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Phil Parker

The Billy Bookcase layouts

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Posted (edited)

Returning to this thread, I think there are some wonderful suggestions in 2mm scale - reworked favourites and new ideas: it'll be interesting to see which way Mr Parker goes with his 3rd layout.

 

Having suggested two very conventional ideas in 4mm scale, I've come back to the question of viewing angles after reading a description of a Cameo Layout, where there is a reference to 'a "natural" viewing height'  ('What is a Cameo Layout?' in the relevant Special Interests thread on RMweb),  It's fair to say that my ideas take an operator's eye view as "natural."  What this means in feet and inches can vary considerably of course, and is a question of accessibility.

 

One of the potential aspects of a bookshelf model for home use is that multiple viewing points become available: as well as my operator (in this case the figure on the right below, who happens to be standing), I also have a seated viewer across the room (on the left below).  They are viewing the same model from a distance.  How might I best use this?  [At an exhibition there may be other people getting a close up view, creating an artificial maximum viewing distance].

 

1018138763_Billy7.jpg.2de6f3e6ff9b8cadec3300b9f064d682.jpg

 

As well as distance, the challenge for the layout designer in my example is that the green shaded area is invisible to a seated viewer - but at the same time is the area most easily viewed by the operator.  How might I make more of the "shop window" or "display cabinet" aspect of this project?

 

I wonder if there's space within the 26cm x 76cm space to be more creative?  In a larger space (and scale), one of my favourite BRM Layouts did just this, Macclesfield Model Railway Group's Hammeston Wharf (BRM Feb 2007).  They had four separate levels from front to back (including Narrow Gauge and trams), but I think they had a scenic area some 36' x 3' in total (in 7mm scale).

 

16994855_HammestonWharf.png.6e2e22b50af52a211d0dbc9e7f0b571f.png

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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Hi Phil and RMWEBers,

Here is my offering for the Billy Bookcase Layout. It is called Hobb's Bridge Goods. Please see track plan below It is set in North Wales. It represents a small  goods terminal and Nuclear flask transfer terminal located on a now truncated main line. The original 'main line' ran x-y and was engineered for double track however only a single line was ever laid. A flat roadway connection to the nuclear power station is via a new tunnel T, the transfer siding is labelled A. Siding B is for other goods, such as timber, single wagon coal for transfer to the Welsh narrow Gauge railways and general non nuclear deliveries to the power station behind the rocky ridge to the rear of the layout. The rest of the rail network is accessed at X where the line enters a tunnel (to the fiddle yard) The line at Y is a buffer stop atop a viaduct which continues 'off set'. A road passes beneath the headshunt at Y, the track base being a good 100mm above the lowest par of the layout. For now I have just the track plan in AnyRail (I only downloaded the program 1 hour ago). The track is Peco code 55 electrofrog pointwork and wooden sleepered track. The three points comprise, a Y point, small radius RH and the three way interlaced. The rock face at the back of the layout extends a further 150mm above track level. will try to do a 3d version in the not too distant future.

Cheers

Duncan

Hobbs Bridge (Goods).jpg

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3 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

 

I wonder if there's space within the 26cm x 76cm space to be more creative?  In a larger space (and scale), one of my favourite BRM Layouts did just this, Macclesfield Model Railway Group's Hammeston Wharf (BRM Feb 2007).  They had four separate levels from front to back (including Narrow Gauge and trams), but I think they had a scenic area some 36' x 3' in total (in 7mm scale).

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/16994855_HammestonWharf.png.6e2e22b50af52a211d0dbc9e7f0b571f.png

 

Very interesting thoughts. I've never seen, or even heard of, Hammeston Wharf before but it sounds very intriguing and a novel approach. I would like to see more!

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11 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

it'll be interesting to see which way Mr Parker goes with his 3rd layout

 

It certainly will. I'm amazed and astounded by the number and variety of suggestions that we've had on this thread. Far more layout ideas than I can build - so people, please feel free to grab some for yourselves and get modelling!

 

I am slightly boggled now!

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And one more ... coming tonight (when I get home from work) ... my last attempt: a prototypical GWR/MR branchline terminus based on an actual location in minimal space with passenger facilities, quirky shunting, entry road at the front of the layout, and something Keith could definitely see from sitting position if on an upper shelf.

 

This is fun.

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8 hours ago, BackRoomBoffin said:

And one more ... coming tonight (when I get home from work) ... my last attempt: a prototypical GWR/MR branchline terminus based on an actual location in minimal space with passenger facilities, quirky shunting, entry road at the front of the layout, and something Keith could definitely see from sitting position if on an upper shelf.

 

This is fun.

I'll admit I've tried guessing where this might be since I saw the post at lunchtime, but haven't come up with a suggestion (might depend if MR means Midland or Metropolitan Railway - I know very little about the latter, and not enough about the former).

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Ok, so having dared myself and drawn attention, here goes.

 

The protypical location is Hotwells station, a GW / Midland terminus on the Bristol Port and Pier Railway (closed c1920 to build a new road). This was a tramway / railway / ferry interchange in the Avon Gorge, with 1 platform, directly below the Clifton Suspension Bridge. More info about which here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotwells_railway_station

 

A map can be seen here: http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/kyp/?edition=

(this is a historic mapping site for Bristol City Council … type 'Portway' into search bar at top left, and look for a map using the options at right that will show you sometime between 1890 and 1920 … you'll see two different track plans).

 

http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/knowyourplace/media/her_pc/18833.JPG

 

 

It's taken me a while to get this 'right', but it combines some of the features discussed above - slanting the angle to get more in, not having a side access through the 'bookshelf wall', and 'less is more' (only four points and a cross over). But if one did model this location as accurately as possible, you'd need 2-3ft of height for the cliffs!

 

I've called this compressed plan 'Goram's Hollow', adapting the name of St Vincent's Rocks, which is the name for the cliff formation overlooking the site. (Goram and Vincent were two legendary local giants).

 

I'd suggest the tramline at front is unpowered.

gorams-hollow.jpg

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On 10/03/2019 at 21:13, Keith Addenbrooke said:

Returning to this thread, I think there are some wonderful suggestions in 2mm scale - reworked favourites and new ideas: it'll be interesting to see which way Mr Parker goes with his 3rd layout.

 

Having suggested two very conventional ideas in 4mm scale, I've come back to the question of viewing angles after reading a description of a Cameo Layout, where there is a reference to 'a "natural" viewing height'  ('What is a Cameo Layout?' in the relevant Special Interests thread on RMweb),  It's fair to say that my ideas take an operator's eye view as "natural."  What this means in feet and inches can vary considerably of course, and is a question of accessibility.

 

One of the potential aspects of a bookshelf model for home use is that multiple viewing points become available: as well as my operator (in this case the figure on the right below, who happens to be standing), I also have a seated viewer across the room (on the left below).  They are viewing the same model from a distance.  How might I best use this?  [At an exhibition there may be other people getting a close up view, creating an artificial maximum viewing distance].

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/1018138763_Billy7.jpg.2de6f3e6ff9b8cadec3300b9f064d682.jpg

 

As well as distance, the challenge for the layout designer in my example is that the green shaded area is invisible to a seated viewer - but at the same time is the area most easily viewed by the operator.  How might I make more of the "shop window" or "display cabinet" aspect of this project?

 

I wonder if there's space within the 26cm x 76cm space to be more creative?  In a larger space (and scale), one of my favourite BRM Layouts did just this, Macclesfield Model Railway Group's Hammeston Wharf (BRM Feb 2007).  They had four separate levels from front to back (including Narrow Gauge and trams), but I think they had a scenic area some 36' x 3' in total (in 7mm scale).

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/16994855_HammestonWharf.png.6e2e22b50af52a211d0dbc9e7f0b571f.png

Dare I throw an idea at you?

 

How about an angled mirror on the bottom of the shelf above the layout, so that seated viewers get a sort of bird's eye view of the layout?

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Some great ideas here - please keep them coming! Best suggestion wins a selection of useful diorama goodies from the cupboard for your next project, which'll hopefully be located in a Billy bookcase.

Howard

 

 

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4 hours ago, johnsmithuk said:

Dare I throw an idea at you?

 

How about an angled mirror on the bottom of the shelf above the layout, so that seated viewers get a sort of bird's eye view of the layout?

 

An interesting thought - if the shelf being used is like the one in my sketch earlier, then a mirror could be fastened to the underside of the shelf above.  It might not distract close up operators as much as we'd expect, because they'd be looking down. Some modellers use mirrors to see into hidden sidings / fiddle yards, as well as those used in the scenic areas of layouts and dioramas.

 

It would be worth testing such an idea before committing to it - I know I benefitted from experimenting with the mirrors I'm using in my current cakebox before I finalised the design, to avoid unwanted reflections in the final model.

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15 hours ago, BackRoomBoffin said:

 

Fascinating - I'm not sure you mentioned the tunnel mouth entrance to the station in the write-up, but that's another gift to space-starved modellers from this prototype, and for the ambitious structure modeller I guess a representation of the Suspension Bridge could be added to the right hand side as well (or for the artists - painted onto the side backdrop).  I've had a look at the map suggested, and if I'm reading it right, the track plan it's showing might even have a small engine turntable that saves space at the head of the station (the track layout looks a bit like Bembridge IOW in that respect, but with platform and buildings distinctively different).  It could certainly make a show-stopping model in a tiny space - though I doubt it would be a quick build: pre-grouping 2mm stock would be just one of the challenges!  What a wonderful idea.

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One of the drawbacks ob Billy is that he/it doesn't come with enough shelves. It's clear that to get the full effect of Hotwells you'll have to put this on the middle fixed shelf and use the rest of the height for the cliff, if you want to include a taster of the suspension bridge. That'll conveniently free up a couple of shelves for other Billys so you can pack those paperbacks in:

 

626451491_Hotwellsstationcompressed.jpg.1fb2228f5eadd4c258b3a8ad6a23eb18.jpg

 

This c. 1890s photo shows an earlier version of the engine release. The carriage siding on the left and the centre road met at a small turntable.

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4 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

  I've had a look at the map suggested, and if I'm reading it right, the track plan it's showing might even have a small engine turntable that saves space at the head of the station (the track layout looks a bit like Bembridge IOW in that respect, but with platform and buildings distinctively different).  It could certainly make a show-stopping model in a tiny space - though I doubt it would be a quick build: pre-grouping 2mm stock would be just one of the challenges!  What a wonderful idea.

 

If you go to the site you should be able to toggle through different basemaps from different eras (If I'm lucky I've attached it); this shows that some time after 1900 (possibly during WW1) the turntable was replaced by an extended station building (unless they put the turntable under cover, but I don't think so); I've deliberately 'cheated' in that I've added the crossover to create a shunting problem, and I don't think the goods siding extended as far as I've suggested. So again, it's 'inspired by', but … Rule One.

 

 

2 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

This c. 1890s photo shows an earlier version of the engine release. The carriage siding on the left and the centre road met at a small turntable.

 

Yes, I've included a link to that image above but it didn't embed … If it were me, I'd continue to move into a parallel imaginary reality and pretend that a) the road was never built and it's the 30s (allowing autocoaches and railcars, alongside the more modern 57xx and Jinty available RtR) and b) avoid having to model the full suspension bridge by pretending that it was never completed and the towers remained in their incomplete, rugged form as c1850.  (That means that is is a fictional town that isn't Bristol, it just happens to resemble it...).

 

Clifton Suspension Bridge c.1850

 

 

Of the three suggestions I've made, this is the one with the biggest 'wow', but the vertical space it would take up, and the scenery, would be beyond my abilities, I suspect. But it's tempting; and the trackplan is a micro-layout, it's just everything else...

Capture.PNG

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On ‎10‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 21:25, Duncan. said:

Please see track plan below It is set in North Wales. It represents a small  goods terminal and Nuclear flask transfer terminal located on a now truncated main line … The line at Y is a buffer stop atop a viaduct which continues 'off set'. 

 

 

The 'truncated main line' idea is a good one capable of versatile usage -- I have relatives who live in the Harz mountains in Germany whose nearest standard-gauge station (I think) spent most of the 60s, 70s, and 80s as a terminus and has been a through line again since the 90s (due to the East German border)… sadly there were not any narrow gauge tracks on the West side of the border and they find the tourists generally go over the mountains in search of steam engines, these days...

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Posted (edited)

I've continued playing around with some 4mm scale ideas - though I doubt I can come anywhere close to the "Wow!" factor of the Hotwells concept above.

 

My first idea is called "Station Pilot" and models one end of a town station - to the left platforms disappear under the town centre, with an elevated road (carrying inset tram tracks and shops), while to the right there is a lower level road (or canal).  The lower level means that the station itself needs to be raised above the shelf, making it more visible from across the room.  Operation is made possible by a fiddle yard (traverser?) to the left, and consists of a station pilot shunting carriages / parcel vans between the two platforms and a bay.  There's a signal box and station building to model, along with a town backscene.

 

1200637768_Billy8.jpg.ac09b410ddc77ba2c24fb5ea099139f9.jpg

 

My second suggestion is for a smaller, seaside terminus on a curve.  There is a single platform station (again disappearing under a roadbridge) and a short quayside siding.  This has deliberately been drawn as a quick freehand sketch to encourage me to brainstorm away from straight lines.  This means the proportions aren't quite the 3:1 (length:depth) of Billy in this concept drawing, but I've laid it out with 2 Peco Streamline Curved point templates and it can fit.  Again, having the quayside at a lower level raises up the station itself, with the overbridge adding further height.

 

189902591_Billy9.jpg.3060461855fd1dbf7c7007d6edf6efa3.jpg

 

 

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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My final offering is this one - although I don't have a photo to illustrate the idea, I'm hoping it's a well-enough known prototype not to need one:

 

Birmingham New Street Station in the blue-grey electric WCML / diesel era has been modelled successfully in larger spaces.

 

There wouldn't be room for much of the station on a bookshelf, but you could fit the two short loco stabling sidings emerging from the tunnel and in front of the signal box into the space we have, with a running line in front of them to represent the rest of the 12-platform behemoth.  The sidings were used for stabling overhead electrics, and would make an instantly recognisable model for anyone who knows the station, as well as giving the opportunity to practice modelling catenary.  It could be a valid 4mm modern-image model of a busy mainline prototype in 76cm by 26cm.

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To complete my submissions for this exercise, I converted my favoured designs into Anyrail software format.  I wanted to suggest 4mm scale layouts that offer an alternative to the excellent micro-layout industrial plans in the Spring BRM.  I had to add fiddle yards to make them work, so they'd either need to be on top of the bookcase or be removable for operation, (or else you'd need to make a hole in the side of the furniture, I guess).  I've used Peco Streamline Medium or Large Radius Curved points in these ideas, as I'm not trying to replicate tight industrial layouts.  While limits operation, larger locomotives can be displayed on these layouts.  Finally, I've tried to give some thought to the visual impact of these ideas from further away, using either multiple levels, or a centrepiece building.

 

1. Station Pilot

 

A busy station pilot shunts carriages and parcels stock around this town station.  A low level road (or canal) to the right means the station itself is on the middle level of this plan, with a high level town centre to the left (including static inset tram tracks in a road, with low-relief shops at the end of the layout).

 

1811642964_StationPilot.jpg.73e9040301322176e9f3fb7da9854eaa.jpg

 

The fiddle yard is a traverser to the left of the station.

 

2.  Quayside Station

 

A seaside branch terminus with a quay at the front - space to model water or even a small boat.  Tracks again disappear under the road bridge to the left, as the town snakes up the hillside from the coast.  Regular trains are limited to an autocoach or similar, with space for some goods traffic serving the quay too.

 

  1170159284_QuaysideStation.jpg.5d2feb9705fe2f1568bc0cef57d3455e.jpg

 

3.  Birmingham New Street

 

With a centrepiece of the impressive 5-storey "Brutalist" 1960s signal box as a signature feature, this layout offers a genuine mainline prototype in 4mm scale that fits on a Billy bookshelf.  The two sidings are locomotive stabling sidings; they are under wire, giving the opportunity to model catenary.  Interestingly, the signal box is outside the fence, but I've moved the tunnel entrance closer to give an exit to a right-hand fiddle yard.  No platforms are shown (we're beyond the end of the platforms, which are to the left and below the module). A hint of platform could be included where I've placed a dummy track at the far left.

 

From memory, loco movements included engine swaps on diesel hauled trains that had come from Leamington Spa via Coventry and were heading up the WCML, on North-West / South Coast on Services now handled by Voyager units.  It means there was regular movement of mainline locomotives in and out of these sidings, giving a modeller the chance to put on display some of the larger engines from the BR blue period, with a big city backscene framing the layout.

 

 

1983173296_BirminghamNewStreet.jpg.e2f3508d20376bd6ab6c1665610fb02a.jpg

 

 

 

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On 10/03/2019 at 21:25, Duncan. said:

Hi Phil and RMWEBers,

Here is my offering for the Billy Bookcase Layout. It is called Hobb's Bridge Goods. Please see track plan below It is set in North Wales. It represents a small  goods terminal and Nuclear flask transfer terminal located on a now truncated main line. The original 'main line' ran x-y and was engineered for double track however only a single line was ever laid. A flat roadway connection to the nuclear power station is via a new tunnel T, the transfer siding is labelled A. Siding B is for other goods, such as timber, single wagon coal for transfer to the Welsh narrow Gauge railways and general non nuclear deliveries to the power station behind the rocky ridge to the rear of the layout. The rest of the rail network is accessed at X where the line enters a tunnel (to the fiddle yard) The line at Y is a buffer stop atop a viaduct which continues 'off set'. A road passes beneath the headshunt at Y, the track base being a good 100mm above the lowest par of the layout. For now I have just the track plan in AnyRail (I only downloaded the program 1 hour ago). The track is Peco code 55 electrofrog pointwork and wooden sleepered track. The three points comprise, a Y point, small radius RH and the three way interlaced. The rock face at the back of the layout extends a further 150mm above track level. will try to do a 3d version in the not too distant future.

Cheers

Duncan

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/1413618948_HobbsBridge(Goods).jpg.5f666aa4353ec7747f692a8f0e68a52c.jpg

Hi, I have 'learned' a little more about any rail and include a 3d view of Hobb's Bridge Goods. It's not quite what I intend but if you read the notes in my previous post  you may understand what I an trying to do! The sections of double track main line won't in practice exist, but I wanted to show the double track width tunnel and viaduct. The viaduct is entirely wrong... it will be a stone structure and I haven;t yet got the rock face above the tracks at the back of the layout but keep watching!!

Hobbs Bridge (Goods)_3D.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Hobb's Bridge Goods.

I attach my hand drawn 3D sketch. Please view with reference to my previous post (above)

Cheers

Duncan

CCF14032019.pdf

IMG_0991.JPG

Edited by Duncan.
added jpeg version of pdf -easier to view!

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lI'll try that 3D sketch again. Please view in conjunction with written desccription and track plan in posts above.

IMG_0991.JPG

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On 12/03/2019 at 17:41, Compound2632 said:

One of the drawbacks ob Billy is that he/it doesn't come with enough shelves. It's clear that to get the full effect of Hotwells you'll have to put this on the middle fixed shelf and use the rest of the height for the cliff, if you want to include a taster of the suspension bridge. That'll conveniently free up a couple of shelves for other Billys so you can pack those paperbacks in:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/626451491_Hotwellsstationcompressed.jpg.1fb2228f5eadd4c258b3a8ad6a23eb18.jpg

 

This c. 1890s photo shows an earlier version of the engine release. The carriage siding on the left and the centre road met at a small turntable.

The rails look extraordinarily lightweight.

I wonder what is on the plaque above the door of the station building. It almost looks as if it could be the Freemasons' emblem

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Posted (edited)
On 02/03/2019 at 07:59, sjrixon said:

I always thought the Ekby could have a layout on top, with the stock in the draws to put it away. Watching this with interest, but don't we need a full forum for them all :)

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjEjDLjg

This link should take you to my album of a layout, "Port Wynnstay Quayside", built on a pair of folded Ikea drawer shelf units (vintage 2003) whose code name I have long forgotten, but a forerunner of the "Ekby" units.  Clicking on the individual photo's should reveal captions with information on each one. 

The two three drawer units were hinged together, end to end, to make a layout 8 feet long by 1 foot wide with 6 storage drawers. The whole thing folds up to form a box 4 feet long by 16 inches wide by 20 inches deep. Every thing needed to run the layout is contained in the drawers except for the loco's which travel in their own case. The dust covers that protect the open sides when in transit were given frames and fitted with fold up legs to make tables for the layout to sit on. The theory was that it would only take one trip from the car to the hall for exhibition.  The layout proved to need a light unit for darker venues so a proscenium arch style one was built, so now it takes two trips! To keep the compact theme the cover which protect the lights when the unit is transported forms a stock shelf behind the layout when it is operated. Due to some of lifes  little difficulties over the years this small layout has taken something like 16 years to build so far, it has been exhibitable for the last five, but is still some way off completion. Set up time is about 25 minutes and can be managed by one person.

 

Phil T.

Edited by Phil Traxson
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4 hours ago, Andy Kirkham said:

The rails look extraordinarily lightweight.

I wonder what is on the plaque above the door of the station building. It almost looks as if it could be the Freemasons' emblem

 

I was wondering - as the station would be owned by a joint committee with it's own identity - whether it was a stylised monogram combining GW and M in some way?

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Posted (edited)

About two years ago I built an On30 Inglenook that fit in this exact space.  I used a sector plate and one Peco setrack point set  -- That layout was called "Grasse Pointe"
This photo shows the basic plan but one foreground structure that hides the sector plate is missing.

Grasse_Pointe_49.JPG

Edited by Yankee Modeler
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Posted (edited)
On 04/03/2019 at 16:25, D9020 Nimbus said:

This plan is based on Hayling Island (the essential "Terrier" is made by Dapol).

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_03/BRM-Hayling.png.5f5a0031422d7b222ed3c4b128b734fa.png

 

As I was given a "Hayling Islander" N Gauge starter kit with Dapol Terrier and a couple of coaches... the Billy Bookcase article in last month's BRM mag prompted me to also utilise one of my shelves and start a small layout... as a coincidence my layout is also based on Hayling island Terminus... 

 

ps. my first attempt at using Anyrail software so there will be a need for some tweaking.

Hayliny Anyrail layout NH March 2019JPG.JPG

Edited by upthecreek
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