural location but some interesting old buildings, a compact curved site and a cutting at one end where trains can go ‘off set’. At the other end I will bring the overbridge at Trenowth closer to the station.

 

So there we are. Exciting times indeed. I’m conscious that I’ve written a fair bit for one post so just an explanation of the title of the thread and I’ll leave further explanation and ideas for another post.

 

I believe the expression ‘Salad Days’ originally came from Shakespeare referring to the green shoots of youth. Also it has been used to describe later life when things are comfortable and there are resources to spare. Now, able to remember my youth in model form as a retirement project the epithet seems appropriate.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Before going much further perhaps a layout plan might be of interest.This is as near the real thing as I can get in the space available but it is not that much condensed lengthwise. The main differences are the length of the siding next to the buildings in the up side yard and the curve is tighter than the real thing. Having said that the curve through the platforms was, still is, quite significant. I haven't included the platforms in the drawing but they are at the top of the plan between the goods shed and the overbridge.

 

The blue area is the lifting section. A necessary evil is that it is part of the fiddle yard but at least it will be easy to remove to install the pointwork. I plan to have the layout at 4' to 4' 6" height so with luck I shall be able duck under most of the time - at least I hope to be able to do so for a few years! The red sections in the fiddle yard will be locations for storage cassettes.

 

post-14258-0-77740800-1537546553_thumb.jpg

 

As it is a fairly ordinary location there don't seem to be that many published photos of the place and I don't have copyright for those I have. That said, I recently purchased some very useful Richard Riley shots from the Transport Treasury. Hopefully this link will bring up those available.

 

https://www.transporttreasury.com/?q=grampound%20road

 

The buildings at the top right of the plan are connected with the agricultural industry in the area and fortunately the three biggest survive as domestic conversions. Estate agents websites have been handy for photographs of these. Perhaps when I get into the project I may knock on a door when I'm on holiday down there to see if I can get further external photos and key measurements. The signal box looks like it was identical to Falmouth and there are a good many pictures of that structure.

 

Baseboard wise, the scenic area will be L girder but under the fiddle yard I will re-use the boards from my Kings Cross project. They were specially built by a carpenter friend back in Hampshire and it is a regret that they won't be used for their intended purpose but at least they will have a useful life. I plan to use a commercial board from Tim Horn for the removable section as this has to be absolutely square and rock solid - far beyond my carpentry skills for such a thing!

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi....

Will follow with great interest.....

Regards always...

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting choice as there isn't many layouts featuring Grampound Road; at least I've not seen them!  Pity about the lifting section but unavoidable in a lot of cases.  A word, ducking under gets harder as the floor seems to get further down with each passing year, although yours is a good height to begin with. 

 

Brian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting choice as there isn't many layouts featuring Grampound Road; at least I've not seen them!  Pity about the lifting section but unavoidable in a lot of cases.  A word, ducking under gets harder as the floor seems to get further down with each passing year, although yours is a good height to begin with. 

 

Brian.

 

 

Thank you Brian. The lifting section will be completely removable but I anticipate 'ducking under' most of the time while I am able - hopefully for a good few year yet.

 

I must say I can't wait to get cracking on something. I've been doing a heck of a lot of planning and timetable research plus renumbering and detailing various locos and stock. The engines have been run in on the rollers but most things have to be packed away for safe keeping.

 

My 'date' is 1960 when there was plenty of steam still about but the hydraulics were coming on stream. That said it's not rigid! For fun I drew up a list of newsworthy events from 1960 which I'll display in some form in the railway room:

 

  • 1st January. Jonny Cash plays the first of many free concerts in US prisons.
  • 14th January. US army promotes Elvis Presley to sergeant.
  • 21st January. Little Joe 1B, a Project Mercury Mercury spacecraft, lifts off from Wallops Island, Virginia with a female Rhesus Macaque rhesus monkey on board.
  • 23rd January.The bathosphere Trieste, crewed by Jacques Piccard and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh, reaches bottom of Pacific (10,900 m).
  • 28th January Final episode of The Goon Show on BBC radio.
  • 22nd March. 1st patent for lasers granted to Arthur Schawlow & Charles Townes.
  • 1st April. Launch of TIROS 1 the first weather satellite.
  • 14th April. American record company Motown, founded by Berry Gordy Jr., is incorporated as Motown Record Corporation.
  • 7th May. Leonid Brezhnev replaces Kliment Voroshilov as President of USSR.
  • 20th June. The Huckleberry Hound Show by Hanna-Barbera becomes the first animated programme to win an Emmy.
  • 6th July. Aneurin Bevan, Welsh-English politician, Secretary of State for Health dies. (b. 1897).
  • 18th August. The Beatles give their first public performance at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg.
  • 17th September. Damon Hill, British Formula 1 champion, born in Hampstead London.
  • 18th September. First Traffic Warden.
  • 24th September. USS Enterprise, 1st nuclear power aircraft carrier, launched.
  • 29th September. Ricky Valance becomes the first Welshman at No1 with Tell Laura I Love Her.
  • 21st October. HMS Dreadnought. First British nulclear powered submarine launched.
  • 30th October. Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
  • 8th November. John F. Kennedy is elected President of the United States, defeating Republican candidate Richard Nixon who was the incumbent Vice President.
  • 9th December. First episode of Coronation Street.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good, always interested in another 4mm scale Cornish mainline project.

 

A 1966 view from my Flickr faves,  https://flic.kr/p/fJKAFR

 

 

I must have spent hours peering at the detail in shots like that!  The fields in the middle distance are now a housing estate but three of the grain stores - you can just see odd parts of the roofs in this shot - have survived as house conversions. The stationmasters house also survives as does the large building on the left and, unseen in this shot, what was 'The Commercial Hotel' behind it.

 

The cutting side on the left (up) side of this shot will make a useful backdrop though I will likely lower some of the opposite side so that the station can be better seen.

 

Hopefully copyright rules will permit me to upload a heavily cropped photo showing how the surviving agricultural store buildings looked over 50 years ago. What a tremendously modelable scene! The ones marked with a red arrow are now houses. The rest are gone. The field to the right is covered in houses. I believe the train is the up 'Royal Duchy'.

 

post-14258-0-42581600-1537642740_thumb.jpg

Edited by TrevorP1
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent choice Trevor - only one block section away from Porthmellyn Road! Not sure that I agree with the Cornwall main line being described as "secondary" though...

 

The standard picture books on Cornwall have a few pictures of Grampound Road. "The Great Western Railway in Mid-Cornwall" by Alan Sutton shows a picture by Michael Mensing of D802 on the 0915 Penzance - Plymouth descending the gradient past the level sidings at the bottom-right corner of your plan. Will you be able to replicate that?

 

Looking forward to reading more as you progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent choice Trevor - only one block section away from Porthmellyn Road! Not sure that I agree with the Cornwall main line being described as "secondary" though...

 

The standard picture books on Cornwall have a few pictures of Grampound Road. "The Great Western Railway in Mid-Cornwall" by Alan Sutton shows a picture by Michael Mensing of D802 on the 0915 Penzance - Plymouth descending the gradient past the level sidings at the bottom-right corner of your plan. Will you be able to replicate that?

 

Looking forward to reading more as you progress.

 

 

Of course the Cornwall main line is the 'Premier Line' to us! 

 

I have that book thank you John, I've also found a little gold mine of photos in 'Cornwall's Railways Remembered' by Stephen Heginbotham.

 

Grampound Road being the summit between the Fal and Combe viaducts in one direction and Probus and Ladock Platform in the other, the gradient it is something that I'd like to replicate if possible. It is quite obvious in photos but whether it would be more trouble than it's worth in model form I'm not sure, especially in view the tighter curves I'm having to introduce. I've wondered if the eye could be fooled by slightly raising the up refuge siding and the down goods yard? Most likely I'll have a play around when building the baseboards - an advantage of using an open framework.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course the Cornwall main line is the 'Premier Line' to us! 

 

I have that book thank you John, I've also found a little gold mine of photos in 'Cornwall's Railways Remembered' by Stephen Heginbotham.

 

Grampound Road being the summit between the Fal and Combe viaducts in one direction and Probus and Ladock Platform in the other, the gradient it is something that I'd like to replicate if possible. It is quite obvious in photos but whether it would be more trouble than it's worth in model form I'm not sure, especially in view the tighter curves I'm having to introduce. I've wondered if the eye could be fooled by slightly raising the up refuge siding and the down goods yard? Most likely I'll have a play around when building the baseboards - an advantage of using an open framework.

I think that the down gradient at the Up end, with the retaining wall separating the main line and the sidings, is so characteristic of Grampound Road that I would really try to include that somehow - perhaps something less than the full 1 in 70 would fool the eye?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the down gradient at the Up end, with the retaining wall separating the main line and the sidings, is so characteristic of Grampound Road that I would really try to include that somehow - perhaps something less than the full 1 in 70 would fool the eye?

 

 

Agreed. As you say it so characteristic, it would be daft not to try. A further plus point of at least some gradient is that from normal viewing height the sidings in front of the main line will help to disguise the tighter than prototype curve, especially with some stock in the yard.

 

I must say I'm really bursting to get on with the job now. As it is I can't see me doing anything much exciting, layout wise, until early spring. The base for the building doesn't go down until 22nd October. No date yet fixed yet for the actual building but probably early November. Then there will be decorating, electrics and so on. At least folk on here will quite literally see the building of the railway from the earthworks up!

Edited by TrevorP1
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Trevor, 

 

Always good to have another West Country layout under construction: I look forward to seeing this develop.

Kind regards,

 

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I'm waiting for a start to be made on the 'railway shed' I'm not idle, acquiring, modifying etc locos and stock. Currently I'm looking at cattle wagons for broccoli traffic

 

Whilst I'm aware of the various foibles of those current available, RTR or kit, I'm not really sure of the balance I should be aiming for. I'm presuming there should be more BR or ex GWR vehicles than others but those are the vehicles where the trade offerings could be better. On the bench at the moment is an Airfix BR cattle wagon and while it is very good, especially for it's day, the thought of building 20 odd whilst removing the opening doors leaves me quite cold... (even if I had the time).

 

Cost of course will come into play. So while the Oxford model is cheap(ish) and the wheelbase issue relatively easily solvable, would it be correct to have a number of these in a train? The Hornby SR wagon is excellent but cost again comes into play when thinking of the quantities needed (plus of course the other aspects of layout construction}.

 

I've purchased a couple of images from the Transport Treasury and to my untrained eye at least they seem to show more BR and GW types - see above! Interestingly I grabbed a still from a BTC film - the commentary implies it's in Cornwall - on the net and it appears to show a wagon in the same number series as the Oxford model. 

 

post-14258-0-57054500-1538396099_thumb.jpg

 

So. Not sure what question I'm asking really!  :scratchhead: Any knowledge out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the season, the more the merrier would be the rule.  Generally, I remember these trains as being very long and each truck full of produce hauled by big power usually Halls or Castles or perhaps one of the large GW tanks seconded form their regular duties.  Presumably speed was important to get up to the London market.  A long train would be impressive on a layout.

 

1/76 broccoli could be a problem though!

 

Brian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the season, the more the merrier would be the rule.  Generally, I remember these trains as being very long and each truck full of produce hauled by big power usually Halls or Castles or perhaps one of the large GW tanks seconded form their regular duties.  Presumably speed was important to get up to the London market.  A long train would be impressive on a layout.

 

1/76 broccoli could be a problem though!

 

Brian.

Mulgabill of this parish has produced some very nice 4 mm scale cauliflowers (which I understand are called broccoli in Cornwall). See http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/115712-a-cartoon-of-helstonish/page-13&do=findComment&comment=3251814.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Food (!) for thought Brian and John. I've just bid on flea bay for a back copy of Backtrack containing an article on Marazion so hopefully that might produce some information. Logic would say that the wagons would be brought in from wherever they could be found. However, I think I'll leave the scale contents for 2 dozen or so wagons to be done 'dreckley'...

 

I have in mind something like this: https://www.steve-banks.org/images/historical/cattle_traffic/cattle_1960_4_9_4083_2000_1000_72u.jpg

 

I'm thinking that in some ways this is like the eastern region fish trains i.e. a large passenger rated engine on a train of freight stock.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One for old times sake. I purchased an old Airfix cattle wagon kit the other day and I couldn't resist the meat van from the same seller. When I opened the bag the floor had twisted beyond remedy so I replaced this with another, I think it came from the a Red Panda kit. Whilst in the spares box I spotted a couple of doors to replace the original opening ones and while I was in there remembered the Parkside chassis kit I had. The roof remained to be fitted when the photo was taken. There's plenty of ventilation so maybe it could be used on the broccoli/cauliflower special...

 

Hoping for some half decent weather tomorrow so I can prime it and some other projects with a rattle can. 

 

post-14258-0-97616200-1538496305_thumb.jpg

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having a session with a few of those myself, http://www.westernthunder.co.uk/index.php?threads/starting-out-in-pre-1971-kit-building.7101/#post-172222 still hold there own really, though can be updated.

Like what you’ve done with the doors. The hinges will have to come off on mine. Thought I’d honour them as Airfix intended but don’t think I can live with them.

Cheers

Ade

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having a session with a few of those myself, http://www.westernthunder.co.uk/index.php?threads/starting-out-in-pre-1971-kit-building.7101/#post-172222 still hold there own really, though can be updated.

Like what you’ve done with the doors. The hinges will have to come off on mine. Thought I’d honour them as Airfix intended but don’t think I can live with them.

Cheers

Ade

 

Well worth the effort Ade. Some interesting modelling spaces there! I followed the link for the tool to open up RTR axle boxes for 2mm bearings - very handy!

 

When you look at it,  Airfix were remarkable for their day and I'm pleased to be able to incorporate something of theirs in my efforts.

 

I've just found the link to the film I mentioned earlier. It's called Train Time and deals with how various BR areas worked together to get the job done. At one point it mentions 12 broccoli (cauliflower) specials in one day and it seems they were able to send 3 light engines from Bath to Cornwall to help out. How times change. Later in the film there is a glimpse of a train from above showing cases of broccoli loaded into 5 plank open wagons. Now that would make for an interesting model project...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj_wS9jfuj4 

 

At risk of becoming obsessed, with 10 minutes to spare I peered at a few 1950s photos of these trains. I am for sure not an expert but out of a total of 56 cattle wagons that I could identify there were 12 GW, 19 BR, 7 LNER, 13 LMS and 5 SR. Interestingly the ones served best RTR are the least common.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great bit of film! All sorts of interesting info there.

 

Perhaps it should be compulsory viewing for the people who messed up the timetables earlier this year?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it begins... A major step today because the base for the building is down.  November 7th has been set for the building itself. Exciting times!  :danced:

 

post-14258-0-16448400-1540224164_thumb.jpg

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the legwork and planning over the last few months paid off today because the 'railway shed' is finally up! If I can get a train to move by early summer I'll be happy because before I start on the baseboards there is still painting and electrical installation to be done but finally, material progress. 

 

post-14258-0-08897600-1541609393_thumb.jpeg

 

post-14258-0-52677500-1541609432_thumb.jpeg

 

Hopefully it's in order for me to give a shout out for Olympian Garden Buildings of Sandbach. Not the cheapest by any means but by far the best product and most professional staff of the several companies we tried. Standing in the building it feels like I wouldn't know if there was a hurricane outside.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It feels very good to be making practical progress at last even though there is still much to be done before I can consider actually building the railway. Two coats of paint on walls and ceilings now. I've used a very light grey which, to me at least (accepting that we all see colours differently) has a very faint touch of light blue about it. The makers call it 'light rain' which seems appropriate for Cornwall!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first 'addition' to the railway room has nothing and yet everything to do with my project. Some 50 years ago this battered station sign was rescued by a friend of my Dad's from a lamp post in Eastleigh East Yard. Southampton Central was where I spent many days of my youth and from where the family holiday trips to Cornwall began.

I rediscovered the sign behind the workbench in the garage when I moved to Wales and vowed that it would someday hang in a proud position. Now it does!

 

post-14258-0-47953900-1542629227_thumb.jpeg

 

I'm now farther ahead with the project than I had expected, although our 'tame' family electrician is unlikely get to us before early spring. That doesn't stop me building baseboards however and I'm currently compiling a cutting list. Weirdly, the company most likely to get the order is based in Falmouth, Cornwall... Local timber merchants selling twisted banana timber have long been discounted!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.